The fictionalized account of the high-profile scandal will premiere this fall

By Aurelie Corinthios
August 12, 2019 03:40 PM

Lifetime has cast three of its lead roles in the upcoming movie about the college admissions scandal.

With production set to begin this month, Penelope Ann Miller (Riverdale, American Crime) and Mia Kirshner (Star Trek: Discovery, The L Word) have signed on to headline the movie, aptly titled The College Admissions Scandal. The fictionalized account will follow the story of over 50 wealthy and elite families who tried to cheat the college admissions system.

Penelope Ann Miller (left); Mia Kirshner
John Parra/Getty; Phillip Chin/WireImage
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College Cheating Scandal

Michael Shanks (Stargate: Atlantis, Saving Hope) has been cast as Rick Singer, the college admissions consultant who has admitted his role as the ringleader of the scam and pleaded guilty in March to multiple charges in the real-life, high-profile scandal.

RELATED: Amid the College Admissions Scandal, Here Are 8 Organizations Helping Disadvantaged Students

According to the network, The College Admissions Scandal “follows two wealthy mothers, Caroline (Miller), a sought-after interior designer and Bethany (Kirshner), an owner of a successful financial services firm, who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college.”

When Singer “offers a side door into the prestigious institutions of their dreams, Caroline and Bethany willingly partake with visions of coveted acceptance letters in their heads. But when Singer cooperates with the FBI and pleads guilty, the mothers who risked everything for their kids, must face the consequences of their crimes and the loss of trust and respect from their families.”

On March 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts announced that it had charged 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin (and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli) in the cheating scandal. Along with coaches, admissions counselors and fellow parents, they were accused of alleged crimes such as falsifying SAT scores and lying about the athletic skills of their children.

Felicity Huffman (left); Lori Loughlin
Charles Krupa/AP/REX/Shutterstock; Steven Senne/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Huffman was arrested and charged for paying $15,000 to facilitate cheating on her daughter Sofia’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers. She pleaded guilty to her role in the alleged scam on May 13.

Loughlin and her husband were accused of paying $500,000 to Singer and his nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”), which prosecutors said was actually a front for accepting bribes, to have their daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC. (Neither Olivia Jade, 19, nor Isabella Rose, 20, are listed on the USC women’s rowing roster.)

Loughlin and Giannulli were indicted on an additional charge of fraud and money laundering in April. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.

The couple pleaded not guilty after turning down a plea deal because it included jail time. Their attorneys have not returned PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

The College Admissions Scandal is part of Lifetime’s Ripped From the Headlines movie slate which includes Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter, Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story and Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story.

The College Admissions Scandal is set to premiere this fall on Lifetime.

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