EXCLUSIVE: Last night marked the second-season finale of Lifetime‘s drama series The Client List. Last year, the network renewed the show a month into its freshman run, upping the order from 10 to 15 for Season 2. This time around, the show had a quieter run despite the recent flurry of publicity surrounding star Jennifer Love Hewitt‘s pregnancy announcement. Last night’s finale pulled 2 million viewers, down from the 2.7 million who watched the Season 1 closer.
Still, I hear the ratings dropoff is not the reason for the holdup and the main issue factoring in Lifetime’s decision whether to order a third season. The network and the series producers are figuring out how to deal with Hewitt’s pregnancy creatively and logistically. (Hewitt announced two weeks ago that she was three months along.) I hear a major sticking point has been demands from Hewitt, who serves as an executive producer on the series, about the storyline for Season 3. I hear Hewitt has asked that Brian Hallisay, her real-life fiance and father of her baby, also play her character Riley’s baby daddy on the show in a major story arc next season. I hear that is at odds with the ideas from the Client List showrunner, who I hear pitched the series’ male lead Colin Egglesfield, and the network brass, who I hear have not settled on a character as they are looking to keep their options open but are not willing to go with Hallisay, who started on the show as a recurring and subsequently was promoted to regular.
I hear the two sides are currently at an impasse, leading to the delay in the Season 3 decision. I also hear both sides appear willing to walk away, though sources stress a compromise is reachable. “There are many story lines we are exploring,” a rep for Hewitt said. “So any suggestion that we are not doing our best to develop a great season is simply not accurate.”