Lifetime has picked up The Client List, a new hourlong series based on the network’s 2010 movie starring and executive produced by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Hewitt is set to reprise her role and executive produce the series, which has received a 10-episode order for a 2012 launch. Additionally, Lifetime has signed a first-look development deal for both series and movies with Hewitt’s production company Fedora Films. The deal includes a directing gig for Hewitt on a future Lifetime movie.
The Client List is about a Texas housewife (Hewitt) who, after being deserted by her husband, takes a job at a seemingly traditional day spa in a neighboring town but realizes that the parlor offers way more than massages and ends up partnering with the parlor’s feisty and disorganized owner to run the business. The series will follow her as she balances two starkly different lives — one as a single mom in a conservative town struggling to provide for her family and the other as a savvy and ambitious businesswoman working with a rowdy, sexy and unpredictable group of women.
Hewitt is executive producing The Client List with Dannielle Thomas, Howard Braunstein, Michael Jaffe and AJ Rinella, all of whom also produced the movie, and writer Jordan Budde, who adapted the Suzanne Martin-penned film to series. “Beloved by viewers, Jennifer Love Hewitt is an amazing talent on and off the screen and we are very excited about continuing our relationship with her on The Client List,” said Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager of Lifetime Networks. This project falls in line with our strategy to expand Lifetime’s slate with unapologetic programming that will surprise audiences.” Added Hewitt, “Jordan Budde has written a show that truly reflects the spirit of the movie and I am looking forward to an amazing partnership with Lifetime as both a producer and actress.”
Many TV movies and miniseries, especially on the cable side, are envisioned as potential back-door pilots, but rarely any spawn series. Exceptions include Syfy’s successful Battlestar Galactica and USA’s not-so-successful The Starter Wife. Meanwhile, Lifetime has struggled with launching new series this summer as both The Protector and Against the Wall have been soft in the ratings. The Lifetime movie The Client List, for which Hewitt received a Golden Globe nomination, drew 3.9 million total viewers for its July 2010 premiere. The Ghost Whisperer alumna Hewitt, repped by WME and Untitled, recently produced and starred opposite Betty White in the CBS TV movie The Lost Valentine. She will next be seen in the independent feature Café, opening in Los Angeles on Aug. 19.