Reese Witherspoon Launches New Show ‘Meet My Mom’ on Facebook Watch
Reese Witherspoon is adding another show to her growing list of productions.
Witherspoon and her media company Hello Sunshine, which focuses on telling female-driven stories, announced her newest show, “Meet My Mom,” which debuts Thursday (10th) on Facebook Watch. The five-episode, short form series centers on a chat between a celebrity and his/her mom, with the “Big Little Lies” star and her mother Betty kicking off the first episode.
“As a child, it’s sometimes hard to see your mom as an individual with her own life,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “But ‘Meet My Mom’ is the chance to get to know the real person behind the mom and find out what really makes her tick. I’m excited to bring this concept to the Facebook community and to hear from all of the other wonderful, hard-working moms out there.”
The rest of the series will stream throughout May and feature “Westworld’s” Leonardo Nam, YouTube star Lilly Singh, Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, and model Ashley Graham in conversations with their families. “Meet My Mom” can be seen on the Facebook site, mobile app, and its TV apps.
This is just the latest project Witherspoon has taken on, as she also has the TV adaptation “Little Fires Everywhere” in the works, which she and Kerry Washington will both executive produce and star in. Meanwhile, Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston will topline a still-untitled morning show drama for Apple. Witherspoon will executive produce Apple’s “Are You Sleeping,” co-produced by Chernin Entertainment, with Octavia Spencer attached to star. She is also set to appear in the second season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series “Big Little Lies,” which she executive produces.
Martina Navratilova Documentary to Be Produced by Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine is developing its first feature-length documentary about tennis legend Martina Navratilova in partnership with Glenn Greenwald and Suzanne Gilbert.
The documentary will explore Navratilova’s achievements as a social justice pioneer told through Greenwald’s personal lens as a gay child growing up in Reagan-era Florida. The documentary will examine Navratilova’s impact on him as his childhood hero, how people find role models, and what people seek when they feel isolated, judged, or cast aside by society.
“The issues raised by Martina’s legacy resonate now more than ever, which is why it’s so important to tell her story to new generations of engaged young people who may not be aware of the vital role she played in shaping expectations around female identity and LGBT equality,” said Charlotte Koh, head of digital media and programming for Hello Sunshine.
Koh is also producing the project. “Having producers Glenn and Suzanne reframe Martina’s impact on society through the lens of Glenn’s personal coming-of-age journey creates a fresh, intimate, and relatable film for a wide audience,” she added.
Navratilova is regarded as one of the best tennis players of all time. She won 18 singles titles, 31 major women’s doubles titles, and 10 major mixed doubles titles.
“As monumental as Martina’s on-court achievements were, they pale in comparison to her role as a pioneer and trailblazer on questions of feminism, women’s athletics, equality for gay and lesbians across the planet, transgender visibility, immigrant rights, and the right of political dissent,” Greenwald said. “I’m excited to be partnering with Reese and Hello Sunshine to explore her truly enduring legacy, her remarkable courage directly or indirectly inspiring millions of people who lacked any other role models.”
Greenwald plans to feature materials and memories shared by fans all across the world that demonstrate Navratilova’s impact on various social and political initiatives.
Greenwald’s work with Edward Snowden was chronicled in the documentary “CitizenFour,” which won the Academy Award in 2015, and the film “Snowden” in 2016.
Witherspoon founded Hello Sunshine in 2016 with the goal of promoting female authorship and storytelling. It’s developed a Hulu limited series from Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, based on Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere”; an untitled morning show series produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Witherspoon, which was given a two-season order by Apple; a film for Fox 2000 based on the novel “Something in the Water”; and “A White Lie,” a psychological thriller for TriStar Pictures.
Octavia Spencer Drama From Reese Witherspoon Nabs Apple Series Pickup
Octavia Spencer is officially headed to Apple.
The tech giant on Wednesday handed out a 10-episode series order to Are You Sleeping, a drama starring the Hidden Figures and Shape of Water actress and produced by Reese Witherspoon. The news comes four months after the iPhone maker put the project based on Kathleen Barber’s true-crime novel into development.
Are You Sleeping offers a glimpse into America’s obsession with true-crime podcasts. It challenges viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is put on a public stage. Nichelle Tramble Spellman (The Good Wife, Justified) created the project, penned the script and will serve as showrunner. Witherspoon will executive produce alongside her Hello Sunshine partner Lauren Neustadter, with Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Kristen Campo overseeing for the recently launched Chernin/Endeavor Content banner. Spencer and Tramble will also exec produce. Sarah Koenig (Serial) was a consultant on the project during its development but is no longer attached to the series.
All told, this is Witherspoon’s third series at Apple, joining the untitled morning show drama in which she will star opposite Jennifer Aniston and an untitled Kristen Wiig comedy series. The prolific producer also is an EP and stars in season two of HBO’s Big Little Lies and has Little Fires Everywhere set at Hulu. In addition to exec producing the latter, Witherspoon will also star opposite Kerry Washington in the limited series that landed at Hulu following a multiple-network bidding war.
Are You Sleeping joins an Apple roster that also includes Amazing Stories, See, a Ron Moore space drama, a Damien Chazelle drama and more.
For her part, Spellman is also set to co-write HBO’s controversial drama Confederate alongside her husband, Malcolm Spellman, and Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Spencer is repped by WME; Spellman is with WME and Industry Entertainment; and Witherspoon is repped by CAA.
