Lifetime of drama

Cabler adds 2 skeins for night of originals

Aiming to launch a new night of original series, Lifetime has ordered 13 episodes of the new dramas “Wild Card” and “1-800-Missing.”

Lifetime will likely roll out the new shows in August, possibly on Saturday nights. The femme-centric cabler currently programs a block of original skeins on Sundays.

The network had filmed four pilots earlier this spring. At Lifetime’s advertiser upfront presentation two weeks ago, exec VP of entertainment Barbara Fisher confirmed that two of those shows would make the final cut.

The cabler has pledged to spend $800 million in original programming over the next two years (Daily Variety, April 4). Lifetime currently airs movies on Saturday nights; the net has seen its stock soar on Sundays with original entries such as “Strong Medicine” and “The Division.”

“1-800-Missing,” from Lions Gate TV, stars Gloria Reuben (“ER”) as an FBI agent whose partner (played by Catherine Scorsone) uses psychic powers to solve clues.

“Missing” is based on the Meg Cabot (“The Princess Diaries”) novel “1-800-Where R U.” Glenn Davis and William Laurin wrote the pilot and will exec produce, along with Debra Martin Chase. Reuben played Nurse Jeanie Boulet on “ER”; her other credits include “The Agency” and the telepic “Little John.”

As for “Wild Card,” the skein features Joely Fisher (“Ellen”) as a Las Vegas blackjack dealer who becomes an insurance fraud investigator after she looks into a car crash that claims her sister’s life. Fisher, most recently seen in CBS’ short-lived “Baby Bob,” also starred in the feature “Inspector Gadget.”

Fireworks Entertainment is behind “Wild Card,” which is exec produced by Lynn Marie Latham and Bernard Lechowick.

Lifetime previously announced plans to bulk up its array of reality entries (including “Final Justice” with Erin Brockovich) with three new skeins, including “Merge” and “Secret Lives.”

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