The ‘Big Little Lies’ star’s Hello Sunshine production company is launching a new Video on Demand channel with AT&T.
Reese Witherspoon is giving Oprah Winfrey a run for her money.
Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company teamed up with AT&T to debut a Hello Sunshine Video On Demand channel that will center on female creators and their stories, the companies announced Tuesday. The channel will launch on DirecTV, DirecTV Now and AT&T’s U-Verse with two new female-fueled shows, including an unscripted talk-show series featuring the “Big Little Lies” producer-star herself.
“Shine on with Reese,” premiering July 17, “celebrates the stories of extraordinary women who have created their own unique paths to success” as Witherspoon unearths “what inspires, motivates and gives joy to each of these trailblazers.” It’ll include appearances by women like filmmaker Ava DuVernay, country legend Dolly Parton, Instagram poet Cleo Wade and soccer star Abby Wambach, while the host teases out “their perspectives on ambition, work, family and hopes for the future,” according to a news release.
The second series, “Master the Mess,” debuts Sept. 4 and stars Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit, a Nashville-based home organization company that emphasizes style and design. The duo will declutter closets, pantries, laundry rooms and bathrooms in a show that marries “comedy with organization.”
“I am thrilled to have such like-minded, creative collaborators at AT&T to help Hello Sunshine pursue our mission of elevating and showcasing the voices of women that we have such admiration and respect for,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “I am so excited for the world to experience the stories from our partnership with AT&T, which are set to be equal parts entertaining, inspiring, thought-provoking and unabashedly real.”
The actress’ AT&T deal puts her a little closer to dethroning her “A Wrinkle in Time” co-star — aka the queen of all media — whose sprawling empire includes the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a Hearst magazine named after herself, and a newly inked multi-year content deal with Apple. (Winfrey is worth an estimated $2.8 billion, according to Forbes, with her share of OWN valued at about $75 million.)
Witherspoon is producing three series for Apple, starring in a third “Legally Blonde” movie, and producing the forthcoming second season of HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” in addition to running her Southern-style Draper James clothing line. And her curated Hello Sunshine book club, which teamed up with Audible in May, instantly boosts titles’ popularity: Each pick so far has skyrocketed to Amazon’s top 50 sales rankings, EW reported in March. (Witherspoon’s own book, “Whiskey in a Teacup,” comes out from Simon & Schuster in September.) The actress’ $198 million-plus in career earnings made her the highest-paid nominee at least year’s Emmys, per Forbes.
The New Orleans-born multi-hyphenate, a prominent figure in Hollywood’s Time’s Up movement, has also pushed for women’s stories to be reflected in media.
“I don’t really believe we’ve been seeing the full spectrum of the female experience,” Witherspoon said last year while being honored as WSJ Magazine’s Entertainment Innovator of the Year. “Women want real substance and premium, thought-provoking, well-made content and they want it now. … Quite frankly, we just can’t see the same films from the same group of people over and over again and expect society to change.”
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