And Now It’s Renee Zellweger’s Turn

Speaking of celebrity writers:

Lifetime Orders CINAMMON GIRL pilot, Series Created by Renee Zellweger – by TeamTVWriter Press Service

As it continues to aggressively expand its scripted programming slate, Lifetime has ordered the drama pilot Cinnamon Girl from executive producers Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Award-winning actress-producer Renée Zellweger, Anthony Tambakis (Warrior) and Gavin O’Connor (WarriorPride and Glory). The announcement was made today by Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President, Programming, of Lifetime Networks.

Created by Zellweger and Tambakis, Cinnamon Girl is the story of four girls — Cassie, Lola, Junie and Lou — coming of age in the Los Angeles music and movie scenes of the late 1960s/early 1970s, one of the most turbulent, creative and golden times in the history of American popular culture. The impetus for the project was Zellweger’s journey from small-town Texas to Hollywood stardom, combined with Tambakis’ lifelong fascination with both the Laurel Canyon music scene and the New Hollywood, auteur-driven era that began in the late ‘60s. Zellweger and Tambakis have co-written the story, with Tambakis writing the teleplay that explores the characters’ lives at the crossroads of the era’s political, artistic, social and sexual rebellions. O’Connor is set to direct the pilot, while Danny Bramson (Almost FamousJerry Maguire) will serve as producer.

Cinnamon Girl marks the second project on which Zellweger and Lifetime have partnered. In 2008, she executive produced the acclaimed original movie Living Proof, the moving true story of UCLA Dr. Dennis Slamon, who helped develop the breast cancer drug Herceptin, and his efforts to keep the drug trials afloat and save the lives of thousands of women. Living Proof starred Harry Connick, Jr., Tammy Blanchard, Amanda Bynes, Jennifer Coolidge, Angie Harmon, Regina King, Swoosie Kurtz, Amy Madigan, Bernadette Peters and Trudie Styler.

Lifetime’s current scripted slate includes The Client List, starring and executive produced by Jennifer Love Hewitt, which wrapped its first season in June; season six of the hit drama Army Wives, Drop Dead Diva, currently in its fourth season; and Devious Maids, which the network recently picked up from executive producers Marc Cherry, Sabrina Wind, Eva Longoria, Paul McGuigan, Larry Shuman, David Lonner, John Mass, Paul Presburger and Michael Garcia. Last week Lifetime ordered the scripted pilots The Secret Lives of Wives (working title) and Witches of East End.

And, as this announcement ends, drifting off into the sunset of audience/reader indifference, we find ourselves moved to ask the musical questions: What does “co-written” really mean here? Did Ms. Zellweger in fact do any writing on this project? Or was she the “talking/pitching” partner in the team? Are they in fact a team?

Are we being snarky? Sure, aren’t we always? After all, we’re writers. (Hmm, time now to check Renee’s public statements and search for a bit of la snark so we can determine her writerliness once and for all.)