Lifetime Sets Diverse Slate


New York — Things got eclectic during the first Lifetime Entertainment Services advertiser presentation officially presided over by CEO Betty Cohen and entertainment president Susanne Daniels.

Daniels, whose first major original entry, Cheerleader Nation, debuted on Lifetime Television earlier this month, talked up improvisational comedy series Lovespring, from Eric McCormack's (Will & Grace) Big Cattle Production. The show, premiering in June, centers on an elite Beverly Hills matchmaking agency that is really located in Tarzana, Calif.

The following month, Lifetime, which trotted out the tagline, “When you lose yourself inside a story, you might find your own” at the upfront presentation, will roll out hour-long drama Angela's Eyes. The series tracks an FBI agent who has the gift of knowing when people are lying. The show, starring Abigail Spencer (All My Children), comes from the producers of Oscar winner Crash.

Relative to reality, Election will showcase husband and wife political consultants Mary Matalin and James Carville dispensing campaign-manager advice to candidates in a hotly contested high school election.

Elsewhere, Paws will go inside a Hollywood pet agency where the owners pay to have their pooches go through the paces to get on-screen roles.

Importing the talents of a certified sexologist from Puerto Rico, Lifetime will give Alessandra Rampolla her own talk show.

On the movie watch, Lifetime emphasized Fantasia: Life Story, the tale behind the American Idol winner (Barrino opened eyes and ears with an early morning performance); The Gwen Araujo Story, based on a real-life story in which a mother (Mercedes Ruehl) raises a son whose transgender inclinations ultimately lead to his brutal murder; and Eight Days to Live, in which The OC's Kelly Rowan sees her family's life turned upside down.

Sister service Lifetime Movie Network, beginning in August, will premiere an exclusively produced telefilm per month, kicking off with Soccer Mom Mysteries, which will also be serialized on broadband, as a series of seven-minute installments that will be doled out over a 10-month span. launched March 20.

Cohen, who joined Lifetime last April, said the network continues to evolve along with its audience, and that women are “much different than they were a few short years ago.”

To that end, Cohen announced that the network would explore a gamut of women's topics via “Lifetime Women's Pulse Polls,” a multiplatform research project. The first subject: “Generation Why?” which will take the temperature of women of Generation Y (18-29), Generation X (30-44) and Baby Boomers (45-59), relative to their views on sex, men, marriage and career.

The research will culminate in a fourth-quarter special, hosted by MSNBC's Willow Bay.