“Drop Dead Diva” resuscitated on Lifetime


Back in August 2007, we told you that Fox had picked up a new series, Drop Dead Diva, from Josh Berman (Bones, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation). Berman said the show was about “deconstructing the beauty myth while discovering what’s really important in life.”

Despite the high-minded premise, Fox didn’t see fit to stay attached to the show and we haven’t heard much about it since. But this week, Lifetime announced that it has now picked up the show.

According to the Lifetime press release, “Drop Dead Diva tells the story of a shallow model-in-training who dies in a sudden accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, thoughtful and plus-size attorney.”

Now before you get all excited at the prospect of a new show featuring America’s Next Top Model alums, you should know that the show actually stars Brooke Elliott and Margaret Cho.

Elliott is a Broadway actress whose credits include The Pirate Queen, Wicked and Taboo.

Brooke Elliott (pictured here with Kelli O’Donnell, left)

Cho has multiple film and television credits, and the first season of her reality show, The Cho Show, aired on VH1 last fall.

Margaret Cho

Intrigued? Lifetime’s press release tells us even more:

When beautiful-but-vapid model wannabe Deb has a fatal car accident, she suddenly finds herself in front of Heaven’s gatekeeper, Fred, who declares her a self-centered “zero.” Outraged, she attempts to persuade Fred to return her to her shallow existence but is accidentally relegated to the body of the recently deceased Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliott). A brilliant, thoughtful and plus-size attorney with a loyal assistant (Margaret Cho), Jane has always lived in the shadow of her more comely colleagues whereas Deb has always relied on her external beauty. Now, by a twist of fate and a bolt of divine intervention, both personalities must learn to coexist in Jane’s plus-size frame in the ultimate showdown between brains and beauty.

Yes, it is truly a question for the ages: can a woman really possess both beauty and brains? One can only imagine the answer to that question had the show stayed on Fox instead of moving to Lifetime.

And will Fred be played by Jay Manuel, or, even more appropriately, by Tyra Banks herself ? No word yet, though we might get some updates from Cho’s blog if she decides to write about her experiences with the production.

Drop Dead Diva is set to premiere on Lifetime in Summer 2009. Will you watch?

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