I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman.
Okay, so that’s not the theme song to the Lifetime Network, but it should be. Under the guidance of new CEO, Andrea Wong, LIfetime held their upfronts this week and they made it clear they’re a force to be reckoned with.
It all began with the buzz about “Project Runway” defection from Bravo. What a coup. Add to that season two of Carson Kressley self-esteem makeover show “How to Look Good Naked” and the return of “Army Wives.” Now throw in a full slate of new programing with Teri Hatcher, Shirely MacLaine, Valerie Bertinelli, Heather Locklear and Trump!
Take a look at what Lifetime has in store for you for the 2008-2009 season.
Scripted Development Slate:
Based on the BBC series. From Fox 21. The bonds of college friendships continue to grow among a group of women as they experience life’s unexpected twists and turns. Kate, a successful doctor, is torn by her feelings for a terminally ill, married cancer patient. Janie, a single mom of two, has been dependent on her friends since her husband died several years ago.
“Drop Dead Diva”
From executive producer/creator Josh Berman (CSI, Vanished, Bones), Deb Dobkins is a gorgeous, 20-something aspiring actress who is very used to getting her way. When she meets her untimely accidental death and finds herself in Heaven, she is infuriated and demands to return to her perfect body and life. To her immediate dismay, she ends up in the body of Jane Bingum, a 30-something, brilliant, successful but unpolished attorney.
Based on the novel Chambermaid by Saira Rao. Shelia Raj, a recent law school graduate with lofty aspirations, lands a job clerking for an idiosyncratic federal judge, Helga Friedman. Helga is eager to impart her accrued professional and personal wisdom on her new, ambitious clerk. Unfortunately for Shelia, Helga’s manner of mentoring is often unorthodox.
“The Department Store”
Addy George, a young independent woman, is at a crossroads in her life when her free-spirited mother dies. In search of her identity, Addy gets a job in Chicago’s most luxurious department store, Bellamore’s. Unbeknownst to Salvatore Bellamore, the owner and patriarch of this famous family-owned store, Addy is result of an affair he had 27 years ago with a shop girl who stole his heart.
“The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard”
Inspired by the British mini-series of the same name. Ros Pritchard, a successful supermarket manager, inadvertently becomes the leading candidate in a race for governor. When some politicians make a spectacle of themselves outside her store during a televised interview, Ros interjects with some homespun solutions. Her story grips the state and eight weeks later no one is more surprised than Ros herself when she wins the election.
“The Skin I’m In”
Sophie, a racially mixed, overachieving medical student at Harvard, emotionally unravels weeks before completing her education. Questioning if her pursuit of medicine is solely due to her father’s career in the same field, Sophie drops out of school. Returning home to her divorced parents in Manhattan, Sophie is reminded of the two distinct worlds in which she grew up.
From executive producer Donald Trump, this is a juicy nighttime soap set in one of New York City’s most glamorous Trump apartment and condominium complexes. It is a microcosm of the world’s most chic, sophisticated and powerful players, and a rare insider’s look at how they live, love and interact with the men and women who work in this plush and well-appointed building.
Comedy Series in Development
Overworked wife and mother Rita (Nicole Sullivan) is in the middle of a full-blown identity crisis. Trying to maintain romance with her husband Jay (Richard Ruccolo), juggling the demands of her nine-year-old daughter Shannon (Kelly Gould) and disciplining her defiant, teenage daughter Hallie (Lauren Collins), Rita is at her wit’s end. In search of a “youthful” Rita, she dusts off her old guitar and forms a garage band with her nosy postal carrier Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and unemployed neighbor Owen (Ian Gomez), in the hopes of putting that spark back in her life.
– Divorced mother Susie (Christine Ebersole) is trying to re-enter the dating pool, but it’s not so easy while sharing her house in Libertyville, Ohio, with her 24-year-old daughter Tiffany (Misti Traya) and cantankerous father Henry (Harve Presnell), who continuously invade her privacy. To make matters worse, her bossy younger sister Lorie (Rebecca Creskoff) and her “perfect” 10-year-old nephew Grant (Kurt Doss) aren’t very supportive of Susie’s new pursuits. Determined to start anew, Susie searches for ways to balance her personal freedom with her complicated home life.
– Adapted from Teri Hatcher’s book of the same name, the series focuses on a forty- something single mom who is eager to learn from her past foibles and achievements, and empower her young daughter to make choices that will lead to happiness. Executive producers: Allison Gibson (Reba), Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives). Studio: ABC Studios.
Lifetime Original Movies
“THE TENTH CIRCLE” – Saturday, June 28, at 9PM (ET/PT) – Kelly Preston and Ron Eldard star in this adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s best-selling novel about a seemingly idyllic family whose lives are shattered when their teenage daughter is drugged and date-raped by her ex-boyfriend. Jaffe Braunstein Films. Executive producers: Howard Braunstein, Michael Jaffe and Scott Goldman. From Sony Pictures Television.
“MURDER IN SIN CITY” – July – Based on the book of the same name by Jeff German, this tells the true story of the most publicized murder in Las Vegas history centering around the dark relationship between former beauty queen Sandy Murphy and Horseshoe Casino heir Ted Binion. Executive producer: Frank Konigsberg. From Sony Pictures Television.
“TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET” – August – Valerie Bertinelli debuts in her first Lifetime original production in the story of teen star Morgan Carter (played by Joanna “JoJo” Levesque) who, after collapsing in an overdose, is sent by her mother to live incognito in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on a shoestring budget.
“FAB FIVE: THE TEXAS CHEERLEADER SCANDAL” – August – Tatum O’Neal, Jenna Dewan and Ashley Benson star in the true-life tale of five cheerleaders, real-life “Mean Girls,” who controlled the lives of their fellow students while the school’s principal, the mother of one of the “Fab Five,” looked the other way.
“COCO CHANEL” – September – Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine portrays the legendary French fashion designer, Coco Chanel, in this gripping story of her turbulent rise to fame.
“PRAYERS FOR BOBBY” – November – The film recounts the true story of a close-knit religious family in California who must come to grips with the knowledge that their 19-year-old son is gay.
“FLIRTING WITH FORTY” – December – Heather Locklear and Robert Buckley star in this adaptation of the popular novel by Jane Porter about a divorcee trying to put her life together as she confronts her 40th birthday.
Looks like I might need to get a second DVR!
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