Lifetime Television Continues Expansion of Original Programming Ordering Half-Hour Sitcom 'Rita Rocks'
Nicole Sullivan ("MADtv"), Richard Ruccolo ("Two Guys and a Girl") and
Tisha Campbell-Martin ("My Wife and Kids") Star
LOS ANGELES, June 11 -- Marking a significant expansion of
original programming, Lifetime Television has ordered 13 episodes of the
half-hour comedy, "Rita Rocks," from MRC, it was announced today by Susanne
Daniels, President, Entertainment, Lifetime Networks. Premiering this fall,
the series stars Nicole Sullivan ("The King of Queens," "MADtv"), Richard
Ruccolo ("Joey," "Two Guys and a Girl") and Tisha Campbell-Martin ("My Wife
and Kids," "Martin").
In the series, Sullivan stars as Rita Clements, unfulfilled by her
harried life as a married working mom, regains her identity by recreating
her glory days as a musician in a garage band. The series will premiere
this fall as part of a one-hour comedy block with the top-rated "Reba."
In making the announcement, Daniels said, "For our first original
primetime comedy series in a decade, we've assembled a fantastic team, in
front of and behind the camera. The gifted and simply hilarious Nicole
Sullivan leads a phenomenal cast, produced by our wonderful partners at
Media Rights Capital." Adding, "Our loyal viewers are fans of our comedy
programming and we know they will think Rita rocks too!"
"Rita Rocks" has found the perfect home at Lifetime," said Keith
Samples, President, MRC Television. "We could not be happier with being in
business with Lifetime. It's a terrific place, with terrific people and we
look forward to doing lots of good work together."
"Rita Rocks" joins an array of original programming airing on Lifetime
this fall, broadening the Network's leadership in all genres, including
Original Movies, Original Series and Reality Series. Lifetime Original
Movies are the #1 rated among women. Beginning in September, the
star-studded slate of original movies includes: "Sex & Lies in Sin City"
starring Mena Suvari and Matthew Modine; "Coco Chanel" starring Shirley
MacLaine, Barbara Bobulova and Malcolm McDowell; "Living Proof" executive
produced by Neil Meron, Craig Zadan and Renee Zellweger, and starring Harry
Connick, Jr.; "Killing Mr. Kissel" starring John Stamos and "Flirting with
40" starring Heather Locklear.
Lifetime's most-watched series in its history, "Army Wives," will
return with original episodes in November, including a special two-hour
season finale. And premiering this November, the hit reality competition
series "Project Runway" with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn comes to Lifetime.
In "Rita Rocks," Sullivan stars as Rita, an overworked wife and mother
in the middle of a full blown identity crisis. Trying to maintain romance
with her husband Jay (Richard Ruccolo), juggling the demands of her
nine-year-old daughter Shannon (Kelly Gould), disciplining her defiant,
teenage daughter Hallie and her ever-present boyfriend Kip (Raviv Ullman),
and being passed over for a promotion at work; Rita is at her wit's end. In
search of "youthful" Rita, she dusts off her old guitar and forms a garage
band with her nosey postal carrier Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and
unemployed neighbor Owen (guest-star Ian Gomez), in the hopes of putting
that spark back in her life.
Nicole Sullivan most recently starred as Holly in the CBS sitcom, "The
King of Queens." She is also well-known for her work on the FOX sketch
comedy show, "MADtv," in which she starred from 1995-2001. Her numerous
television guest appearances include such shows as "CSI," "Scrubs," "Law &
Order: SVU," "Monk" and "According to Jim." In addition, Sullivan lends her
voice talents to the animated television "Kim Possible," "Family Guy" and
"Buzz Lightyear of Star Command."
Richard Ruccolo is best known for his role as Pete Dunville in the ABC
comedy "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," later renamed "Two Guys and a
Girl." His television guest-starring roles include "Reba," "Less Than
Perfect," "Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Joey," "Beverly Hills, 90210"
and "The X Files." Ruccolo has appeared in the feature films "Obsessed,"
"All Over the Guy," "The One," "Anacardium" and "Available Men."
Tisha Campbell-Martin starred in the sitcoms "My Wife and Kids" and
"Martin." Her feature film credits include "School Daze," "Another 48
Hours," "House Party," "House Party 2," "House Party 3" and "Boomerang."
Campbell has made numerous guest appearances on television shows such as
"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "Roc," "Blossom," "The Fresh Prince of
Bel-Air" and "A Different World." She appeared in the television movies
"Heart and Soul" and "Moe's World." Campbell's first television series was
"Rags to Riches" for NBC in which she starred in 1987.
Raviv Ullman led the cast of the Disney Channel's "Phil of the Future"
as main character Phil Diffy. He recently starred in the feature film "Prom
Wars" with Alia Shawkat. His other television credits include "Cold Case,"
"House," "Big Love" and "That's So Raven." He can soon be seen in the
feature films "The Trouble with Cali" and "Spring Break '83."
Kelly Gould was a regular on the HBO series "Lucky Louie" in 2006. Her
other television credits include "Cold Case," "Ghost Whisperer," "Hannah
Montana," "Jake in Progress" and Lifetime's "Strong Medicine." She appeared
in the 2007 feature film, "Blades of Glory" starring Will Ferrell. She
co-stars in the feature film "The Rebound" with Catherine Zeta Jones,
scheduled to be released next year.
"Rita Rocks" is produced by Media Rights Capital for Lifetime
Television. Stan Zimmerman and Jim Berg ("Gilmore Girls," "Roseanne"),
Jeffrey Hodes and Nastaran Dibai ("Hope & Faith, "According to Jim") are
executive producers. Franco E. Bario ("That '70s Show," "Grace Under Fire")
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