Reese Witherspoon to produce new podcast How It Is, hosted by Diane Guerrero
Reese Witherspoon has already begun taking over television, and now she’s moving into a whole new storytelling medium: podcasting.
EW can exclusively report that the Big Little Lies star is producing an original podcast, How It Is, which will focus on first-person stories from women about their lived experiences.
“How It Is will feature powerful, personal stories told by a diverse group of high-profile women,” Witherspoon’s media company, Hello Sunshine, said in a statement. “The episodes will present women — celebrities, activists and ordinary people with extraordinary insight — as experts on their own lives, claiming their power by telling their stories.”
Hosted by actress, author, and activist Diane Guerrero, the first season of How It Is will consist of five 30-minute episodes, featuring stories from Tarana Burke, Krista Tippett, Gabrielle Union, Glennon Doyle, Ellen Pao, Lena Waithe, and more. Some of the topics discussed in the first season include anger, power, and freedom.
“We are proud to bring these powerful and relatable stories from a wide variety of incredible women to life and to be expanding the Hello Sunshine brand to the podcast medium where we look forward to connecting with listeners on important topics and compelling stories,” said Sarah Harden, CEO of Hello Sunshine. The company is expected to introduce more female-centric podcasts to its slate in the future.
How It Is debuts April 25. The podcast will be available for download on Apple Podcasts.
Congratulations to Reese for her inclusion on eminent business magazine Fortune’s World’s Top 50 Greatest Leaders list:
The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders Our annual list of the thinkers, speakers, and doers who are stepping up to meet today’s challenges.
Though it seems unlikely, Tim Cook and Indira Jaising have something in common besides membership in Fortune’s 2018 ranking of the World’s Greatest Leaders. Cook (No. 14) is the wealthy CEO of Apple, the most valuable publicly traded company on earth; Jaising (No. 20) is an Indian lawyer who cofounded an NGO called Lawyers Collective, which promotes human rights issues. Yet they share this trait: Both have multiplied their organizations’ effectiveness by harnessing the power of unbundling. Following their example is a new imperative for the best leaders.
Gracie Awards: Ashley Judd, Issa Rae, Reese Witherspoon Among 2018 Honorees
Ashley Judd, Issa Rae and Reese Witherspoon, Hoda Kotb, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Katie Couric, Megan Mullally, Claire Danes and Norah O’Donnell are among the women who will be honored at the 43rd annual Gracie Awards.
Each year, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation spotlights “prolific women in the industry who continue to inspire and support others, break down barriers and lead by example in creating opportunity for future generations.”
“In a historic and momentous year for women, on and off the camera and in front of and behind the microphone, the Gracie Awards arrive at an important time to celebrate the storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality,” said AWMF chair Christine Travaglini, who also is president of Katz Radio Group. “And as we enter our 43rd year, we at AWM, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud help usher in a new era by honoring and celebrating outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”
Winners will be honored at the 2018 gala — which supports the AWMF’s educational programs and scholarship campaigns that benefit women in media — set for May 22 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, local and student award winners will be recognized later in the month at the Gracie Awards Luncheon, set for June 27 at Cipriani in New York.
Vicangelo Bulluck will serve as executive producer of the Gracies for a third consecutive year.
Reese and her A Wrinkle In Time co-stars and director can be seen on the cover of the March 21st issue of UK Stylist magazine – with a fantastic new book-themed interview and photoshoot! Read the interview below, find the photoshoot in our Gallery, and pick up a copy if you can….
Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon on the importance of feminist storytelling
Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling on rewriting the story books and the power of the written word.
“I recently got hate-tweeted by the President,” begins Oprah Winfrey, looking like the most relaxed woman in the USA. “Since then, I’ve been asked, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ Well, did you see that meme a couple of years ago: ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that’? I don’t have time for that. I’m not going to focus one minute of my energy on that. I’m going to stay in the light.”
“Things I don’t have time for: that,” laughs Reese Witherspoon, sitting opposite her. Mindy Kaling interjects: “If you’ve been to the Promised Land, which is where Oprah lives, and you think about whether she is going to spend time thinking about a tweet or if she’s going to live her life, you would understand why she doesn’t have time for that.”
As storytellers go, Oprah Winfrey is one of the greats (and yes, her home in Montecito, California, is called The Promised Land). But she’s also a long-time supporter of other storytellers, having launched the influential Oprah’s Book Club back in 1996 via her incredibly successful TV show.
In fact, in this room there’s a power quadrant of women who are determined advocates of books – Reese Witherspoon via her monthly Instagram book club and adapting numerous titles for the big and small screen (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber) through her production company Hello Sunshine; Mindy Kaling, author of New York Times bestsellers Why Not Me? and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?; and Ava DuVernay, the director of A Wrinkle In Time, in which all three star.
The trio play Mrs Which (Winfrey), Mrs Whatsit (Witherspoon) and Mrs Who (Kaling), three celestial beings and superheroes who guide a young woman of dual heritage across space to search for her father. It’s based on the book of the same name, which was finished in early 1960 but initially rejected by many publishers for being, as hypothesized by the author Madeleine L’Engle, a sci-fi novel with a female protagonist and blurring the lines between a children’s and adult’s book. Finally published in 1962, it went on to become a classic. As I write, the film is second in the US box-office charts to Black Panther – proof, should Hollywood need it, that films telling diverse and fantastical stories, that are told by all voices, are both necessary and profitable.
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