Jennifer Love Hewitt is returning to CBS as a series regular — this time among the cast of Criminal Minds. She will play seasoned undercover agent Katie Callahan – joining Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness; her character will be introduced in the series’ 10th season premiere, Wednesday, October 1.
“We’re thrilled to introduce a new special agent by adding the very talented Jennifer Love Hewitt to our amazing cast,” said executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer. “Many of us on the show have enjoyed working with her over the years and look forward to again. We have exciting storylines planned for her character and the entire BAU team as we head into our 10th season.”
For five seasons, Hewitt starred as Melinda Gordon in CBS’ Ghost Whisperer. After that, she starred in Lifetime’s The Client List, which that network, and Sony Pictures TV, canceled in lieu of a third season — reportedly not owing so much to its ratings, though they had slipped, as because of a creative standoff with Hewitt over storylines for a third season. Hewitt, who was an executive producer on the show, wanted Brian Hallisay, her real-life fiance at the time, and father of her baby, also play her character Riley’s baby daddy on the show, Deadline reported back then, adding that the issues eventually became too much for Lifetime and Sony TV, leading to the cancellation. Read More »
There will be no third season of Jennifer Love Hewitt‘s Lifetime series The Client List. I hear it was a mutual decision between the network and producer Sony Pictures TV. While the show’s ratings slipped in Season 2 — from 2.7 million for the premiere to 2 million for the finale — I hear the reasons were mainly talent-related. As we reported in June, Lifetime and Sony TV were in a creative standoff with star Hewitt over storylines for a potential third season after the actress, who is an executive producer on the show, had requested that Brian Hallisay, her real-life fiance and father of her baby, also play her character Riley’s baby daddy on the show. I hear the issues eventually became too much for Lifetime and Sony TV, leading to today’s formal cancellation. Helping the decision is the fact that since the end of The Client List‘s second season, Lifetime successfully launched two new series: Devious Maids, which already has been renewed for a second season, and Witches Of East End, which will be. Lifetime also just picked up another season of Drop Dead Diva, which also is produced by Sony and whose ratings were on par with those for Client List, and has several pilots in productionincluding HR starring Alicia Silverstone.
EXCLUSIVE: Last night marked the second-season finale of Lifetime‘s drama series The Client List. Last year, the network renewed the show a month into its freshman run, upping the order from 10 to 15 for Season 2. This time around, the show had a quieter run despite the recent flurry of publicity surrounding star Jennifer Love Hewitt‘s pregnancy announcement. Last night’s finale pulled 2 million viewers, down from the 2.7 million who watched the Season 1 closer.
Still, I hear the ratings dropoff is not the reason for the holdup and the main issue factoring in Lifetime’s decision whether to order a third season. The network and the series producers are figuring out how to deal with Hewitt’s pregnancy creatively and logistically. (Hewitt announced two weeks ago that she was three months along.) I hear a major sticking point has been demands from Hewitt, who serves as an executive producer on the series, about the storyline for Season 3. I hear Hewitt has asked that Brian Hallisay, her real-life fiance and father of her baby, also play her character Riley’s baby daddy on the show in a major story arc next season. I hear that is at odds with the ideas from the Client List showrunner, who I hear pitched the series’ male lead Colin Egglesfield, and the network brass, who I hear have not settled on a character as they are looking to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has put in development Mrs. G’s Bigger Love, an original movie project executive produced by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Written by Julie Golden, the film is based on an entry in Heather Gatticio’s blogDerfwad Manor. In the post, Gatticio, a happily married mother of two, muses hypothetically about becoming a female polygamist, marrying the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem. The Lifetime project follows a bored Seattle housewife’s fictional day-in-the-the-life-of-a-female-polygamist blog. When the blog attracts the attention of a book agent and she realizes the fame, money and validation she so craved during her bored and frustrated housewife existence, she finds herself forced to cover up her “normal” life in order to perpetuate the myth. Hewitt executive produces with Jeanie Bradley, executive at her Fedora Films. Mrs. G.’s Bigger Love stems from Fedora’s first-look deal with Lifetime. It joins a drama Hewitt has in the works at the cable network, an adaptation of her book The Day I Shot Cupid. Golden is repped by APA.
