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Lifetime goes ‘Missing’

Cabler brings back 'Missing' as Black preps departure

Lifetime has ordered a third season of “Missing” from Lions Gate Television.

Skein, slated for a June 12 premiere, is one of two original dramas greenlit to return under a new yet-to-be-named topper. The other is “Strong Medicine,” which enters its sixth season in June with a boost of testosterone, courtesy of just-added leading man Rick Schroder (Daily Variety, March 3).

Lifetime exec vice president-general manager Rick Haskins has continued making programming decisions in the interim, canceling sophomore drama “Wild Card” and ordering up the development of decidedly edgier projects from Jon Avnet, Kathy Najimy, John Tinker, Gail Ann Hurd, Carole Leifer and Debi Gutierrez, among others (Daily Variety, Feb. 11).

Current president-CEO Carole Black is scheduled to depart before the end of the month and though she announced her exit back in November, a replacement hasn’t surfaced. SoapNet topper Deborah Blackwell is said to be a leading candidate.

Second season of “Missing” averaged 1.9 million overall viewers — down just slightly from the first-season average of 2.1 million. Production on fresh episodes begins April 18.

Haskins said “Missing” and “Strong Medicine,” both of which will anchor Sunday nights this summer, are being fine-tuned so they fit within Lifetime’s new direction.

“It’s fair to say we’re kicking things up a notch,” Haskins said. “Missing” has already undergone an overhaul of sorts — Vivica A. Fox stepped in to replace Gloria Reuben at the end of the first season, and with her new character came an edge and attitude not present in Lifetime’s other hours. Since the change-up, it’s succeeded in winning over the younger group of women Lifetime craves.

Skein now follows a tough FBI agent (Fox) and her psychic partner (Caterina Scorsone) as they attempt to solve open cases of missing people. Mark Consuelos and Justin Louis also star.

Haskins revealed Fox’s and Scorsone’s characters will start seeing eye-to-eye in the third season “and sparks are finally going to fly between Fox and Consuelos.”

Lions Gate TV programming/production prexy Kevin Beggs said he was grateful for Lifetime’s “tremendous ongoing support of the series.”

Glenn Davis, William Laurin and Debra Martin Chase exec produce.

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