Lifetime Acquires Providence

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Lifetime Television has buttressed its off-network lineup with the acquisition of cable-exclusive rights to drama Providence.

Last seen on ABC Family, the series -- starring Melina Kanakaredes as a successful Hollywood plastic surgeon who returns to her hometown in Rhode Island -- which ran on NBC from 1999-2002, will be stripped weeknights at 8 p.m. (EST/PST) starting May 11. The show was produced by NBC Studios.

The deal with ABC Family, terms of which were not disclosed, comes on the heels of the women’s-targeted network’s recent acquisition of the cable-exclusive rights to Frasier, beginning in 2006. And Will & Grace joins Lifetime’s lineup in September 2005.

“Since our viewers are accustomed to turning to Lifetime for quality hour-long dramas, we feel that Providence -- an intelligent, well-written, and entertaining series about a woman, her career, family and relationships -- will prove a popular addition to our schedule,” said Lynn Picard, executive vice president and general manager, in a prepared statement.

Earlier this week, Lifetime announced that Barbara Fisher, its programming chief since June 2002, would not return when her contract expires at the end of this month.

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