It isn’t news to most of us that some cable networks have a target audience, whether or not we agree that their programming actually serves that target. A case in point is Lifetime, which calls itself “female-focused” though my remote hasn’t landed on the channel in years. I’ve heard good things about Witches of East End but honestly haven’t checked it out just because it’s on that Army Wives network.
That may change, now that Lifetime is testing the waters of dystopia with its pickup of the series The Lottery. I can see how it would be considered female-skewed, given that the premise is a lottery to determine who will serve as surrogates for the 100 embryos still in existence, but I’m intrigued that they’re calling it a “conspiracy thriller.” Okay, Lifetime, you have my attention.
LIFETIME GREENLIGHTS CONSPIRACY THRILLER THE LOTTERY
Project is Network’s Second Scripted Series Pickup This Year
LOS ANGELES, CA (February 11, 2014) – Lifetime has ordered 10 episodes of the conspiracy thriller The Lottery, it was announced today by Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Lifetime.
The Lottery is Lifetime’s second scripted series pickup this year. Last week it ordered 10 episodes of A+E Studios’ Un-Real, which goes behind-the-scenes of a hit competition dating show and is led by a young staffer (Shiri Appleby, Girls) whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with and among the contestants to get the vital dramatic and outrageous footage the program’s producers demand.
“The Lottery is one of the most provocative and original concepts we’ve ever seen,” Sharenow said. “Tim Sexton’s unique dystopian thriller represents an exciting new direction for Lifetime and continues cable’s position on the leading edge of bold, high-quality scripted drama.”
Set in a dystopian future when women have stopped having children, The Lottery reveals a world staring down the barrel of impending extinction. Remarkably, 100 embryos are successfully fertilized and a national lottery is held to decide the surrogates. As conflict, control and mystery over this global crisis unfolds, the government’s interests and power begin to dominate, igniting a highly controversial debate over our fundamental and personal freedom to raise a family. The Lottery stars Marley Shelton (Eleventh Hour) as Dr. Alison Lennon, the brilliant fertility specialist whose scientific breakthrough may have life-and-death consequences; Michael Graziadei (American Horror Story) as Kyle, a recovering alcoholic and single father of one of the last children born in the country; David Alpay (The Vampire Diaries) as James, Alison’s colleague and lab assistant; and Martin Donovan (Homeland) as Darius Hayes, a calculating government official willing to use any strategy to achieve what he believes is the greater good.
The Lottery was written by Timothy J. Sexton (Children of Men, Walkout, Live from Baghdad, Boycott, For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story), who also serves as executive producer with Dawn Olmstead (Prison Break, Tru Calling). Danny Cannon (CSI, Nikita) directed and executive produced the pilot, which is from Grady Girl Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television.
ABOUT WARNER HORIZON TELEVISION
Warner Horizon Television (WHTV) is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of scripted series for the cable marketplace and primetime reality series for both network and cable. Founded in 2006, this second production entity allows the Warner Bros. Television Group to expand its programming offerings and explore creative options made possible under a new business model. WHTV’s current scripted programs are
Rizzoli & Isles and Dallas for TNT; Ground Floor and Sullivan & Son for TBS; Pretty Little Liars and Ravenswood for ABC Family; and Longmire for A&E. Its unscripted series include The Voice for NBC; The Bachelor franchise — which includes The Bachelor and The Bachelorette — for ABC; the upcoming Famous in 12 for The CW and Copycat for MTV, among others.
Lifetime is a premier female-focused entertainment destination dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning scripted series, non-fiction series and movies. As a result of the network’s aggressive programming strategy that has doubled the hours of its original programming, 2013 marked Lifetime’s second straight year of growth among Total Viewers. Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.
The Lottery, starring Marley Shelton, Michael Graziadei, David Alpay, and Martin Donovan, is expected to premiere in 2014 or 2015 on Lifetime.