Lifetime Television has picked up the two character-based procedural dramas Against the Wall and Exit 19 for 2011 launches. The announcement was made today by Lifetime Networks’ President and General Manager, Nancy Dubuc. Both series have received 13 episode orders, expanding Lifetime’s slate of scripted programs from two to four this year.
Regarding the announcement, Dubuc said, “Over the last several months, we have been working tirelessly on a new development slate of scripted dramas, nonfiction series and original movies at Lifetime. Continuing our legacy of great scripted dramas is critical to our success. The relationships and environments so brilliantly created in both of these dramas are unique to today’s landscape and promise to deliver the high quality auspices and great emotional storytelling you can expect from Lifetime in the future.”
In Against the Wall, loyalty is put to the test when Chicago police detective Abby Kowalski (Rachael Carpani, The Glades, NCIS: Los Angeles) causes a rift within her close knit, blue collar family of cops when she decides to join the department’s Internal Affairs division. Treat Williams (127 Hours, Everwood) and Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award winner Kathy Baker (Picket Fences, Medium) star as Abby’s parents. Rounding out the cast in the pilot are Brandon Quinn (Entourage), Marisa Ramirez (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena), Chris J. Johnson (The Vampire Diaries), James Thomas (Covert Affairs), Steve Byers (Smallville), Mayko Nguyen (Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy) and Daniel Kash (The Dresden Files). Nancy Miller (Saving Grace, CSI: Miami) executive produced the pilot from Universal Cable Productions, with writer Annie Brunner (Saving Grace, Huff) serving as supervising producer. Michael Fresco (Providence, JAG) directed the series’ pilot. Brunner created Against the Wall.
Exit 19 centers on divorced mother Gloria Sheppard (Ally Walker, Sons of Anarchy, Profiler), who juggles her demanding personal and professional life as an intuitive LAPD homicide detective while raising two boys with the help of her troubled younger brother Davey (Chris Payne Gilbert, Dexter, Bones). The drama co-stars Tisha Campbell-Martin (Rita Rocks, My Wife and Kids) as Gloria’s partner Michelle and Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan, Traffic) as their boss, Lieutenant Valdez. Thomas Robinson (Heroes), Sage Ryan (The Closer) and Terrell Tilford (24) also star in the pilot. The drama is from ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios. Writer Jeffrey Bell (V), Nina Wass (Less than Perfect) and Gene Stein (Accidentally on Purpose) executive produced the pilot, which was directed by Peter O’Fallon (The Good Wife, House M.D.).
Lifetime’s current hit scripted series Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva are set to return to the network this year. The fifth season of Army Wives, Lifetime’s number one original program in network history among Women 18-49, Women 25-54, Households and Total Viewers, will launch in March. Drop Dead Diva will premiere its third season this summer. Last year, both Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva made Lifetime the number one ad-supported cable network on Sunday nights.