EXCLUSIVE:Jennifer Love Hewitt, star/executive producer of Lifetime‘s hit series The Client List, is developing another series for the cable network loosely inspired by her 2010 book The Day I Shot Cupid, in which she offers tips on romance in a comical and honest way based on her own dating experiences. (Watch Hewitt talk about the book below). Matt Hastings (Alphas) will write the project, titled Finding Love, and executive produce with Hewitt through her Fedora Films banner. Universal Cable Prods, where Hastings has a development deal, and Lifetime are producing. As part of Lifetime’s series order to The Client List last year, the cable network inked a first-look deal with Hewitt and her Fedora Films.
This marks the third project Hastings has set up through his deal with the studio, including Flip with writer Chris Fischer penning, about a young male law student at USC who finds himself living the ‘high life’ in Los Angeles, thanks to his ‘side business’ of distributing designer drugs. Hastings, repped by APA and the Gotham Group, is also co-executive producer on the Syfy/UCP sophomore drama Alphas. At Lifetime, he has directed an episode of Drop Dead Diva. Hewitt is with WME and Untitrled.
Lifetime’s new Jennifer Love Hewitt drama series Client List got off to a solid start last night with 2.8 million viewers tuning in for the premiere. That is Lifetime’s most watched series debut since the 2009 premiere of Drop Dead Diva, which also averaged 2.8 million viewers, and the second largest premiere viewership in the last 5 years, only behind the 2007 launch of Lifetime’s flagship drama Army Wives. The Client List did far better than the premieres of Lifetime’s two most recent drama series, The Protector (1.9 million) and Against The Wall (1.8 million). Considering The Client List opened on Easter night with lower HUT levels and strong cable competition, its delivery was encouraging for Lifetime, which needs another scripted hit, and a testament to the drawing power of Hewitt in lingerie.
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Love Hewitt has appointed former Sony Pictures TV executive Jeanie Bradley as head of development and production for her company Fedora Films. The position had been vacant for a while as Hewitt had been looking for the right person. Fedora Films has a first-look deal with Lifetime for series and TV movies, which was made in conjunction with Hewitt’s pact to star in and produce the network’s upcoming The Client List; the series is based on the 2010 Lifetime movie toplined by the Ghost Whisperer alumna. Last season, Fedora sold two half-hour projects, Love Squared to Fox and Bad Taste In Men to ABC. Bradley spend a decade leading Sony TV’s current department as EVP of U.S. Current Programming. Hewitt, repped by WME and Untitled, most recently did a two-episode stint on TV Land’s Hot In Cleveland, reuniting with Betty White, with whom she starred in the 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie The Lost Valentine on CBS.
Lifetime has picked up The Client List, a new hourlong series based on the network’s 2010 movie starring and executive produced by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Hewitt is set to reprise her role and executive produce the series, which has received a 10-episode order for a 2012 launch. Additionally, Lifetime has signed a first-look development deal for both series and movies with Hewitt’s production company Fedora Films. The deal includes a directing gig for Hewitt on a future Lifetime movie.
The Client List is about a Texas housewife (Hewitt) who, after being deserted by her husband, takes a job at a seemingly traditional day spa in a neighboring town but realizes that the parlor offers way more than massages and ends up partnering with the parlor’s feisty and disorganized owner to run the business. The series will follow her as she balances two starkly different lives — one as a single mom in a conservative town struggling to provide for her family and the other as a savvy and ambitious businesswoman working with a rowdy, sexy and unpredictable group of women. Read More »
With Chris Meloni out and Mariska Hargitay back part-time, Law & Order: SVU has locked co-star Ice-T full-time for next season. And the following one, if the veteran crime drama is renewed for a 14th season. Ice-T made the announcement on Twitter this morning. “I’ve just locked in my new SVU deal,” he wrote. “So I’ll officially be back for the next 2 years at least. DONE.” Meanwhile, the search continues for Meloni’s replacement. It is still in a wish-list stage, and I hear there is even a scenario where the new lead would be female, working alongside Hargitay’s Det. Olivia Benson. As for Jennifer Love Hewitt, who had been talked about as a potential new addition when Hargiay scales back her duties in the second half of the season, I hear that is not happening.
