Two of the most jaw-dropping news stories of the year are getting their own Lifetime documentaries from Gretchen Carlson. According to Deadline, Carlson will produce documentaries on the college admissions scandal and the NXIVM "sex cult" for the network, in tangent with Lifetime's upcoming scripted projects on the topics.
Beyond the Headlines: Escaping the NXIVM Cult with Gretchen Carlson will air on September 21, just after the film Escaping The NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter. Carlson's documentary will feature an account from actress Catherine Oxenberg, who fought to save her daughter from the alleged "sex cult" which was run by Keith Raniere and supported by Smallville star Allison Mack. This summer, Raniere was found guilty of multiple charges including sex trafficking, child pornography, and forced labor.
Beyond the Headlines: The College Admissions Scandal with Gretchen Carlson will follow narrative film The College Admissions Scandal on October 12. Carlson will explore how privilege and wealth allowed people like Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin to allegedly fraud their kids' way into prestigious universities with the help of alleged ring leader Rick Singer. She will speak to a family about their connection to Singer, as well as college officials who can shed light on how the competitive application process could make parents look to alternate means of getting their children into school.
Outside of Carlson's documentaries, there are multiple projects about both NXIVM and the college scandal in the works. HBO is reportedly working on a NXIVM doc series, which as of April was in production. A scripted series from Annapurna TV about NXIVM is in the works, and the company also optioned a book on the college admissions scandal for television.
By watching Carlson's documentary right after the scripted version of the story, we can finally put an answer to whether reality is weirder than fictionalized versions of these crazy stories.