LIFETIME EXPANDS PROGRAMMING PORTFOLIO WITH MARY J. BLIGE
Blige is Set to Executive Produce New Original Movie Real Love Through Her Own Banner
Los Angeles, CA (March 2, 2022) - Continuing its supremacy as the destination for telling women's stories, Lifetime today announced a new partnership with Grammy(R) award winning and Academy(R) Award nominated artist, actress and producer Mary J. Blige. Blige will serve as an executive producer on the original film through her own production banner, Blue Butterfly, alongside Ashaunna Ayars and Nicole Jackson. Most recently, Blige executive produced her acclaimed documentary Mary J. Blige's My Life to record-breaking success.
Real Love was Blige's first song to hit the top 10 and was certified gold two months after its release in 1992. Real Love has remained one of her most beloved and enduring songs since then. Additional music from Blige will be incorporated throughout the movie, a continuation of Blue Butterfly and Blige's goal to bring more stories to life with music as the foundation.
"Mary is one of those phenomenal talents that can do it all, and we are so thrilled to be able to partner with her again on this new opportunity to bring her music to life in the form of a movie that we know audiences will love," said Tanya Lopez, EVP Scripted Content, Lifetime and LMN.
"I wrote Real Love based on my real life experiences and my fans connected to it in a deeply personal way." said Mary J. Blige. "It's exciting to now use this song and my music to create a new story by way of film, continuing to build on a pillar of the foundation of my production company, Blue Butterfly. My passions for acting and music now include developing diverse stories with music as the backdrop. I am grateful to Lifetime for their partnership in the story of Real Love."
Blige has a proven track record of resonating with Lifetime's audiences, having previously executive produced Lifetime's top-rated original movie of 2020, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel alongside fellow EPs Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott. Blige also starred as Dr. Betty Shabazz in her first movie role in the Lifetime civil rights biopic Betty & Coretta, with Angela Bassett.
In the coming-of-age romantic drama Real Love, Kendra sets off on her own for the first time to a college in upstate New York, determined to focus on her studies. But when she meet's her film class partner Ben, she tries her hardest to keep things professional. Despite disapproving parents, financial hardship, and competition for the top spot in class, Kendra and Ben find themselves falling hard for each other and ultimately learn the meaning of real love.
Real Love will be written by Sonja Warfield and Rachel Ingram. Mary J. Blige, Ashaunna Ayars and Nicole Jackson executive produce for Blue Butterfly and Jordan and John Davis executive produce for Davis Entertainment, with Sony Pictures Television distributing the movie.
Celebrating over 35 years of entertaining audiences, Lifetime is a premier entertainment destination for women dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning award-winning movies and breakout non-fiction series and documentaries. Lifetime has an impressive legacy in public affairs, bringing attention to social issues that women care about with initiatives such as the long-running Stop Breast Cancer for Life, Stop Violence Against Women , and Broader Focus, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers, including women of color, to make its content. Lifetime Television(R), LMN(R), Lifetime Real Women(R) and Lifetime Digital(TM) are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.