'Designing Women' Alumni Tackle Serious Issues
in LIFETIME Original Movies
Delta and Mac star as a couple whose lives are torn apart by
compulsive gambling in Going for Broke.
Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney star in the story of a woman who loses her job and family when her obsession with gambling takes over her life. Based on a true story, the LIFETIME Original Movie Going for Broke, premieres Monday, July 14 from 9-11pm (ET/PT) on LIFETIME Television.
Laura (Burke) and Jim Bancroft (McRaney) moved their family from Florida to Reno for Lauraís new job as head of fundraising for a childrenís charity. They were ready to make a fresh start and knew it wouldnít be easy, but none of them was prepared for the tough road that would be paved for them by the flashing lights and ringing bells of the casinos that beckoned. In the beginning, Laura gambled just for fun, and the thrill of winning became an escape from the pressures at home and work. But beginnerís luck doesnít last forever and soon Laura finds herself losing thousands and thousands of dollars. Unable to resist the temptation of that elusive big win, Laura plummets deeper into her addiction. She begins to embezzle from the foundation and pawns her familyís belongings to fund her habit. Jim eventually discovers months of unpaid bills. It becomes harder for Laura to hide her problem from her family, who has become well aware of Lauraís gambling. When the foundation undergoes a random audit, her deceit is finally brought to light and Laura must now face the legal and personal consequences of her addiction.
"Going for Broke is a powerful depiction of problem gambling and its impact on an individual and their family," said Keith Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling. "We hope it encourages all viewers to consider this issue and to get help if necessary."
Executive Producer Anne Carlucci feels this is an important issue to bring to the forefront. "This can happen to anyone. Gambling is fun. Itís not illegal, but itís insidious and, like most addictions, you donít know you have a problem until itís too late," she noted. "I hope this movie will make people more aware of the dangers of compulsive gambling."
Burke echoes this sentiment. "Everyone is well aware of the risks involved with alcohol or drug abuse, but no one really talks about compulsive gambling. It can just sneak up on you but have just as devastating an affect on your life as any other addiction," she remarked.
Though not a gambler himself, McRaney recognizes the appeal gambling has for many people and feels itís unfortunate that so many lose control. "I would venture to say that this is not an uncommon story among people who are compulsive gamblers," he observed. "Much like with any other addiction, people all too often wind up losing everything before they decide that yes, in fact, they do need help."
Going for Broke is produced by Viacom Productions in association with Brayton/Carlucci Productions for LIFETIME Television.
Annie Potts stars in the shocking true story of a woman's fight to
protect children against online sexual predators.
Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Annie Potts and Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Michael O'Keefe star in the LIFETIME Original Movie, Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story. Inspired by a true story, Potts portrays Julie Posey, a homemaker who, after her young daughter is approached by a pedophile in an online chat room, launches a one-woman fight to help police investigator Mike Harris (Michael O'Keefe) catch sexual predators by posing as a lonely teenager on the web. Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story premieres Monday, July 21, 9-11pm (ET/PT) on LIFETIME Television.
"Julie Poseyís story is remarkable," Executive Producer Frank von Zerneck said, "not only because she is an ordinary person who has shown extraordinary bravery and dedication as a cyber-crimefighter, but also because her story raises a significant issue -- how do you protect your children? The statistics on pedophiles out there prowling the web are staggering. As a grandparent myself, itís a very real concern." Executive Producer Robert M. Sertner continued, "This story is suspenseful, too, because itís about someone who must outwit these predators by putting herself in potentially dangerous situations," he added. "The more we watch her tracking down suspects, the more we realize how pervasive and destructive this threat is, and the more we want to root for her. She is a real unsung hero in our society today."
"As soon as I read about Julie Posey and her work, I knew her story deserved to become a movie," Executive Producer Ira Pincus said. "It illuminates an important problem that many people donít realize exists," he explained. "The Internet has changed the world in many great and positive ways, but it also has had negative affects, like making children far more vulnerable to sexual predators. What is truly inspirational is that nobody asked Julie to do this. She could be anyoneís mother, or anyoneís sister or aunt or grandmother. But she recognized that there was a huge need and took it upon herself to make a change."
Homemaker Julie Posey and her husband, Jerry (Carl Marotte), are horrified to discover that their 13-year-old daughter, Kristyn (Ksenia Solo), has agreed to meet a man who befriended her in an online chat room. Julie races to find Kristyn just in time, but the much older stranger gets away. Disheartened to learn from police investigator Mike Harris (Michael O'Keefe) that there are no laws to stop pedophiles from preying on children on the web, Julie volunteers to monitor chat rooms for the police by pretending she is a teenager and keeping a log of the conversations. But in spite of her success in helping to arrest and convict predators, her work puts a strain on her family, who feels she is going too far. Then the revelation in court that Julie herself was sexually molested as a child jeopardizes her testimony and forces Mike to stop working with her. Julie must find a way to prove herself, both to her family and to the police -- even at the risk of her own life.
"Online enticement of children, particularly teen girls, is a serious problem in the United States," said Tina Schwartz, Director of Public Affairs, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. "The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is grateful to LIFETIME Television for airing Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story to inform parents and potential victims of the risks involved in meeting an Internet friend in the real world."
Director Joanna Kerns was immediately drawn to the project because Julie Poseyís story is about a phenomenon that affects all families. "Those of us who live everyday lives donít think about how the Internet has created such access to our children inside our own homes," Kerns said. "I would like viewers to recognize that everyone needs to become more aware and responsible about using the web." Annie Potts was moved by Poseyís spirit. "Itís an empowering story," Potts explained. "Here is an ordinary housewife who actually does find and bring down the bad guys. She proves that one person can make a difference." Michael O'Keefe also admires how Julie Posey acted on her own initiative to go to the police. "She saw what was happening and knew there was something she could do to help protect kids. In a sense, just by making that choice she shows how our strength as a society depends on each of us," he concluded.
Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story is produced by Ira Pincus Productions in association with von Zerneck Sertner Films for LIFETIME Television.
More information on Julie Posey can be found at Julie Posey's Official Website
**Source: LIFETIME Television Publicity
Photos credits: LIFETIME Television