Lifetime doubles bet on drama

Cabler to add two scripted skeins to lineup

Lifetime is ready to double down.

The femme-skewing cabler currently airs two scripted skeins — “Army Wives” and “Drop Dead Diva” — and is planning to make it four hourlongs by year’s end. Since taking over the net from Andrea Wong early in 2010, Nancy Dubuc, who spoke to scribes at the Television Critics Assn. confab in Pasadena, has ordered five pilots. Four have already been shot.

One that looks to be a likely pickup to series is “Against the Wall,” from writer Annie Brunner. Oz actress Rachael Carpani has been cast to play a police offer who instigates family squabbles when she joins the Chicago P.D.’s internal affairs division.

Carpani recently had a recurring role in A&E’s summer drama “The Glades” and was a regular in Jimmy Smits’ short-lived CBS series “Cane.” “Against the Wall” pilot was directed by Michael Fresco and produced by Universal Cable Prods.

Other pilots Lifetime has ordered also involve police officers, including “Exit 19,” from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios. Script, written by Jeff Bell, examines a single mother who’s a homicide detective for the NYPD.

An Sony Television pilot called “Criminal Behavior” from writer Josh Berman (“Bones,” “Drop Dead Diva”) follows a San Diego cop, played by Sherry Stringfield, who’s also the mother of two kids and on the verge of divorce. Her partner (Jamie Lynn-Sigler) is recently engaged, and the two often deal with the city’s most intriguing crimes. Lou Diamond Phillips co-stars.

Universal Cable Prods. is also behind the Michael Sardo pilot about a celebrity psychologist who becomes the head of a hospital psych ward. Carrie-Anne Moss stars.

And then there’s “Meet Jane,” starring former “Deadwood” actress Molly Parker, about a woman recruited by the FBI to spy on her husband, played by Rick Schroder. Pilot, from Andi Bushell and Mark Pedowitz, is from Warner Horizon TV.

On the reality side, Lifetime is increasing its output as well. Dubuc is adding “Seriously Funny Kids,” “One Born Every Minute,” “Quad Squad” and “Glamour Belles” to the slate. “Kids” and “Minute” debut Feb. 1, while “Quad” and “Belles” launch Feb. 9.

Also upcoming is telepic “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy,” starring Hayden Panettiere as the twentysomething American woman accused of the crime while living overseas. “Murder” will preem Feb. 21.

Cabler had good news a week ago when “The Craigslist Killer” drew 5.4 million viewers to become the top basic cable original film in more than two years.