For a moment there, it seemed Hayden Panettiere’s first major acting gig since NBC pulled the plug on her supernatural cult series, Heroes, would never see the light of day. In spite of feverish attempts by attorneys for American exchange student-turned-condemned killer Amanda Knox, Lifetime will premiere The Amanda Knox Story — a dramatization of the events leading up to Knox’s 27-year prison sentence for allegedly killing her British-born roommate, Meredith Kercher — later this month.
Knox was convicted in Oct. 2009, following an 11-month murder trial that legal experts around the globe believe hung its hat on contaminated evidence and shotty police work. She’s presently appealing her sentence.
Hayden — whose acting credits include a pair of guest stints on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — takes on the title role in the femme-friendly network’s Ripped from the Headlines flick, which co-stars Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden.
The Amanda Knox Story premieres Feb. 21 @ 9 PM on Lifetime.