Four decades after Janet Jackson released her self-titled debut album, there’s a documentary in the works to mark the milestone.
Lifetime and A&E announced Wednesday they’ve greenlit a four-hour film tentatively titled Janet to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the album’s arrival.
The A+E Networks sister channels revealed in a joint press release that Jackson granted “full unprecedented access” for the project, adding that no subject is off limits.
“Janet will be an intimate, honest and unfiltered look at her untold story,” the networks said.
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“Janet Jackson” the album was released on September 21, 1982 by A&M Records. It featured dance and contemporary R&B tracks and sold 400,000 copies worldwide. Jackson’s third album, “Control,” would sell a staggering 10,000,000 copies following its release in 1986.
The Janet cross-network documentary will air over two nights and include archival footage and Jackson’s never before seen home videos, along with celebrity interviews.
The film is produced for Lifetime and A&E by Workerbee (a Banijay UK company) and AEC (Associated Entertainment Corporation). Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson are executive producers on the project, along with Rick Murray for Workerbee and Brie Miranda Bryant for A+E networks. Ben Hirsch serves as director.
Janet will be simulcast on Lifetime and A&E in early 2022.
In another development Wednesday, Lifetime said country music star Reba McEntire has inked a two-picture deal with the network to star in and produce two movies.
The first of the projects will be Christmas In Tune (working title), which will be part of the network’s annual holiday “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” slate. The film will include an original holiday song by McEntire. Casting is currently underway and filming will start this spring. The second film, which will not be a holiday movie, is in development for 2022.
“I am thrilled to partner with Lifetime for a return to television movies! My fans and I enjoy their programming and loved watching the Reba show there for so many years,” McEntire said in a statement.
“Reba has been a creative force in both music and television for many years. We are thrilled to have her on board to produce and star in not just one – but two movies for us,” added Tanya Lopez, executive vice president of movies, limited series & original movie acquisitions at Lifetime and LMN.