UPDATED: Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun’s three-year effort to turn the New York Times‘ column Modern Love into a TV series is bearing fruit: the project has received a pilot order at Lifetime. Additionally, the network’s resurgent drama series Army Wives will extend its five-year run — it is being renewed for a sixth season with a 13-episode order. On the unscripted side, the network has picked up 6 new series, including an all-star edition of Project Runway.
Created and executive produced by Sex and the City alumna Jenny Bicks, dramedy Modern Love will weave actual stories from NYT‘s column to explore the state of modern relationships. It follows newspaper science editor Simon McElvane as he faces a deteriorating marriage, the ramifications of potentially starting over and balancing his relationship with his adopted 15-year-old daughter. Unexpectedly handed the job of editor of the newspaper’s Modern Love column, Simon discovers he has a lot to learn about life and love. Berman and Braun optioned rights to the column in 2008. A year later, they set up an adaptation at HBO with Bicks attached to write and Alan Poul to direct. Because of Bicks’ deal at Sony Pictures TV, the studio came on board to produce with BermanBraun. The project, executive produced by Bicks, Berman, Braun, Gene Stein and Poul, was subsequently set up at Lifetime with all original auspices attached. Filming is expected to begin in the summer.
Veteran Army Wives has enjoyed a ratings resurgence in its current Season 5, which continues with Episode 9 this Sunday. Its season premiere averaged 4.2 million viewers, up 27% from the fourth-season debut last April. A month ago, Army Wives posted a series high in total viewers with 4.8 million viewers. Season to date, the series is averaging 3.7 million viewers and ranks as the top-rated drama on cable among women 18-49. Army Wives, about women and one man living with their spouses and families on an active army post, stars Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman, Brigid Brannagh, Brian McNamara, Sterling K. Brown, Wendy Davis, Drew Fuller, Terry Serpico and Catherine Bell. ABC Studios and The Mark Gordon Co. are producing, with Mark Gordon, Deborah Spera and showrunner Jeff Melvoin executive producing.
Here is a list of Lifetime’s newly picked up reality series:
LOVE HANDLES, set to launch in May, an hour-long docu-series from executive producer SallyAnn Salsano (Jersey Shore) featuring a dual transformation of overweight couples as they attempt to save their lives and relationships by confronting what lies at the core of the emotional, dietary and physical issues deeply affecting their well-being. Lifetime has ordered eight hour-long episodes from 495 Productions, with Salsano and Joel Zimmer serving as executive producers.
DANCE MOMS, which reveals the world of competitive dance where overbearing mothers push their daughters to the brink while vicariously living out their own dreams through their young performers. Produced by Collins Avenue Entertainment with Jeff Collins (Fly Girls, Outrageous Kids Parties), Bryan Stinson (High Society) and John R. Corella (Dance Flick) executive producing, Lifetime has ordered six hour-long episodes.
THE DAY THAT CHANGED MY LIFE, which through in-depth interview segments and re-enactments, showcases true stories of ordinary people whose lives took unexpected and dramatic turns following incidents ranging from terrifying accidents to chance encounters with strangers to mind-bending miracles. Six 60-minute episodes have been ordered from Sirens Media, with Valerie Haselton Drescher and Rebecca Toth Diefenbach (The Real Housewives of New Jersey) executive producing.
Eight one-hour episodes each of PROJECT RUNAWAY ALL-STARS, featuring talented and memorable past contestants from the series who will once again compete against each other in a series of challenges to show they still have the innovation, talent and poise that made them household names, and Project Accessory, following enterprising artists who will be put to the test to create the newest and hottest trends in accessories as they compete for a cash grand prize to help them launch their own fashion accessories business. Project Runway All Stars will be produced by The Weinstein Company and Bunim-Murray Productions, and executive produced by Harvey Weinstein (Project Runway), Bob Weinstein (Project Runway), Meryl Poster (Chicago), Barbara Schneeweiss (Project Runway), Jon Murray (Project Runway, The Real World) and Rob Bagshaw (Top Chef Masters). Project Accessory will be produced by The Weinstein Company and Goodbye Pictures, and executive produced by Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Meryl Poster, Barbara Schneeweiss, Sarah Emanuel and Rich Bye (Project Runway).
Seven one-hour episodes of TO LIVE & BUY, following best friends and interior designers Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) as they crisscross America to find cool relics to restore and transform into stunning and eclectic pieces for their Los Angeles home decor store. Produced by RelativityREAL, with Tom Forman (Lifetime’s Coming Home, creator of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) and Josh Bingham (Obsessed) executive producing.
Six hour-long episodes of THE TRACEY GOLD PROJECT (wt), hosted by Tracey Gold (Growing Pains), who uses her personal experience fighting anorexia to help women overcome major eating disorders. Produced by GRB Entertainment, the series is executive produced by Gary R. Benz (Intervention) and Michael Branton (Intervention), Gold and Ted Haimes (Aftermath with William Shatner). Hollie Lobosky (Celebrity Fit Club) co-executive produces.