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TV News Roundup: Leah Remini Sets 2-Hour ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ Special at A&E

Variety logo Variety 5/22/2017 Erin Nyren
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In today’s roundup, Leah Remini will air a new Scientology special and the story of Robert Durst’s missing wife heads to Lifetime

SPECIALS

A&E Network will premiere a two-hour standalone special episode from the hit series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” entitled “Merchants of Fear” on Monday, May 29 from 9 to 11 p.m. ET/PT. In the special, Remini and Mark Rinder explore the history of Scientology’s criticisms via a series of special guests, who describe their personal experiences investigating controversial stories about the Church and how the Church has responded to their work. The special will also feature a sneak peak of Season 2.

GREENLIGHTS

Lifetime has greenlit “The Lost Wife of Robert Durst,” a film exploring what happened to Kathie Durst, the missing wife of infamous real estate mogul Robert Durst, whose story and suspected murder of three people including Kathie was popularized by the HBO documentary “The Jinx.” The film will star Katharine McPhee as Kathie and Daniel Gillies as Robert. Based on Matt Birbeck’s book “A Deadly Secret: The Strange Disappearance of Kathie Durst,” the film is directed by Yves Simoneau and executive produced by Linda Berman and Rudy Bednar. Filming begins this month in Vancouver.

DEVELOPMENT

Bunim/Murray Productions and Chiron Global have joined forces to develop the new series, “UWM: Calling All Contenders,” which will feature the use of Lorica combat suits that competitors wear while fighting. The suits are linked to a medical database, and use sensor technology to measure the force of strikes and the level of damage they would inflict on an unprotected competitor. The armor acts like a form of a game console providing actual engagement data on the force and damage from each impact and showing these stats on a scoring system, similar to a video game. UWM combines weapons martial arts combat and ancient weaponry, and will feature competitors of varying martial arts and cultural backgrounds.

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