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 »
Ally Walker has been tapped as the lead in Lifetime’s drama pilot Exit 19. The project, from writer Jeff Bell, follows single mother Gloria Shepherd (Walker) as she juggles her demanding personal and professional lives raising two children while working as a New York Police Department homicide detective. The project, from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, was originally developed at CBS during the 2007-2008 season when it was ordered as a pilot presentation with Geena Davis as the lead. Walker, who starred on NBC’s Profiler and HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me, has recurred as ATF Agent June Stahl on the FX drama Sons of Anarchy.
EXCLUSIVE: ER alumna Sherry Stringfield is set as the lead in Lifetime’s untitled drama pilot from Drop Dead Diva creator/executive producer Josh Berman. The project, from Sony Pictures TV, is a closed-ended drama set in San Diego, which centers on police detective Molly Collins (Stringfield), married mother of two on the verge of divorce, who, along with her partner Brooke Kross, investigate the city’s most high-profile crimes while navigating their divergent personal lives. This is one of 3 pilots Lifetime greenlighted in June, along with Against the Wall and Exit 19. The pilot reunites Stringfield with Lifetime where she co-starred opposite Eric McCormack in the original film Who Is Clark Rockefeller?” earlier this year. She is repped by APA and John Carrabino.
Lifetime today picked up the first scripted pilot pickups since the regime change at the female-centered cable network. History’s Nancy Dubuc took the reins of Lifetime as president and has been reading piles of pilot scripts with an eye at jump starting Lifetime’s scripted development by ordering at least 5 and as many as 8 pilots, mostly in the closed-ended procedural genre.
The network today greenlighted 3:
– AGAINST THE WALL: written by Annie Brunner, it is a family drama set in Chicago following policewoman Abby Kowalski, who causes a rift with her three cop brothers when she decides to join the department’s Internal Affairs division.
– EXIT 19, from Jeff Bell, follows single mother Gloria Shepherd as she juggles her demanding personal and professional lives raising two children while working as a New York Police Department homicide detective. The pilot is from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, executive producer/writer Bell and executive producers Nina Wass and Gene Stein. The project was originally developed at CBS during the 2007-2008 season when it was ordered as a pilot presentation starring Geena Davis.
– UNTITLED JOSH BERMAN PROJECT is a closed-ended drama set in San Diego, where police detective Molly Collins, married mother of two on the verge of divorce, and her partner Brooke Kross, recently engaged, investigate the city’s most high-profile crimes while navigating their divergent personal lives. Berman and Sony are already in business with Lifetime through sophomore hit Drop Dead Diva, which was created by … Read More »
It didn’t help that Nina Tassler is a longtime best pal of Exit 19 star Geena Davis because I’m told the CBS drama pilot (CBS Paramount TV / ABC TV Studios) is DOA. Sheesh, what are friends for? But I hear the script wasn’t up to snuff.