Lifetime Celebrates Black History Month w/ 2 New Original Movies 'Gabby Douglas Story' & 'Trip to Bountiful'

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
January 6, 2014 5:46 PM
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That was fast! It seemed like it was just a few weeks ago that both projects were announced. 

Lifetime has announced that, in celebration of Black History Month in February, the network will premiere two all-new original movies: first, The Gabby Douglas Story, starring Regina King, S. Epatha Merkerson, Imani Hakim, Sydney Mikayla and Gabby Douglas herself; and second, the film adaptation of the recent all-black Broadway revival of The Trip to Bountiful, starring Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, Blair Underwood and Keke Palmer.

Kicking off Lifetime's Black History Month celebration, The Gabby Douglas Story premieres Saturday, February 1st, at 8pm ET/PT.

The Gabby Douglas Story tells the inspiring true story of the international gymnastics phenomenon who overcame overwhelming odds to become the first African American ever to be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games.

To celebrate the premiere of The Gabby Douglas Story, Lifetime is launching a contest and inviting schools across the country to take the Gabby Douglas Raise the Bar Pledge. Schools may enter for a chance to win $10,000 by encouraging their students to submit pledges to raise the bar in their own lives. For the Official Rules, please visit www.raisethebarpledge.com.

Meanwhile, The Trip to Bountiful premieres SaturdayFebruary 22nd, at 8pm ET/PT.

The Trip to Bountiful is a television adaptation of American playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote's Tony nominated play. Set during the final years of the Jim Crow South, the film follows one woman's quest to reconnect with her past in order to ensure her family's future. 

No trailers for either yet, but they are both coming soon, I'm sure, with February just around the corner.

More via press release, below:

ABOUT THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY

A prodigy from a very young age, Gabby Douglas originally made her mark on the world of competitive gymnastics at age eight. She won numerous state championship titles in her age group throughout her early competitive career. While her star was fast rising in the arena, Gabby and her family faced economic challenges at home and she made the difficult decision to leave her mother Natalie (King), three siblings and grandmother (Merkerson) in Virginia Beach and move to Des Moines, Iowa, to train with renowned coach Liang Chow (Brian Tee, The Wolverine) to pursue her dream of Olympic glory. Buoyed by her early success, dedication and unyielding love from her family, Gabby made it onto the 2012 U.S. Women's Gymnastics team, setting the stage for triumph shortly thereafter at the London Olympic Games.

Her sacrifice and perseverance were triumphantly rewarded with Team Competition and Individual All-Around gold medals, placing Gabby and her teammates - known as "The Fierce Five" -- among the world's all-time greats in gymnastics.

The Gabby Douglas Story is produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with Braun Entertainment. Zev Braun and Philip Krupp (A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story) serve as executive producers, with David Rosemont (Bonnie & Clyde) producing. Gregg Champion (The Cowboy Way, Amish Grace) directs from a script written by Maria Nation (The Two Mr. Kissels).

ABOUT THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL

In The Trip to Bountiful, Carrie Watts (Tyson, who was awarded with a Tony for her role in the Broadway revival), begrudgingly lives with her busy, overprotective son, Ludie (Underwood) and pretentious daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae (Williams). No longer able to drive and forbidden to travel alone, she wishes for freedom from the confines of the house and begs her son to take her on a visit to her hometown of Bountiful. When he refuses, Mrs. Watts is undeterred and makes an escape to the local bus station, where she befriends Thelma (Palmer), a young woman traveling home. When Ludie and Jessie Mae discover she is gone, they call in law enforcement to help, but Mrs. Watts is one step ahead of them and convinces the local sheriff to help her on her journey home to Bountiful.

Produced by Ostar Productions, The Trip to Bountiful is executive produced by Bill Haber (Rizzoli & Isles), Cicely Tyson, Hallie Foote and Jeff Hayes (A Day Late and a Dollar Short).

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