EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime is closing the book on dramedy Drop Dead Diva after four seasons. I’ve learned that the cable network has opted not to order a fifth season of the show starring Brooke Elliott as a dead aspiring model trapped in the body of an intelligent, curvy lawyer. The decision comes three months after Season 4 of Drop Dead Diva wrapped its run on Lifetime. I hear the series producer Sony Pictures TV may shop it elsewhere.
Drop Dead Diva was one of two scripted series Nancy Dubuc inherited when she took over Lifetime in 2010, along with veteran drama Army Wives, which is undergoing casting and creative changes as it heads into a seventh season. There had been speculation that Lifetime brass felt Drop Dead Diva did not fit into the network’s shift toward edgier fare. The network tried to shake things up last season with the casting of Kim Kardashian in a recurring role. Ratings-wise, Drop Dead Diva has been a solid performer since its July 2009 premiere, which drew 2.8 million viewers. Its most recent season averaged consistently over 2 million viewers an episode in Live+Same Day.
Lifetime delayed a final decision on Drop Dead Diva until the last moment so it can look at some of its current pilots. The move to cancel Diva indicates that the network’s executives probably like what they have seen so far on the pilot front. Coming up on the network are the seventh season of Army Wives and second cycle of The Client List, which will premiere in the spring, and new dramedy Devious Maids, which will launch later this year.