Lifetime has officially unveiled it’s 2016-2017 programming slate including a new multi-platform initiative called the “Fempire” in an effort to engage the next generation of feminists.  With a mission statement that includes “creating content for women, by women, about women,” this new initiative aims to unify Lifetime’s linear, digital, social and community partnerships to become the premiere destination for women’s entertainment.  The newly formed “Fempire” includes projects from some of the world’s most powerful female icons such as Serena Williams and Janet Jackson.

“Our content will be centered around strong, complicated characters who stand up for themselves and refuse to be disqualified, and are overcoming the same obstacles our audience faces every day…..No studio or network is giving women creators a bigger platform to freely express themselves and see their stories get made.”  – Liz Gateley, Executive VP and Head of Programming

Serena Williams has teamed up with the network to executive produce the original Lifetime movie Sister Dance (working title), which revolves around an annual dance-off competition that she hosts with her sister.  The sisters become rivals and gear up to compete against one another with their dance teams in an intense dance battle.

Janet Jackson will serve as the executive producer for a show about Queenie, a 1920’s New York City mobster who was the first and only woman gangster during the prohibition.  She was known for her deep involvement in the seedy gangster underworld, and developed the first numbers bank located in Harlem which allowed her to make the first significant criminal fortune in the black community in New York alongside her partner Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson.  Banks at this time would not accept black customers, and the only way that those who lived in Harlem could invest their money was through Queenie.  Through these actions, the underground economy in Harlem was used to address race and politics.

In addition to projects from Janet Jackson and Serena Williams, Lifetime is also working with Selena Gomez on an autobiographical scripted drama inspired by the pop star’s life, and recently signed a three-picture development deal with former UFC champion Ronda Rousey.

These projects are apart of Lifetime’s efforts to rebrand itself by developing more engaging content for audiences about powerful women.

“With content and conversations curated around the fourth wave of feminism, The Fempire will be a place where women come to share videos and conversations, connect with friends, learn new things and most importantly, be entertained.”

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About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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