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Lifetime Greenlights Movie 'Abducted,' Starring Aunjanue Ellis, Keke Palmer, Sherri Shepherd

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 27, 2012 at 3:58PM

It could just be that I've only now just started paying close attention, but it seems like Lifetime has been getting quite aggressive in the movie department - especially with regards to films that tell stories about black women.
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Aunjanue Ellis at TIFF Bell Lightbox - Photos by: Sam Santos | George Pimentel Photography
Aunjanue Ellis at TIFF Bell Lightbox - Photos by: Sam Santos | George Pimentel Photography

It could just be that I've only now just started paying close attention, but it seems like Lifetime has been getting quite aggressive in the movie department - especially with regards to films that tell stories about black women.

There's the all-black cast remake of Steel Magnolias, the recent acquisition of Terry McMillan’s A Day Late And A Dollar Short which the network plans to adapt, the Mary J. Blige project which centers on the relationship between Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King called Parallel Lives, and there was Taraji P. Henson In Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story last year.

Has Lifetime ever had this many black-woman-centered movies within such a short period of time, or are they only now starting to realize that there's a market for those stories/films? Fans of the network, school me.

We can add to that list, the following new project that was announced this afternoon.

Here's the press release I received:

LIFETIME GREENLIGHTS ORIGINAL MOVIE ABDUCTED: THE CARLINA WHITE STORY, STARRING AUNJANUE ELLIS, KEKE PALMER, AND SHERRI SHEPHERD

Movie Based On Headline-Catching, Dramatic True Story of a Young Woman Reunited With Her Biological Parents 23 Years After She Was Kidnapped To Air Later This Year

NEW YORK, NY (June 27, 2012) – Lifetime has green lit the Original Movie Abducted: The Carlina White Story, starring Aunjanue Ellis (The Help), Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP), and Emmy® Award winner Sherri Shepherd (30 Rock, The View) in the remarkable true story of Carlina White (Palmer), who after being abducted as an infant from a New York hospital, solved her own kidnapping and reunited with her biological parents 23 years later. Production will commence in Vancouver this week, with the movie slated to air later this year. The case is reported to be the first known infant abduction from a New York hospital.

In August of 1987, new parents Joy White (Shepherd) and Carl Tyson (Roger Cross, 24) took their 19-day old daughter Carlina to Harlem Hospital in New York with a high fever. Ann Pettway (Ellis), who had suffered a series of miscarriages and was desperate for a child of her own, posed as a hospital nurse and befriended Carlina’s parents, even offering to watch over their daughter. But shortly after Carlina was admitted, Pettway removed the child’s IV line, placed her in an oversized handbag, and walked out of the hospital with Carlina hidden from view. While Joy and Carl desperately searched for their daughter over the years, Pettway was raising Carlina as Nejdra “Netty” Nance in Bridgeport, Connecticut – a mere 45 miles from New York City. As Carlina grew older she began to suspect Pettway was not her birth mother and launched her own investigation. After contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Carlina was reunited with her biological parents in January 2011.

Abducted: The Carlina White Story will be produced by Pilgrim Studios (Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy), with Emmy Award winner Craig Piligian serving as executive producer. Mary Martin and Alan Gasmer also are executive producers. Emmy Award nominated actor/director Vondie Curtis Hall (Chicago Hope, ER) is directing the film, which was written by Elizabeth Hunter (Jumping the Broom, Sins of The Mother).

This article is related to: Television, TV News


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