BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Vivica A. Fox was ready to tackle a weekly series for Lifetime when the idea for “Keeping Up with the Joneses” was initially pitched. She would star in and executive produce the story of a matriarch of a wealthy family, who along with her four stepdaughters, will stop at nothing to protect their business and family.

It seemed like an obvious idea because the actress and the cable company have had a long association as Fox has done approximately 50 films for Lifetime. While the executives with the cable company liked Fox and the idea enough to OK the project, they had a different format from the one Fox had in mind.

“We wanted a series but they said we will start you off small and give you a mini-series to see how that works,” Fox says. “It worked fantastic and we left the audience wanting more. So we got four more this time which is such a compliment to the cast, the director, the crew and everyone.”

Instead of making multiple one-hour episodes, “Keeping Up with the Joneses” launched in 2021 as a season that included multiple movies. The second season, made up of four films, has just started with the next offering, “Keeping Up with the Joneses: The Wrong Marriage,” scheduled to air at 8 p.m. July 22.

Because of the long working relationship with Lifetime, Fox knew the series to fit the strong women genre of programming on the cable channel. But, she wanted it to be presented with a slightly different twist.

“We wanted to make sure with this one to give a little of the ‘So Wrong It’s Right’ franchise but also do something new,” Fox says. “The main goal of ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’ was that we wanted to do an updated, delicious days of ‘Dynasty’ featuring beautiful African-American women.

“I think we have done our part to get that stamp.”

Joining Fox in the cast of “Keeping Up with the Joneses” are Arie Thompson, Ciarra Carter, Jasmine Aivaliotis and Shellie Sterling. They have been dealing with the kind of plotlines that made programs such as “Dynasty” and “Dallas” such big hits.

Robin (Fox) is busy dealing with the family business while her daughters are going in their own directions. Carrie’s (Carter) philanthropic efforts have always taken a backseat to the family’s business, but she plans to expand her role by creating the Crystal Water Fund. Meanwhile, Kayla (Sterling) is enjoying the single life while Tara (Aivaliotis) begins an affair with her college professor. Pam (Thompson) strikes up a friendship with the CEO of the construction company building the family’s new water facility.

The family has already dealt with a lifetime of ups and downs but the cast members are certain the first season was just the appetizer for what is in the second season. Sterling promises that this season will be extremely spicy.

Aivaliotis describes the new offerings as being “everything is fair in love and war” while Thompson uses the phrase “the past never dies” in connection with what is happening on the series.

The one thing the entire cast can agree on is that the franchise offers a long list of positives from the diversity of the cast to the juiciness of the scripts. Thompson adds that getting to be part of such a strong project is magnified by the quality of the cast.

“We are a group of women who manage to be very headstrong and quick thinkers but also very poised and feminine,” Thompson says.

There is a wide range of acting history for the cast but none come close to Fox who has been working professionally for more than three decades. She has not only built up a long acting resume but Fox also has worked extensively as a producer.

Fox describes her career as “Many wonderful chapters.”

She adds, “That’s something I want to make sure I pass on to other wonderful actors and actresses. I will never forget when the Lifetime network came into my life, I got teased.

“What they didn’t realize was that they were the first network to offer me a starring series after ‘Kill Bill’ (“1-800-Missing”). I had to kind of go away and take myself back to the drawing board and have a resurgence in my career.”

Many thought Fox’s feature film career was over because she was working for the cable network. It ended up being just the opposite because she found working with Lifetime turned her into a filmmaker. The creation of “Keeping Up with the Joneses” is for Fox the perfect example of how much working with Lifetime has meant to her career.

 “Keeping Up with the Joneses” is airing over four consecutive Fridays. “Keeping Up With the Joneses: The Wrong Inside Man,” the final offering in the second season, will be broadcast on Lifetime on July 29.