USA Network‘s Chrisley Knows Best went out with a whoop last night clocking 1.5 million viewers — 890,000 of them in the 18-49 demo and 803,000 of them in the older 25-54 age bracket. That’s up by double digits over the previous week’s 1.2 million viewers. Last week, paired with USA’s off-network family comedy Modern Family, Chrisley Knows Best — following the antics of Atlanta-based multimillionaire Todd Chrisley, his wife Julie, and their five children — hit what was then the show’s season high with 823,000 demo viewers and 742,000 in the older bracket, as well as that overall crowd of 1.2 million. (Last week’s ratings had been a jump of 34% in adults 18-49 and 10% in total viewers from the previous week).
Joey King (The Conjuring, Oz The Great And Powerful) has been cast in Lifetime’s original movie Outlaw Prophet from Sony Pictures Television. It focuses on the true story of Warren Jeffs, the leader of a Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist sect who spent more than a year on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, eluded authorities and was ultimately caught by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper. Based on Stephen Singular’s book When Men Become Gods, the movie chronicles Jeffs’ rise to power after the death of his father, Rulon Jeffs (Martin Landau). King will play Elissa Wall, the battered young woman who brings Jeffs (Tony Goldwyn) to justice. King, repped by Dan Spilo at Industry Entertainment and Meredith Fine at Coast to Coast Talent Group, will next be seen in FX’s Fargo and Zach Braff’s indie Wish I Was Here.
Global Showbiz Briefs: XYZ Boards ‘Redeemer’; ‘Testament Of Youth’ Gets Underway; ‘Black Box’ Sells; More
XYZ Films has joined Spanish-language actioner Redeemer as executive producer and sales agent. The movie, Redentor in Spanish, stars Chile’s Marko Zaror (Expendables 2, Machete Kills). He’s teaming for the fourth time with writer director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza. This time around, the story follows a former hitman who has made a deal with God: Every day he will hold a gun to his own head and pull the trigger; each time he does not die, he will take it as a sign that he is meant to continue hunting down the men he used to work for. Principal photography starts on March 24 in Chile. Zaror is a highly trained martial artist across multiple disciplines who performs all of his own fight and stunt work without any wires or CGI tricks. Espinoza recently was editor on Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno and his credits as director also include Kiltro, The ABCs Of Death anthology and Bring Me The Head Of The Machine Gun Woman. Espinoza, Zaror and Diego Moral Heimpell are producers.
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 renewal. Then, last month, the network announced that the upcoming sixth season would be the series’ last. 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.
Watch the Drop Dead Diva final-season trailer here:
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.”
EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of The Bible miniseries on History, A+E Networks sibling Lifetime too has put in development a longform project about Jesus. Titled The One, the movie hails from Leslie Greif, the producer of History’s blockbuster Hatfields & McCoys miniseries, and his Thinkfactory Media. Written by 2013 Nicholl Fellowship Winners Frank DeJohn and David Alton Hedges, The One is described as a coming-of-age story exploring Jesus’ early life and formative years as he comes to learn he is the Son of God and is destined for greatness. The project is poised to shed light on a lesser known period in Jesus’ life as there is very little written about him from the age of 13, following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he took with his parents, to age 30, when he began his ministry and was baptized by John the Baptist. The One is expected to stay true to the spirit of Jesus’ image as chronicled in The Bible. Another project about Jesus’ so called “lost years,” which was briefly in development at History, took a more unconventional approach, exploring a theory about Jesus’ origins as an exorcist. DeJohn and Hedges are with UTA and BenderSpink.
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 has completed a deal for a 10-episodes order to conspiracy thriller pilot The Lottery. As expected, it will join Lifetime’s recently picked up new drama Un-Real, from A+E Studios, which also received a 10-episode order. The Warner Horizon-produced Lottery is set in a dystopian future when women have stopped having children, threatening extinction of the human race. When 100 embryos are successfully fertilized, a national lottery is held to decide the surrogates. “The Lottery is one of the most provocative and original concepts we’ve ever seen,” Lifetime’s general manager Rob Sharenow said. “Tim Sexton’s unique dystopian thriller represents an exciting new direction for Lifetime and continues cable’s position on the leading edge of bold, high-quality scripted drama.” The project, written by Sexton, stars Marley Shelton, Michael Graziadei, David Alpay, Martin Donovan, Lesley Ann Brandt and Louise Lombardi. Sexton, serves as executive producer with Dawn Olmstead. Danny Cannon directed and executive produced the pilot, from Grady Girl Prods in association with Warner Horizon TV.
