Lifetime tonight unveiled promo for sixth and final season of Drop Dead Diva, beginning Sunday, March 23 at 9 PM ET/PT. After a brief cancellation a year ago, Lifetime‘s Drop Dead Diva was resurrected with a fifth-season pickup and in September received a 13-episode Season 6 …
The telepic based on Diana Lopez’s novel Choke follows a teenager who flirts with disaster after being introduced to the “game” of intentionally cutting off oxygen to the brain to get high. Freya Tingley (Hemlock Grove) stars in The Choking Game as Taryn, who is just starting her senior year when a charismatic new girl claims her as a “breath sister” as they take “flights” together. Frasier alum Peri Gilpin also stars in the Lifetime Original as Taryn’s mom, who tries to help after sensing that something is seriously wrong with her daughter. Directed by Lane Shefter Bishop and written by Jen Klein, the telefilm from Orly Adelson Productions is executive produced by Jonathan Eskenas, Bishop, Marilyn R. Atlas and Adelson.
Kelly Hyland is suing the matriarch and producers of the Lifetime docusoap over a brawl that aired as part of this week’s episode. Her suit (read it here) claims that Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller assaulted and later defamed her. The suit says “the producers of the show [Collins Avenue Entertainment], in an effort to attract ratings and viewership, encourage and facilitate conflicts between Miller on the one hand and the young girl dancers and their mothers on the other.” It goes on to cite Miller’s “bullying and insulting leadership style” as the girls’ principal dance coach. The incident that fueled the assault claim happened November 22 before a dance competition in the Bronx. The suit claims Miller “repeatedly lunged toward Kelly gnashing her teeth and loudly attempting to bite Kelly.” Then, according to the filing, Hyland “in self-defense, slapped Miller and pulled Miller’s head away from her to avoid being bitten.” Hyland also claims that “the producers of the show desired for her to have a warrant issued for her arrest as that would make for intensely dramatic television.”
After a brief cancellation a year ago, Lifetime‘s Drop Dead Diva was resurrected with a fifth-season pickup and in September received a 13-episode Season 6 renewal. Now the network has announced that the upcoming sixth season will be the series’ last. It will launch on March 23 with a two-hour premiere. Since resurrecting Diva last March, Lifetime saw both of its freshman series, Devious Maids and The Witches Of East End, perform well and earn second-season renewals. Additionally, the network just picked up two new hourlong series, Un-Real and The Lottery.
Produced by Sony Pictures TV, the one-hour comedic drama Diva stars Brooke Elliott, Margaret Cho, Jackson Hurst, Kate Levering, April Bowlby, Lex Medlin and Justin Deeley. It follows the story of shallow model Deb who suddenly dies in an accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, plus-sized attorney, Jane (Elliot). For those following the show, at the close of last season, Jane (Elliott) thought she would finally have her happy ending with Grayson (Hurst), until Brittany (Old Jane) revealed to Grayson that Jane isn’t who he thinks she is. In the Season 6 premiere, Jane is forced to finally tell the truth to Grayson, but his reaction leaves her more lost than ever.
Lifetime’s Gabby Douglas biopic scored 3.8 million viewers Saturday – a strong showing for the cable net but falling short of the network’s previous two weeks’ worth of Saturday movies starring an ax murderess and siblings locked in an attic. …
Tricia O’Kelley (The New Adventures of Old Christine) has been cast in a season-long recurring role on Lifetime’s Devious Maids. She’ll play Tanya, a local Beverly Hills resident. O’Kelley, repped by Domain and Art/Work Entertainment, recently recurred on ABC Family’s The Secret Life Of The American Teenager. Season 2 of Devious Maids is set to premiere April 20, when star Eva Longoria will direct the season opener.
TCA: ‘Devious Maids’ Returning On April 20; Eva Longoria To Make Directorial Debut In Season 2 Opener
PASADENA, CA (January 9, 2014) – Lifetime’s critically-acclaimed hit series Devious Maids (#DeviousMaids, #DeviousArmy), returns for a second season on Sunday, April 20, at 10PM ET/PT. The series is executive produced by Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria, and stars Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramírez, Roselyn Sánchez, Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes as five maids with ambition and dreams of their own while working for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Longoria will direct the series’ eagerly anticipated season two opener, marking her television directorial debut.
