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[05/20/03 - 12:00 AM]
Lifetime Sets Summer Slate
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) - Like most cable channels, Lifetime isn't taking it easy this summer as the network will launch two new original series as well as a healthy mix of original movies and specials.

Here's a breakdown of what to expect from Lifetime this summer:

DRAMA SERIES

"STRONG MEDICINE" - fourth season begins Sunday, June 15 at 10PM (ET/PT) -- "Strong Medicine" revolves around the ongoing struggles of two dedicated female physicians in the exciting and inspiring world of women's health. The series stars Emmy Award-nominee Patricia Richardson ("Home Improvement"), Rosa Blasi ("Noriega: God's Favorite"), Jenifer Lewis ("The Brothers," "What's Love Got to Do With It"), Josh Coxx ("Babylon 5"), Philip Casnoff ("Sinatra") and Brennan Elliott ("Double Jeopardy"). "Strong Medicine" is produced by Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (CTDT) and executive produced and created by Whoopi Goldberg and Tammy Ader.

"THE DIVISION" - third season concludes Sunday, August 3 at 9PM (ET/PT) -- "The Division" explores the personal and professional lives of six police inspectors in the San Francisco Police Department and stars (in alphabetical order) Bonnie Bedelia ("Heart Like a Wheel," "Die Hard I & II," LIFETIME Television's "Any Mother's Son"), Jon Hamm ("Providence," "We Were Soldiers"), Taraji P. Henson ("Baby Boy," "Felicity"), Nancy McKeon ("Can't Hurry Love," "Facts of Life"), Tracey Needham ("JAG," "Life Goes On") and Lisa Vidal ("Third Watch," "ER"). "The Division" is produced by Viacom Productions and executive produced by Deborah Joy LeVine.

"1-800 MISSING" - series premiere in August -- Based on the popular author Meg Cabot's novels, 1-800-Where R U series, the story focuses on a female FBI agent and her unconventional partner, a young woman who has developed the psychic ability to find missing people. Brooke Haslett, portrayed by Gloria Reuben ("ER," "The Agency"), uses her years as an experienced FBI agent to solve her cases. Jess Mastriani, played by Caterina Scorsone ("Power Play"), is a recent college graduate who finds that her dreams reveal clues to the whereabouts of missing people. Despite their differences, the women share a fierce passion for following their convictions and doing what is right. Glenn Davis & William Laurin ("Once a Thief") and Debra Martin Chase ("The Princess Diaries") are executive producers of "1-800 MISSING."

"WILD CARD" - series premiere in August --Joely Fisher ("Ellen," "Inspector Gadget," "Gross Point") stars as Zoe Busiek, a former Las Vegas blackjack dealer whose life is turned upside down when the sudden death of her sister in a car crash forces her to return home to care for her nieces and nephew. Claiming her sister was at fault, the insurance company denies her family a financial settlement. Outraged and suspicious, Zoe conducts her own investigation and discovers not only the truth, but a new career. Also stars Rae Dawn Chong ("Mysterious Ways," "Quest for Fire") as Sofia Michael and Chris Potter ("Queer as Folk") as Dan Lennox, the insurance investigators who help solve her sister's case. Executive produced and written by Lynn Marie Latham & Bernard Lechowick ("That's Life," "The District").

LIFETIME ORIGINAL MOVIES

"MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: THE JOAN BROCK STORY" - Airs Monday, June 16 at 9PM (ET/PT) -- The true story of Joan Brock (Carey Lowell), a teacher for the blind, who wakes up one day to find that she, too, has lost her sight. Determined to proceed in her life with the dignity, warmth and humor for which she is known, Joan accepts her doctor's offer to speak to his medical students about her experiences. Joan's powerful story moves the students, leading her to begin speaking in small venues around the country. Ultimately, her success not only gives her a new career, but leads her to a new found love. "More Than Meets the Eye: The Joan Brock Story" is produced by von Zerneck Sertner Films for LIFETIME Television. Mike Robe (LIFETIME Television's "Scared Silent," "The Junction Boys") directs from a teleplay by Susan Nanus ("A Will of Their Own," "A Child's Wish"), based on the life story of Joan Brock. Executive producers are Frank von Zerneck and Robert M. Sertner ("We Were the Mulvaney's," "Scared Silent"), Michael Bremer ("Lies and Whispers") and Paul Goff ("The Home Run").

"GOING FOR BROKE" - Airs Monday, July 14 at 9PM (ET/PT) -- Starring real-life husband and wife Delta Burke (LIFETIME Television's "Dangerous Child," "Designing Women") and Gerald McRaney ("Mister Sterling," "Major Dad") the movie tells the true story of a woman whose gambling addiction leads to embezzlement. Burke plays a woman who became hooked on gambling and embezzled almost $115,000 from the Reno chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation to fund her habit. "Going For Broke" is produced by Viacom Productions in association with Brayton/Carlucci Productions for LIFETIME Television. Marian Brayton and Anne Carlucci (LIFETIME's "Sex and Mrs. X," LIFETIME's "Dangerous Evidence: The Lori Jackson Story") serve as executive producers. The teleplay was written by Deborah Serra (LIFETIME's "Just Ask My Children") with a re-write by Duane Poole ("Dangerous Child") and will be directed by Graeme Campbell ("Dangerous Child").

