That was fast: ‘College Admissions Scandal’ movie to air on Lifetime on Saturday

The Boston Globe Lifestyle 2 months ago

Those riveted by the college-admissions scandal will get a double dose Saturday, when the Lifetime cable network airs a two-hour movie and hourlong investigative piece on the topic.

But another sort of drama happened behind the scenes: a flat-out sprint to produce a ripped-from-the-headlines film while viewers are still interested.

Even by Lifetime’s standards, ‘‘The College Admissions Scandal’’ came together fast. The female-focused network began working on the film just weeks after the scandal broke in March. Lifetime then compressed a process that typically takes 18 months into just seven.

It started when Lifetime executive Tanya Lopez emailed screenwriter Stephen Tolkin after hearing he was working on a pitch. ‘‘Get in here,’’ she said. The pair created a verbal outline of the story, saving time on back-and-forth drafts. The network wanted to get the story out before a new set of kids started applying to schools this fall. Shooting wrapped in August.

‘‘That’s about as fast as you can get a movie done,’’ Tolkin said.

Lifetime, which is jointly owned by Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., has long been a player in true crime - a genre that’s gotten increasingly popular, with entire channels and serialized podcasts devoted to it.

Lifetime has reason to be aggressive. Like other cable networks, it’s struggling to hang on to viewers who are defecting to streaming services such as Netflix. The overall audience at the channel has fallen 4 percent to an average of 689,000 viewers in prime time this year - slightly better than the industrywide decline.

With the college-admissions firestorm, the network found something with plenty of compelling angles: rich kids, desperate parents, and federal crimes. But Lifetime had to navigate some delicate territory.

Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, both of whom perform in TV movies, were among the dozens of high-profile people caught up in the scandal. Loughlin previously appeared in the Lifetime movie ‘‘A Mother’s Rage,’’ about a woman terrorized while dropping off her daughter at college.

That meant the controversy hit close to home. Even though ‘‘The College Admissions Scandal’’ isn’t based on the stories of Loughlin or Huffman, some actors turned down roles because they were friendly with the actresses.

The movie focuses instead on a fictional hedge fund manager (Mia Kirshner) who gets her daughter into Yale University by having her cheat on her SAT test. There’s also an interior decorator (Penelope Ann Miller) and her attorney husband who get their unknowing son into Stanford University by creating a doctored photo of him appearing on a crew team.

Critics have already taken shots at the movie’s unsubtle title, while simultaneously praising it as escapist fare. (”The College Admissions Scandal’’ was presented as a working title in July, but Lifetime ended up using it for the finished product.)

‘‘It’s one of those things where it doesn’t matter if it’s good or not,’’ said EJ Dickson in Rolling Stone. ‘‘Because obviously you’re going to watch it and drink exactly 2.5 glasses of white wine and shriek with delight while your significant other fumes in the other room.’’


Source link
Read also:
The Inquisitr › 1 month ago
The college admissions scandal has been such a popular hot topic issue this past year that Lifetime decided to make a movie about it. On Saturday the new film, The College Admissions Scandal first aired. Obviously there’s no hiding what real life...
Fox News › Entertainment › 1 month ago
Viewers were surprised on Saturday when Lifetime’s made-for-TV movie about the real-life college admissions scandal didn’t include a single reference to Lori Loughlin or Felicity Huffman.
USA Today › Entertainment › 2 months ago
From Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman parallels to the silly dialogue, here are the best moments from Lifetime's "College Admissions Scandal" film.
CNN › Entertainment › 2 months ago
Lifetime movie about Varsity Blues earns its passing grade, with Penelope Ann Miller and Mia Kirshner as two moms caught up in the plot
New York Post › 2 months ago
Everything you need to know about Lifetime's ripped-from-the-headlines drama.
CBS News › 2 months ago
A prominent New York City lawyer was given one month in prison on Thursday for his role in the college admissions scandal. Gordon Caplan pleaded guilty to paying to improve his daughter's score on a college entrance exam and was sentenced to one year...
The Inquisitr › 1 month ago
In the past month, more wealthy and influential parents have been charged and sentenced in connection to the ongoing college admissions scandal, referred to by law enforcement as operation varsity blues. In total, this scandal involves 35 different...
Chicago Tribune › 1 month ago
A California couple pleaded guilty in the nationwide college admissions scandal. They were accused of helping their daughters cheat on their college entrance exams. One daughter later attended Northwestern University.
CBS News › 0 month ago
A former insurance executive received the longest prison sentence so far in the college admissions scandal. Toby MacFarlane pleaded guilty Friday to paying $450,000 to get his son and daughter into college as fake athletic recruits.
UPI › 0 month ago
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former real estate executive to six months in prison and a former college exam proctor pleaded guilty to racketeering in a multimillion-dollar college admissions scandal.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR