Holly on ‘Montana’ trail

Skein looks to take the place of 'People'

Lauren Holly is eyeing her first leading TV series role since “Picket Fences” as well as her first foray into producing with “Libby Montana,” a drama skein in development at Lifetime Television.

Holly (“Dumb & Dumber”) is on board to portray the title character in the potential series, from executive producer-scribe Morgan Gendel (“V.I.P.”) and Sony Pictures Television. She’s also producing, along with her managers Aaron Ray and Larry Schapiro of Nine Yards Entertainment.

Libby Montana is both the name of Holly’s character and the locale where the character was orphaned.

Libby, a producer-reporter who uses her down-home skills to come to the aid of women who have been victimized by corporate greed, meets her long-lost father when she moves to Los Angeles to work for the TV station where he’s the general manager.

Holly is currently lensing the feature “U-Boat,” while Gendel is exec producing MTV’s upcoming animated “Spider-Man” series.

Nine Yards manages both Holly, who is repped by ICM, and Gendel, who is repped by CAA.

Lifetime opening

The “Libby” project, which is in the script stage, marks one of several that Lifetime has in development. A potential slot recently opened up on Lifetime’s schedule after the network decided against a second season of frosh drama “For the People,” which stars Lea Thompson and Debbi Morgan.

“People” currently airs at 10 p.m. on Sundays as part of a drama block that also includes “Strong Medicine” and “The Division.”

In its first season, “People” has been averaging a 1.9 cable rating among Lifetime households (about 2 million viewers). Performance, while solid for basic cable, does not match the kind of viewership level Lifetime has become used to with its other Sunday night series, including the former “Any Day Now.”

“Strong Medicine” and “The Division,” by contrast, average around a 2.5 rating (nearly 3 million viewers).

Both “Medicine” and “The Division” have been renewed for a fourth and third season, respectively (Daily Variety, Dec. 12).

“People” — which was created and is exec produced by Catherine LePard and also exec produced by Kim Moses & Ian Sanders as well as Sheldon Pinchuk for Cumulus Prods. — will wrap with the conclusion of the season finale on Feb. 16.

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