"DEFENDING OUR KIDS: THE JULIE POSEY STORY" - Airs Monday, July 21 at 9PM (ET/PT) -- Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Annie Potts (LIFETIME Television's "Any Day Now," "Designing Women") and Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Michael O'Keefe ("The Pledge," "The Great Santini") star in this inspired by the true story of Julie Posey (Potts), a homemaker who, after her young daughter is approached by a pedophile in an on-line chat room, launches a one-woman fight to help police investigator Mike Harris (O'Keefe) catch sexual predators by posing as a lonely teenager on the web. The film is produced by Ira Pincus Productions in association with von Zerneck Sertner Films for LIFETIME Television. Frank von Zerneck, Robert M. Sertner (LIFETIME Television's "We Were the Mulvaneys," LIFETIME Television's "Heart of a Stranger") and Ira Pincus (LIFETIME Television's "Scared Silent") are the executive producers. Joanna Kerns ("Boston Public," Judging Amy") directs the teleplay by Eric Tuchman ("Three Days," "Rhapsody in Bloom").

SPECIALS/REALITY SERIES

"THE GOLDEN GIRLS: THEIR GREATEST MOMENTS" - airs Monday, June 2 at 8PM -- This special anchors a night of fond "Golden Girls" memories on Lifetime. Viewers will vote online for their favorite episodes that will air from 6-7PM (ET/PT), followed by the viewers' favorite "Golden Girls Intimate Portrait," airing 7-8PM (ET/PT). The 90-minute special at 8PM (ET/PT), which includes exclusive interviews with original cast members Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Betty White, will be followed by "The Golden Girls" pilot at 9:30PM (ET/PT), the series finale at 10PM (ET/PT) and additional favorite episodes at 11PM (ET/PT).

"THE 'I DO' DIARIES: MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING" - airs Sunday, June 8 at 11PM -- This special give two best friends, who are getting married at the same time, an all-expense-paid wedding with one catch: each one has to turn over all the decision-making, down to the dress, to the other without ever talking during the entire planning process. Two women go on an emotional roller coaster ride that may unveil shocking surprises on the biggest day of their lives.

"DESIGNING WOMEN REUNION" - Airs Tuesday, July 15 at 8PM (ET/PT) -- Produced by co-creators Linda Bloodworth Thomason and Harry Thomason, this "Designing Women" reunion features all of the stars -- Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, Mesach Taylor -- and creators/producers Harry and Linda Bloodworth Thomason, sharing their favorite and funniest moments.

"HEAD 2 TOE" - Airs Saturday, July 26 at 11AM (ET/PT) -- The new half-hour makeover series "Head 2 Toe" lets two women (best friends, mothers and daughters, or co-workers) decide what to change about the other. With a team of experts for hair, make-up and fashion, each woman remains blindfolded to their own changes until the transformation is complete and they each get to see each other and themselves in a new light. Produced by Turning Point Productions with Cater Lee ("Who Knows You Best") as executive producer.

The above is partially taken from Lifetime's press release about its summer 2003 schedule.





  [may 2003]  
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· AGENCY, THE (CBS)
· ANY DAY NOW (LIFETIME)
· BOSTON PUBLIC (FOX)
· DANGEROUS CHILD (LIFETIME)
· DEFENDING OUR KIDS: THE JULIE POSEY STORY (LIFETIME)
· DISTRICT, THE (CBS)
· DIVISION, THE (LIFETIME)
· ER (NBC)
· FELICITY (WB)
· GOING FOR BROKE (LIFETIME)
· GROSSE POINTE (WB)
· HEART OF A STRANGER (LIFETIME)
· JAG (CBS)
· JOHN WOO'S ONCE A THIEF (SYNDICATION)
· JUDGING AMY (CBS)
· JUNCTION BOYS, THE (ESPN)
· JUST ASK MY CHILDREN (LIFETIME)
· MISSING (LIFETIME)
· MISTER STERLING (NBC)
· MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: THE JOAN BROCK STORY (LIFETIME)
· MYSTERIOUS WAYS (PAX)
· NORIEGA: GOD'S FAVORITE (SHOWTIME)
· PROVIDENCE (NBC)
· QUEER AS FOLK (SHOWTIME)
· SCARED SILENT (LIFETIME)
· SEX & MRS. X (LIFETIME)
· STRONG MEDICINE (LIFETIME)
· THAT'S LIFE (CBS)
· THIRD WATCH (NBC)
· THREE DAYS (ABC FAMILY)
· WE WERE THE MULVANEYS (LIFETIME)
· WILD CARD (LIFETIME)





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