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Lifetime Greenlights 2 New Scripted Series

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime’s new president and general manager Nancy Dubuc is putting her stamp on the female-centered cable network with her first scripted series orders. Lifetime has picked up to series two female-driven cop dramas, Against the Wall and Exit 19, for a launch later this year.

The orders, both for 13 episodes, can’t come soon enough for Lifetime, which desperately needs more original scripted programming. It is down to two scripted series – veteran Army Wives, which was renewed for a fifth season, and dramedy Drop Dead Diva, which has been picked up for a third season. The last scripted series premieres on the network were in 2009 (Diva and the short-lived comedy Sherri). Because of Lifetime’s acquisition by A&E Networks, Lifetime held off on development from mid-2009, when the deal was announced, until May 1, 2010 when History president and general manager Nancy Dubuc took over as Lifetime’s new president and general manager. She dived into development, reading piles of scripts identified by Lifetime’s development team led by JoAnn Alfano. “Over the last several months, we have been working tirelessly on a new development slate of scripted dramas, nonfiction series and original movies at Lifetime,” Dubuc said stressing that “continuing our legacy of great scripted dramas is critical” to the network’s success. She cited the newly picked-up Against the Wall and Exit 19 as examples of the “high-quality auspices … Read More »

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Lifetime Renews ‘Army Wives’ And ‘Diva’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has renewed its flagship series, Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva. Army Wives has been picked up for a fifth season, while Drop Dead Diva has been renewed for a third season. Both series have received 13-episode orders for a 2011 premiere. “Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva have lead Lifetime’s charge in scripted programming and are key components to our success,” said Nancy Dubuc, president and GM of Lifetime and History, adding that series’ renewal “allows us to launch our next generation of scripted series.” Under Dubuc, who took over Lifetime in the spring, the cable network has ordered 3 pilots, Against the Wall, Exit 13 and an untitled cop drama from Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman. The network will certainly use Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva as launching pads for any of the 3 that are picked up to series.

While it has slipped from the blockbuster ratings of its first couple of seasons, Army Wives still remains Lifetime’s highest-rated series ever. Its most recent fourth season averaged 3.2 million viewers, with its finale  (3.9 million) hitting season highs in total viewers and all key demographics. Season 4 also included a planted spinoff episode, but the network recently passed on it. Army Wives is produced by ABC Studios, with Mark Gordon, Deborah Spera, Jeff Melvoin, Marshall Persinger and Harry Bring executive producing. Its cast … Read More »

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