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TV News Roundup: ‘Greenleaf’ Season 2 Gets a Premiere Date, Sigourney Weaver to Narrate NatGeo Doc

Variety logo Variety 1/23/2017 Will Thorne
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In today’s TV news roundup, the Oprah Winfrey Network series “Greenleaf” gets premiere date for Season 2, NatGeo sets a Sigourney Weaver-narrated documentary, and more. 

DATES

OWN has set the Season 2 premiere of original drama “Greenleaf” for Wednesday, March 15. The upcoming 16-episode season will be divided into two, with the first eight episodes airing in March, and the remaining eight episodes airing in summer 2017. In season two, the Greenleaf family tree will split at the root as Jacob (Lamman Rucker) ventures off to begin his new career with long-time rival church Triumph Ministries, breaking faith with his father, Bishop James Greenleaf (Keith David) while his mother, Lady Mae Greenleaf (Lynn Whitfield), struggles with Jacob’s decision to abandon the family. Oprah herself will also return in her guest starring role as Mavis McCready, the sister of Lady Greenleaf and a close confidante to Grace Greenleaf. “Greenleaf” is produced by Lionsgate.

GREENLIGHTS

National Geographic is partnering with Academy Award-winning executive producer James Marsh and Tigress Productions to create a three-part docuseries “Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist.” The series will be narrated by Sigourney Weaver, who played Fossey in the 1988 film “Gorillas in the Mist,” and will honor the life and groundbreaking legacy of gorilla researcher Dian Fossey. It will also explore Fossey’s murder and the investigation and trial of her research student Wayne McGuire, who was found guilty of her murder in absentia by Rwandan courts. “Secrets in the Mist” is set for a fall 2017 debut.

Destination America has greenlit eight episodes of “Terror in the Woods” (working title), an hourlong docuseries about wilderness adventures gone horribly awry. The series is produced by the U.K.’s Wild Dream Films and Destination America, with Destination360 handling international sales.

RENEWALS

HGTV has ordered a second season of its desert-based home renovation show “Desert Flippers.” The series stars real estate agents Eric and Lindsey Bennett as they defy triple-digit heat in Palm Springs to renovate dilapidated homes, while at the same time raising three small children. The 10-episode second season will premiere in June 2017.

EXECUTIVES

Todd A. Nelson, co-founder and CEO of 3 Ball Entertainment, has re-upped with the company and will continue to serve as CEO, alongside his co-CEO Ross Weintraub, for two more years. Nelson co-founded 3 Ball Entertainment in 2003 with his producing partner JD Roth, and the company has since worked mainly in the unscripted TV production business, producing shows ranging from the kids’ series “Endurance” for Discovery, to larger franchises that include “The Biggest Loser.”

TBS and TNT have appointed Jenny Ramirez as their new vice president of unscripted programming. In her new role, Ramirez will be responsible for creative oversight of TBS and TNT’s unscripted development process, taking projects from concept to series across all platforms. Ramirez is based in Los Angeles and will report to Michael Bloom, SVP of unscripted programming and specials for the two companies. She previously served as SVP of development at Irwin Entertainment.

A+E Networks has created two new Editor-in-Chief positions, with Lea Goldman appointed EIC, Lifetime and FYI; and Tiffanie Darke has been named EIC, A&E and History. In the newly-created roles, Goldman and Darke will be responsible for brand-focused editorial strategy and creating and curating content for use on-air, across digital and on social platforms. They will dual report to Amanda Hill, CMO, A+E Networks, and Sean Cohan, President, International & Digital Media, A+E Networks.

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