Lifetime adds ‘Army Wives’ to primetime

Cabler greenlights 13 episodes of ensemble drama

Lifetime has enlisted “Army Wives” for primetime while cutting loose rookie skeins “Lovespring International” and “Angela’s Eyes.”

Women’s cabler has greenlit 13 episodes of ensemble drama “Wives,” which toplines Kim Delaney and Catherine Bell as two of several women living on a military base. Production begins shortly in Charleston, S.C., for a March premiere.

Skein, based on the Tanya Biank book “Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives,” is being exec produced by Mark Gordon (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Deborah Spera (“Criminal Minds”) and series creator Katherine Fugate.

Fugate wrote the pilot directed by Ben Younger. Show will be produced by Touchstone Television.

“Wives” will follow the struggles, dreams and friendships of a diverse group of women — and one man — whose military spouses and families live on an active Army post.

“At its heart, ‘Army Wives’ is the story of how people keep going in spite of war,” Lifetime entertainment prexy Susanne Daniels said.

Topper noted that two other drama pilots are under consideration for a June launch. They are “State of Mind,” toplining Lili Taylor as a therapist who has bigger problems than her patients, and “Side Order of Life,” starring Marisa Coughlan as a woman who re-examines her life and looming nuptials after a close friend is diagnosed with cancer. Cabler is also looking at the pilot “Conspiracy” for a premiere next year.

As for the canceled series, Daniels said “Lovespring” proved too tough of a sell as a comedy on cable despite positive reviews, while “Angela’s Eyes” would have needed some creative tinkering to continue. “We felt it might be better to take a shot on something new,” she said.