Lifetime will celebrate Black History Month with the world premiere of three original movies starring the likes of Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige and Toni Braxton, including a biopic on the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, the network said Wednesday.
"Betty & Coretta," which premieres Feb. 2 at 8 p.m., stars Bassett as Coretta Scott King and Blige as Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X. The movie will chronicle the bond formed by the two women after the assassinations of their husbands. Lindsay Owen Pierre of "The Killing Yard" will play Malcolm X and "New York Undercover" star Malik Yoba will portray the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blige also executive-produced the film.
Singer and "Braxton Family Values" star Toni Braxton takes the lead in "Twist of Faith," about a single Christian mother and an Orthodox Jewish widower ("Weeds" alum David Julian Hirsh) who are drawn together by their mutual love for music and singing. "Twist of Faith" premieres Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.
Finally, "Pastor Brown" stars "Eureka" actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield as a young woman who takes over as the pastor of her family's church after her father (Keith David of "E.R." renown) dies. As she attempts to assume her father's duties, she's forced to confront her sordid past and make amends to her son (Michael B. Jordan) and sister (Nicole Ari Parker). Ernie Hudson, Tisha Campbell Martin and Rockmond Dunbar ("Sons of Anarchy") also star in the film, which premieres Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.
Lifetime racked up 10 NAACP Image Award nominations in December, more than any other basic cable network, for its "Steel Magnolias" remake, which starred Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah and Phylicia Rashad; and for the TV movie "Abducted: The Carlina White Story," which starred Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd.