NBC has cast one of the title characters in its multi-camera comedy pilot Joe & Joe & Jane. Army Wives’ Sally Pressman has been cast as Jane in the project, from writers-executive producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman and 20th Century Fox TV. Loosely based on the relationship between Port, Wiseman and Wiseman’s wife, Joe, Joe & Jane centers on a conflict-avoidant children’s book author caught in an ongoing tug of war between two needy, flawed people: his wife (Pressman) and his co-author/ best friend. It’s not about a couple, it’s about a trouple. Pressman, whose casting was first reported by TVLine, became available for pilots after her regular role as Roxy on Army Wives was downgraded to recurring heading into Season 7. NBC has had its eye on Pressman for awhile. When she was in her then-last year on Army Wives in September 2011, the network signed the actress in a development deal. But then Lifetime ordered 10 additional episodes of the veteran drama series in November 2011 to film during last year’s pilot season. While her NBC deal eventually expired, Pressman is back at the network a year later as a lead of a pilot.
TV CASTINGS: Sally Pressman To Star In NBC Comedy Pilot ‘Joe, Joe & Jane’, Marcia Gay Harden Joins HBO’s ‘Newsroom’
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has picked up 10 more episodes of its flagship drama Army Wives. The series is currently in production on its 13-episode sixth-season order. I hear Lifetime’s decision to stockpile more episodes was made now so the show could stay in continuous production. It comes after both of the network’s new series launched this past summer, The Protector and Against The Wall, underperformed. By not branding the pickup as a new season, Lifetime can have all original cast members locked in. The actresses don’t have deals beyond Season 6 but their contracts requires them to do all episodes produced, which would include a 23-episode sixth season.
The 23-episode order will likely be split into two batches but, from a contractual standpoint, Lifetime could make the stars of the show return for the 10 episodes at their current salary. While legal, such a move is generally frowned upon. I hear that Lifetime, which is currently deficit financing the ABC Studios/Mark Gordon Co-produced Army Wives, has offered the main cast members a raise of $10,000 per episode. That represents an increase of 10%-20% for the actresses, whose salaries vary but are all in the 5-figure range, but is far less than what they would get if they have to negotiate new contracts for a seventh season.
EXCLUSIVE: Army Wives star Sally Pressman is moving on from the Lifetime drama series after its upcoming sixth season. Pressman has signed a talent holding deal with NBC. Under the pact, the broadcast network will cast the actress in a project it has in development for next fall or have her join an on-air series. Like the rest of the Army Wives cast, Pressman is set to return to the set of the series next month to begin filming the sixth season. But the lead actresses have no deals beyond Season 6, and there have not been any overtures yet from the network or producing studio ABC Studios, making the women available to take other series regular jobs. Fellow Army Wives star Catherine Bell last month signed on to headline the TNT movie Good Morning, Killer which is being eyed as potential backdoor pilot, so Bell has a series option behind it while also exploring possibilities on the broadcast side, where she made her mark as the star of CBS’ JAG. Lifetime has not announced its plans for Army Wives