'Side Order' on femme net's menu

Susanne Daniels has rounded up Lifetime’s next batch of potential dramas, teaming with Mark Gordon and feature producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks on separate one-hour projects.

The net’s entertainment chief describes “Army Wives,” from the Mark Gordon Co. and writer Katherine Fugate (“The Prince & Me”), as a sort of blue-collar “Desperate Housewives.”

Second pilot, Cohen and Jinks’ “Side Order of Life,” focuses on a woman who re-examines her life and looming nuptials after a close friend is diagnosed with cancer. Scribe Margaret Nagle (HBO’s “Warm Springs”) will co-exec produce.

Lifetime is already in production on drama pilot “State of Mind,” starring Lili Tailor as a therapist who has bigger problems than her patients (Daily Variety, Aug. 21). Daniels said she plans to pilot at least two more hours before the end of the year — a total of five — for pickup consideration in 2007.

Programming topper added that she’s eyeing another pair of potential comedies, possibly to pair with original series “Lovespring International,” the latenight office laffer from Big Cattle Prods. and Lionsgate TV. Renewal decisions are pending for that half-hour and frosh crime procedural “Angela’s Eyes,” which is halfway through its first-season run.

“Army” revolves around a sassy young woman from the wrong side of the tracks who marries a soldier and moves her kids onto an Army base, where she befriends other women whose husbands are in the military.

Production begins Sept. 19 on an actual Army base in South Carolina.

Daniels said the project has a working man’s perspective not represented on TV today. “This is real blue-collar. The show is about a real Middle America, focused on women who are trying to make it work when their husbands aren’t around,” Daniels said. “It’s an ambitious undertaking for us.”

Gordon and MGC prexy Deb Spera will exec produce the pilot, which Ben Younger (“Prime”) will direct. Touchstone is attached to produce. Sally Pressman has been cast as a regular.

“Side Order of Life” follows a magazine photographer who begins rethinking her life after her best friend is diagnosed with cancer one week before her wedding day.

Show, loosely based on Nagle’s own life, is ultimately about “making every day count, a reminder we all need in our lives,” Daniels said.

“I’m attracted to characters that have a superpower, if you will, whether it’s fighting vampires or, in this case, the ability to see something nobody else can see, which she has the power to do through her camera lens,” Daniels noted.

Warner Bros. TV developed the project, to be produced by Warner Horizon Television. Production begins this fall in Los Angeles.

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