EXCLUSIVE: Just in time for NBC’s upfront presentation on Monday, Law & Order:SVU star Mariska Hargitay has closed a new deal to return to the crime drama for its upcoming 13th season, in which she will pass on the female lead baton to a new actress. I hear Jennifer Love Hewitt is being courted for the gig, though no formal offer has been made. Meanwhile, SVU‘s leading man Christopher Meloni still has no deal for next season.
Going into the contract negotiations, Hargitay had asked to scale back her workload on the show. The producers granted her request, and she will work fewer hours at her previous salary of about $385,000 an episode ($400,000 with backend and other payments included.) For the first 13 episodes, Hargitay’s character Olivia Benson will continue to solve sex crimes alongside her partner, presumably Elliot Stabler (Meloni), pending him closing his deal. Then Benson will be promoted to a supervisor position, with a new female detective taking her place. That is the role that the producers are eying Hewitt for. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ok, this is not a Ghost Whisperer revival but probably the next best thing for the die-hard fans of the cancelled CBS drama – a possible new series with Ghost Whisperer star Jennifer Love Hewitt. I hear Fox is in talks to pick up the project, a half-hour comedy described as a female Big Bang Theory.Wild Hogs director Walt Becker and Tiffany Paulsen (Nancy Drew) will be writing the script with Hewitt attached to star. The project would reunite Hewitt with Fox where she got her break as co-star on Party of Five. Read More »
In its second airing last night, TNT’s new drama series Rizzoli & Isles drew a big 7.3 million viewers, dropping only 4% from its record-setting debut last week. What’s more, the crime procedural starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander built on its Closer lead-in in total viewers (7.0 million). Last week, Rizzoli averaged 7.6 million viewers to Closer‘s 7.7 million. Just like last week, Rizzoli outperformed Closer in all key demos, including adults 18-49, in which the new series averaged 2.0 million viewers least night. Meanwhile, Closer continues to track higher than last season, with Episode 2 up 8% vs. last year.
Over at Lifetime, the original movie The Client List starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as a mom-turned-prostitute averaged 3.9 million in its premiere last night, 1.9 million of them in the 18-49 demographic, to rank as the second most-watched cable movie this year.
EXCLUSIVE: Ghost Whisperer executive producers Kim Moses and Ian Sander are staying put at their long-time TV home, ABC Studios, and are staying close to the supernatural powers brand of their CBS series with two new ghost-themed projects in the works at ABC, reality series Ghost Town and drama Ghost World. Moses and Sander have inked a new one-year overall deal with ABC Studios where their Sander/Moses Prods. has been based since 2004. During their first one-year deal there, the duo developed Ghost Whisperer with creator John Gray. They executive produced the series starring Jennifer Love Hewitt for 5 seasons, until its unexpected cancellation by CBS in May and unsuccessful transfer to ABC.
Sander and Moses’ reality project, tentatively called Ghost Town, is in development at ABC Media Prods., the ABC Daytime production entity. The half-hour show would feature well-known psychic Maureen Hancock as she goes “coast to coast calling up the past, seeing the future, and contacting spirits.” Hancock travels the country in real-life, doing Postcards From Heaven shows.
Additionally, Moses and Sander are behind Ghost World, one of the 5 projects on ABC’s off-cycle drama development slate.Written by What About Brian creator Dana Stevens and produced by ABC Studios, it is about a ghost on the other side who helps an ambitious young female homicide detective solve crimes in the hopes of uncovering clues to his own life and death and centers on the mysterious, intense … Read More »