Lifetime has given a series order to Un-Real, its hourlong pilot starring Shiri Appleby and co-written/executive produced by Marti Noxon. I hear another Lifetime pilot, dystopian-future drama The Lottery, is in negotiations for a series pickup. Meanwhile, the network’s third traditional pilot, HR, is not going forward, with the project starring Alicia Silverstone currently being shopped to other networks. (Lifetime also has movie/backdoor pilot Deliverance Creek, which is yet to air.)
Lifetime has picked up 10 episodes of Un-Real, which will be produced by A+E Studios, making it the first scripted series fully owned by the recently launched in-house production arm of Lifetime parent A+E Networks. The dark comedy, inspired by Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s award-winning independent short Sequin Raze, was written by Shapiro and Noxon and gives a behind-the-scenes look at the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program. “Un-Real is unlike anything that exists on television today,” Lifetime GM Rob Sharenow said. “It’s premium and original on every level, and we’re thrilled that Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s unique series will be Lifetime’s first program produced by A+E Studios.” Un-Real centers on Rachel (Appleby), a young staffer whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with and …
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. That said, The Gabby Douglas Story, about the Olympic gold medalist who become the first African American to be named individual all-around champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games, was the most tweeted program of the night across all of television, excluding sports, according to Nielsen SocialGuide. Two weeks earlier, Lifetime’s unveiling of Flowers In The Attic, based on the V.C. Andrews novel of same name and about siblings locked in an attic by their mother and even worse grandparents, logged 6.1 million viewers, which was ad-supported cable’s most watched original movie since November 2012. Lifetime already has ordered the sequel, Petals On The Wind. The following week, Lizzie Bordon Took An Ax bagged 4.4 million viewers, becoming the night’s most watched cable telecast and the most watched telecast across all of TV in key female demos.
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.
Lifetime is developing a TV movie adaptation of Brian Stelter‘s Top Of The Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, about the rise of Good Morning America over Today in the morning infotainment ratings war. The movie will be executive produced by Liz Gateley and Tony DiSanto (and produced by their Diga Vision), who acquired the rights. They’re still working on securing writers and closing various deals, an informed source says. The source adds that Stelter, who covered media for the New York Times when he wrote the blah-ly reviewed book, has had virtually no involvement with the project — though word of the deal first broke on TVNewser, which Stelter founded, along with TV Guide. Stelter, meanwhile, has moved on from NYT and is now senior media reporter and Reliable Sources host at CNN.
And now, to the important stuff — casting! Who should play Matt Lauer? Ann Curry? George Stephanopoulos? Robin Roberts? Sam Champion?
The miniseries’ second night viewership across A+E Networks‘ History, A&E and Lifetime, was down 24% from Night One. Of the 7.4 million viewers, 3.1 million fell into the 25-54 age bracket. On History, the miniseries, starring Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger in the title roles, logged 2.8 million viewers overall; Lifetime and A&E networks each averaged 2.3 million.
Overall, the two-part miniseries averaged 8.6 million viewers — 3.6 million in that age bracket. That secures Bonnie & Clyde‘s status as basic cable’s third most watched miniseries since ’06, behind History’s mega hits Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible. Bonnie & Clyde had grossed 9.8 million viewers and 4.2 million demo viewers during its world premiere on Sunday. History also led the simulcast that night, with 3.7 million viewers, followed by Lifetime (3.1 million) and A&E (3 million).
The project, which also starred Holly Hunter and William Hurt, marked A+E Networks’ first-ever simulcast across the three networks. Sony Pictures Television produced the mini, from executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, based on the script byJohn Rice and Joe Batteer, directed by Bruce Beresford.