The college admissions scandal that rocked the country in March will be dramatized on the small screen later this year. The incident, which involved several Hollywood actors and their children, will serve as the basis for a Lifetime movie set to come out this fall.
In July, TV Line reported that Lifetime would be creating a two-hour film about the infamous scandal that left more than 50 of the country’s elite with criminal charges, including actresses Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman.
“College Admissions Scandal will follow two wealthy mothers who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college,” the film synopsis reads. “When charismatic college admissions consultant Rick Singer offers a side door into the prestigious institutions of their dreams, they willingly partake with visions of coveted acceptance letters in their heads. But when Singer cooperates with the FBI and pleads guilty, the mothers who risked everything for their kids, must face the consequences of their crimes and the loss of trust and respect from their families.”
Lifetime's version won’t be the only on-screen adaptation of the scandal. According to Hollywood Reporter, Annapurna TV is reportedly producing a limited TV series chronicling the scandal, based on the upcoming book Accepted by Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz. Writer D.V. DeVincentis (The People v. O.J. Simpson) is set to write the script.
Here is everything you need to know about the Lifetime adaptation — and the actual case — before the movie airs.
Who is starring in the movie?
The two wealthy mothers, Caroline, an interior designer, and Betty, a financial services rep, will be played by actresses Penelope Ann Miller and Mia Kirshner, Entertainment Weekly reported. While their characters will be an amalgamation of Laughlin, Huffman and the dozens of other parents involved in the scandal, the real-life mastermind William Singer will be portrayed by actor Michael Shanks.
Adam Salky is set to direct, and the script will be written by Stephen Tolkin. The movie will be produced by Varsity Films Inc., with executive producers Gail Katz and Howard Braunstein.
When can you watch the movie?
The movie will air in October, according to a spokesperson for Lifetime.
What to know about the college admissions scandal beforehand?
According to People, Huffman pleaded guilty to mail fraud and other charges after evidence showed she paid $15,000 to allow her daughter to cheat on the SATs. According to the charges, William Singer, the mastermind behind the scandal, worked with psychologists to obtain false disability reports that gave the teens special testing accommodations. They then took the SAT at a test center that was under Singer’s control, allowing them to cheat on the exam.
CNN reported that Full House star Lori Laughlin, along with her husband Mosssimo Giannuli, pleaded not guilty to charges of paying $500,000 in bribes to have their two daughters, Olivia, 19, and Bella, 20, admitted to the University of Southern California. Loughlin and Giannuli allegedly had Singer bribe USC athletics staff into presenting the girls as potential crew team recruits to the college admissions office, despite neither one having ever participated in the sport.
Singer, who has admitted to aiding more than 750 families, also pleaded guilty to four charges in March, according to the New York Times. He is now facing up to 65 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine.
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