'Army Wives' renewed for sixth season
Lifetime has doubled its scripted series content to four while also picking up 11 unscripted skeins for the 2011-12 TV campaign.
In addition, Lifetime renewed bellwether series “Army Wives,” cable’s most-watched drama among women 18-49, for a 13-episode sixth season and ordered drama pilot “Modern Love,” created by Jenny Bicks (“The Big C”).
The two new drama series coming to the Lifetime lineup are “The Protector,” with Ally Walker (as a homicide detective/single mom), Tisha Campbell-Martin and Miguel Ferrer, and fellow police/family drama “Against the Wall,” with Rachael Carpani, Treat Williams and Kathy Baker. Both shows will premiere this summer, most likely airing on Lifetime’s typical scripted drama night, Sunday.
“Modern Love,” based on the New York Times column, will focus on the family and professional life of a newspaper science editor-turned-columnist. Bicks will exec produce with Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun, Gene Stein and Alan Poul for Sony Pictures TV and BermanBraun.
Lifetime also said that “Drop Dead Diva,” featuring Brooke Elliott, will have its third-season premiere June 19.
On the unscripted side, Lifetime is building around the return of “Project Runway,” which embarks upon its ninth season, with “Project Runway All Stars” (from The Weinstein Co. and Bunim-Murray Prods.); the previously announced “Roseanne’s Nuts” with Roseanne Barr; and numerous other new reality offerings:
• “Vanished with Beth Holloway,” featuring the mother of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, has a 10-episode order to explore unsolved abductions and other crimes. Stephen Land is exec producing for Jupiter Entertainment. The series will launch following the premiere of telepic “Justice for Natalee Holloway,” starring Tracy Pollan.
• “Jersey Shore” exec producer SallyAnn Salsano is bringing couples weight-loss show “Love Handles” to Lifetime for a May launch. The eight-episode series will also be exec produced by Joel Zimmer for 495 Prods.
• “Brighton Beach” is a half-hour series (12 episodes) focusing on families in the Russian-American community of Brooklyn. Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman are exec producing for Left/Right.
• Demi Moore and host Amanda de Cadenet will exec produce “The Conversation,” an hourlong interview series airing for eight weeks.
• Another interview series, this one complimented by reenactments, will be “The Day That Changed My Life,” with six episodes exec produced by Valerie Haselton Drescher and Rebecca Toth Diefenbach for Sirens Media.
• “Dance Moms” will look at the world of youth competitive dance and the moms behind scenes (reminiscent of “Toddlers and Tiaras”) over six episodes. Jeff Collins, Bryan Stinson and John R. Corella will exec produce for Collins Avenue Entertainment.
• Hourlong “To Live & Buy” has a seven-episode order to follow interior designers Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen. Tom Forman and Josh Bingham are exec producing for RelativityREAL.
Lifetime also has several movies on tap, led by the previously announced “Project Five,” an anthology with parts directed by Moore, Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys and Patty Jenkins. Cast members will include Jeanne Tripplehorn, Patricia Clarkson, Rosario Dawson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Tony Shalhoub and Jeffrey Tambor.
Other projects include “Army Wives” co-star Catherine Bell in telepic “Last Man Standing,” produced by Gale Anne Hurd, and Poppy Montgomery starring in “Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story.”
“We have made great strides over the last year shaping our programming strategy to partner with proven producers and talent on quality dramas, reality series and movies,” Lifetime Networks prexy/g.m. Nancy Dubuc said.