The Television Critics Association summer press tour began in earnest Wednesday (July 27), and Lifetime had several bits of news — and an unexpected guest appearance. The rundown:
– The cable channel has set a premiere date for its movie “Five,” a series of linked short films about people dealing with breast cancer. The anthology, with segments directed by Patty Jenkins (“Monster”), Jennifer Aniston, Penelope Spheeris (“Wayne’s World”), Demi Moore and Alicia Keys, will debut Monday, Oct. 10, in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Five” stars Jeanne Tripplehorn (“Big Love”), Ginnifer Goodwin (“Once Upon a Time”), Patricia Clarkson (“Friends With Benefits”), Rosario Dawson (“Zookeeper”) and Lyndsy Fonseca (“Nikita”), each of whom plays a woman dealing with breast cancer. The cast also includes Josh Holloway, Jennifer Morrison, Taylor Kinney, Bob Newhart, Annie Potts, Tony Shalhoub, Jeffrey Tambor and Tracee Ellis Ross. “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman developed the project and is among its executive producers.
– Roseanne Barr made an unannounced cameo appearance at the start of Lifetime’s press tour session, interrupting network president Nancy Dubuc‘s opening patter (it was clearly planned) to toss out a couple of jokes and encourage the assembled reporters and critics to watch her new show on Lifetime. “What a privilege it is for you to have me here,” she told Dubuc. Then, turning the critics, “What a wonderful and welcoming and warm crowd.”
That was pretty much it, but since Roseanne made the effort to show up, we’ll remind you that “Roseanne’s Nuts,” about her efforts to run a macadamia and livestock farm in Hawaii, airs at 9 p.m. ET Wednesdays.
– The channel has also set premiere dates for a pair of new unscripted series: “Picker Sisters,” debuting Aug. 2, is Lifetime’s attempt to get a piece of the “Pawn Stars”/”American Pickers”/”Storage Wars” market. It stars interior designers Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen (regular presences on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) as they scour the country for rare finds for their store.
“Russian Dolls,” a “Real Housewives”-ish that follows a group of Russian-American men and women in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach neighborhood, will debut Aug. 11.