Lifetime announces upcoming Ripped From the Headlines slate

The College Admissions Scandal - Photo Courtesy of Lifetime PR
The College Admissions Scandal - Photo Courtesy of Lifetime PR /

Lifetime greenlights two new documentaries about the college admissions scandal and NXIVM cult in addition to announcing its Ripped From Headlines airdates.

Beginning on September 21, Lifetime will air its upcoming Ripped from the Headlines Movie slate and the accompanying documentaries. The most notable stories are about the college admission scandal and the NXIVM cult but other films include the story of Mary Stauffer and Alex Cooper. The greenlit documentaries will each feature Gretchen Carlson attempting to uncover new information about the cases and interview people who were directly involved.

Beyond the Headlines: Escaping the NXIVM Cult with Gretchen Carlson

Carlson will investigate one of the most twisted cults in the country. Given the high-profile nature of this case and its ties with notable actors, you’ve probably heard about the NXIVM cult.

This documentary will investigate the inner-workings of former leader Keith Raniere’s organization. Raniere was recently found guilty of racketeering, sex trafficking, and more. This doc will feature first-hand accounts from actress Catherine Oxenberg who fought to get her daughter out of the cult.

Beyond the Headlines: Escaping the NXIVM Cult with Gretchen Carlson – Photo Courtesy of Lifetime PR /

Beyond the Headlines: The College Admissions Scandal with Gretchen Carlson

Carlson investigates yet another high-profile case that involved famous actresses such as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. This feature will take an in-depth look into the scandalous lives of the wealthy and their plans to cheat the system to allow their children into some of the most prestigious universities in the country.

Aside from the documentaries, we now have more information on the upcoming Lifetime films set to feature both the NXIVM cult, the college admissions scandal, and more.

Escaping The NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter – Photo Courtesy of Lifetime PR /

Escaping The NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter

  • Starring: Andrea Roth, Peter Facinelli, Jasper Polish, and Sara Fletcher

Catherine (Roth) discovers a leadership seminar called NXIVM and invites her daughter, India (Polish), to attend it with her. While there, they meet the charismatic Keith Raniere (Facinelli). But Catherine soon begins to feel that something is amiss with the group.

Unfortunately, India doesn’t catch on as fast and becomes swept up in the cult. This story follows Catherine’s painful journey to get her daughter back and expose NXIVM for what it really is. Sara Fletcher will play actress Allison Mack.

More from Drama

Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story

  • Stars: Addison Holley, Sarah Booth, and Ian Lake

Based on the memoir, Saving Alex, Trapped tells the story of a gay 15-year-old named Alex Cooper (Holley). After coming out to her Mormon parents, they place her into conversion therapy in Utah against her will. Alex is trapped there for eight months with strangers (Booth and Lake).

While there, she faced unspeakable horrors and punishments to “cure” her homosexuality. Eventually, she meets a boy at her school’s gay-straight alliance that helps her find an attorney and escape.

Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story 

  • Stars: Alyson Hannigan and Daphne Hoskins

This true story is about high school teacher Mary Stauffer (Hannigan) who is held captive for more than fifty days by a student. She is trapped along with her daughter, Beth (Hoskins).

The man, Ming Sen Shiue, had been Stauffer’s student fifteen years prior and developed an unhealthy obsession with her. Eventually, Stauffer and her daughter are able to escape and Abducted will show their story.

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The College Admission Scandal

  • Stars: Penelope Ann Miller, Mia Kirshner, and Michael Shanks

Caroline (Miller) and Bethany (Kirshner) are both incredibly wealthy women obsessed with getting their teenage kids into the best universities. They are introduced to a man named Rick Singer (Shanks), a scam artist that seemingly offers them the opportunity of a lifetime.

Caroline and Bethany buy into everything Singer tells them but eventually, he gets caught and pleads guilty to the FBI, therefore putting Caroline, Bethany, and everything they’ve worked for at risk.

September 21

  • 8 pm – Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter
  • 10 pm – Beyond the Headlines: Escaping the NXVIM Cult with Gretchen Carlson

September 28

  • 8 pm – Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story

October 5

  • 8 pm – Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story

October 12

  • 8 pm – The College Admissions Scandal 
  • 10 pm – Beyond the Headlines: The College Admissions Scandal with Gretchen Carlson 

Next. Get a sneak peek at Lifetime's 6 new Christmas movies. dark

Are you planning to watch any of the upcoming movies and documentaries on Lifetime? Why or why not? Which one sounds the most appealing to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

The first Ripped from the Headlines film, Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter, will premiere September 21 at 8 pm on Lifetime.