The official word: Lifetime celebrates Black History Month in February with two all-new original movies featuring major award-winning casts, including The Gabby Douglas Story, starring SAG Award nominated actress Regina King (Southland), Golden Globe and Emmy winner S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order), Imani Hakim (Everybody Hates Chris), Sydney Mikayla (Whitney) and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas; and The Trip to Bountiful, featuring two-time Emmy winner, Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee, and SAG and Tony winner Cicely Tyson (The Help), Emmy and Grammy nominee Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), Golden Globe nominee and Grammy winner Blair Underwood (In Treatment) and SAG nominee Keke Palmer (CrazySexyCool).
The Gabby Douglas Story tells the inspiring true story of the international gymnastics phenomenon who overcame overwhelming odds to become the first African American ever to be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games. Kicking off Lifetime’s Black History Month celebration, The Gabby Douglas Story premieres Saturday, February 1st, at 8:00pm ET/PT.
The Trip to Bountiful is a television adaptation of American playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote’s Tony nominated play. Set during the final years of the Jim Crow South, the film follows one woman’s quest to reconnect with her past in order to ensure her family’s future. The Trip to Bountiful premieres Saturday, February 22nd, at 8:00pm ET/PT.
ABOUT THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY
A prodigy from a very young age, Gabby Douglas originally made her mark on the world of competitive gymnastics at age eight. She won numerous state championship titles in her age group throughout her early competitive career. While her star was fast rising in the arena, Gabby and her family faced economic challenges at home and she made the difficult decision to leave her mother Natalie (King), three siblings and grandmother (Merkerson) in Virginia Beach and move to Des Moines, Iowa, to train with renowned coach Liang Chow (Brian Tee, The Wolverine) to pursue her dream of Olympic glory. Buoyed by her early success, dedication and unyielding love from her family, Gabby made it onto the 2012 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, setting the stage for triumph shortly thereafter at the London Olympic Games.
Her sacrifice and perseverance were triumphantly rewarded with Team Competition and Individual All-Around gold medals, placing Gabby and her teammates – known as “The Fierce Five” -- among the world’s all-time greats in gymnastics.
To celebrate the premiere of The Gabby Douglas Story, Lifetime is launching a contest and inviting schools across the country to take the Gabby Douglas Raise the Bar Pledge. Schools may enter for a chance to win $10,000 by encouraging their students to submit pledges to raise the bar in their own lives. For the Official Rules, please visit www.raisethebarpledge.com.
The Gabby Douglas Story is produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with Braun Entertainment. Zev Braun and Philip Krupp (A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story) serve as executive producers, with David Rosemont (Bonnie & Clyde) producing. Gregg Champion (The Cowboy Way, Amish Grace) directs from a script written by Maria Nation (The Two Mr. Kissels).
ABOUT THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL
In The Trip to Bountiful, Carrie Watts (Tyson, who was awarded with a Tony for her role in the Broadway revival), begrudgingly lives with her busy, overprotective son, Ludie (Underwood) and pretentious daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae (Williams). No longer able to drive and forbidden to travel alone, she wishes for freedom from the confines of the house and begs her son to take her on a visit to her hometown of Bountiful. When he refuses, Mrs. Watts is undeterred and makes an escape to the local bus station, where she befriends Thelma (Palmer), a young woman traveling home. When Ludie and Jessie Mae discover she is gone, they call in law enforcement to help, but Mrs. Watts is one step ahead of them and convinces the local sheriff to help her on her journey home to Bountiful.
Produced by Ostar Productions, The Trip to Bountiful is executive produced by Bill Haber (Rizzoli & Isles), Cicely Tyson, Hallie Foote and Jeff Hayes (A Day Late and a Dollar Short).