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Ripped from the headlines: 12 TV movies that raced from scandal to small screen

This Friday, Lifetime will air The College Admissions Scandal, a dramatic depiction of Operation Varsity Blues. The scandal over parents pulling illegal strings to get their kids into college broke this past March and spread like wildfire, especially given that two of the parents involved were TV actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. By July, Lifetime had announced that it would offer a dramatic depiction of the scandal; by August, The A.V. Club reported that Penelope Ann Miller and Mia Kirshner had “been hired to portray characters who are meant to be composites of women like Loughlin and Huffman”; a trailer was ready by September. We’re not great at math, but seven months seems like an extraordinarily quick turnaround for even a TV movie. The College Admissions Scandal (is the dumb title because Varsity Blues was already taken?) is the latest in a long string of TV movies ripped from the headlines and then rushed straight to the small screen: like the Elizabeth Smart movie that came out only seven months after she was rescued; and not one, not two, but three movies about the Long Island Lolita, Amy Fisher (two even aired on the same night!); and eight more, discussed below.

1. Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret (Lifetime)

When her sort of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander was found gruesomely murdered in the shower at his Mesa, Arizona home in June 2008, Jodi Arias couldn’t have been a more perfect suspect. Her obsessive, years-long pursuit of Alexander was straight out of an early ’90s erotic thriller, as was her photography hobby and the pair of plastic-rimmed glasses balanced on her attractive face. So it should come as no surprise that producers

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