Lifetime begins production on a film based on the College Admissions Scandal. Coined Operation Varsity Blues, the scandal broke open months ago to reveal over 50 elite individuals were involved in illegal methods to ensure their children’s admission into top colleges. The two most shocking names revealed from the group were Fuller House’s Lori Loughlin and Desperate Housewives' Felicity Huffman.
On March 12, headlines surged across the nation reading that Loughlin and Huffman had been indicted in the nation’s largest college admissions scheme. Organized by William Rick Singer, the scheme allegedly allowed for parents to pay large sums of money to bribe college officials and fraudulently inflate test scores. Singer primarily used the fabrication of sports credentials, and cheating on college entrance exams, to get his client’s children into universities. These universities included Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, and the University of Southern California. Reportedly, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli forked over half a million dollars to USC to ensure their daughter’s admittance. Huffman was tagged for paying $15,000 to a fake charity, which was a cover for her daughter’s boosted test scores. Huffman's husband William H. Macy, however, was left out of the indictment. Now, a hunt for actresses to portray the actresses is underway, as Lifetime is bringing the scandal to the small screen.
According to TV Line, Lifetime has greenlit a two-hour film, tentatively titled College Admissions Scandal. The cable network has put the film on a fast track and the movie is set to premiere this fall. As of this writing, no casting decisions have been made. College Admissions Scandal is in the creative hands of producers Gail Katz and Howard Braunstein. Adam Salky has been tapped to direct, and Stephen Tolkin is currently penning the script. Lifetime has shared a synopsis of the film:
College Admissions Scandal will follow two wealthy mothers who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college. 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.
Lifetime isn't the only network tackling the subject matter. Annapurna Television has optioned the rights to Accepted, an upcoming book about the scandal, and will adapt the book as a limited series. Since news of the scandal broke, the careers of the actresses have been permanently altered. In May, Huffman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Her sentencing is scheduled for September 13, 2019. After being fired from the Hallmark channel and Fuller House, Loughlin pleaded not guilty to mail fraud and money laundering charges and awaits a trial date.
The college admissions scandal is a hot commodity. It was only a matter of time before a slew of miniseries and films were made about the events that unfolded. Lifetime’s timing for a potential release in the fall is a wise choice, as it coincides with court appearances from the actresses. While a made-for-tv movie will capture the drama of the scandal, the nation is still thirsty for information and a closer look at those involved. HBO and Netflix have produced some of the most discerning, compelling, and groundbreaking documentaries ever, and perhaps Lifetime’s choice will inspire one of these networks to tackle the College Admissions Scandal.
Source: TV Line