Lifetime has gone ahead and ordered a sequel on its TV movie Flowers In The Attic before Flowers debuts. Based on V.C. Andrews’ book, Flowers In The Attic follows four siblings — two boys and two girls — who, after their father’s death, are torn from an idyllic life and subjected to cruel abuse resulting from a long-hidden family secret. Abandoned by their mother (Heather Graham) and forced to endure unimaginable treatment living in their grandparents’ attic, they form their own family unit. But as the oldest boy (Mason Dye) and girl (Kiernan Shipka) come of age, their family’s past entraps them further as they try to escape from the harsh conditions in which they live. Ellen Burstyn portrays the children’s grandmother, Olivia. Flowers debuts January 18.
“Ellen is caught in frigid New York but we can feel her evil presence from the video,” joked Rob Sharenow, EVP and General Manager of Lifetime, as he introduced the Flowers panel, after announcing the sequel, Petals On The Wind.
“I’m going to be completely transparent — I thought the same thing!” Tim Gunn said of rapper Macklemore guest judging on Gunn’s new fashion competition series Under The Gun.” That in response to a WTF kind of question about the guest judge choice during the TCA press tour.
“He was fabulous,” Gunn insisted. “He is so knowledgeable about fashion.”
“He was extremely articulate, he was a blast,” chimed in executive producer Sarah Rea.
In November, Lifetime announced it was further expanding the Project Runway franchise with Under The Gunn, a 13-episode new fashion series starring Project Runway co-host Gunn, produced by Runway‘s Bunim/Murray and The Weinstein Co. , featuring Runway alumni, and debuting January 16. Gunn, who a couple months earlier had won an Emmy with Runway co-host Heidi Klum, will carry on with his duties on the mothership competition show. This marks the third Project Runway offshoot on Lifetime, including Project Runway All Stars, now in its third season, and Project Accessory, which ran for one cycle.
EXCLUSIVE: The case of Los Angeles’ notorious “Grim Sleeper” serial killer is getting a TV movie treatment with Lifetime‘s The Grim Sleeper starring Dreama Walker (Don’t Trust The B—-) and co-starring actress-singer Macy Gray (Training Day), Ernie Hudson (Call Me Crazy), and Michael O’Neill (Dallas Buyers Club). It will be directed by Stanley M. Brooks in the veteran TV movie producer’s return to the genre. In 2010, Brooks left the TV movie business after 21 years when he filed for bankruptcy as a result of a dispute with AFTRA, WGA and DGA over residuals from the Logo series Sordid Lives. Since then, he quietly took on a new career as a director with horror indie Perfect Sisters, which is awaiting release. It is fitting that Brooks’ return to the TV movie business is via Lifetime where he was a top telefilm supplier until severing ties with the network in 2010 amid his guild troubles. (Brooks is married to Lifetime’s head of TV movies Tanya Lopez.)
The Grim Sleeper, written by Robert Nathan (Law & Order) and Teena Booth (The Drew Peterson Story), is inspired by the true stories of the victims and survivor of the alleged serial killer dubbed the “Grim Sleeper” — referring to the apparent 14-year hiatus between his alleged murders. He targeted women in the Los Angeles area between 1985-2009. The plot will center on LA Weekly investigative reporter Christine Pelisek (Walker), who broke the story of the serial killer and coined the nickname.
Lifetime is going two for two with its freshman scripted series. As expected, the cable network has given a second season pickup to drama Witches Of East End, starring Julia Ormond, Mädchen Amick, Jenna Dewan Tatum and Rachel Boston as a family of witches living in the secluded seaside town of East Haven. The series has received a 13-episode order for a 2014 premiere. “With its great story telling and amazing cast, Witches Of East End is leading a full-blown witch renaissance,” said Rob Sharenow, EVP and General Manager of Lifetime. Witches Of East End joins Lifetime’s freshman Devious Maids, which also has been renewed for a second season. One of Lifetime’s youngest skewing scripted series ever, with a median age of 46, Witches Of East End, from Fox 21, is averaging 3.0 million total viewers, 1.7 million Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 viewers, and 1.3 million Women 18-49 and Women 25-54 viewers on a Live+7 basis through five weeks.