EXCLUSIVE: Drop Dead Diva creator/executive producer Josh Berman is taking a different, gender-related spin on the body-swap genre with Drop Dead Dave, an hourlong series in development at CBS. A reboot of the hit Lifetime dramedy with all new characters, Drop Dead Dave hails from Berman’s Osprey Productions, former Drop Dead Diva director-producer Jamie Babbit and Drop Dead Diva studio Sony Pictures Television, where Osprey Prods. has an overall deal.
In Drop Dead Dave, written by Berman and to be directed by Babbit, when shallow, entitled, Gen Z lawyer Dave dies in a freak accident, his soul is transferred into the body of Rita, a successful but complicated Gen X attorney, forcing Dave to live as a woman and navigate an entirely new perspective on life, love and identity.
Drop Dead Diva, which ran on Lifetime for six seasons from 2008-14, followed the story of shallow model Deb, who suddenly dies in an accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, plus-sized attorney, Jane (Brooke Elliott).
Whereas Drop Dead Diva focused on deconstructing the beauty myth and reinforcing body positivity, Drop Dead Dave, executive produced by Babbit as well as Osprey Prods.’ Berman and Jennifer Robinson, will tackle sexual politics as well as gender identity in modern times.
Drop Dead Diva was well received, earning multiple GLAAD Awards and a Humanitas nomination, and it also developed devoted fan following that helped it reverse a cancellation by the network after four seasons to produce two more installments. It remains one of Sony’s top-streamed TV titles to date.
Babbit, a multiple Emmy nominee for her work as a director and producer on Silicon Valley, was the director-producer of Season 2 of Drop Dead Diva. She recently directed and executive produced two high-profile new series, Hulu’s Only Murder in the Building, which was just renewed for a second season, and Amazon/Sony TV’s upcoming A League of Their Own, directing the pilot episodes for both shows.
Osprey Prods.’ slate includes current series Murder House Flip on Roku and the upcoming Gordita Chronicles on HBO Max, along with a number of projects in development.
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