Season 5 Premieres June 23 at 9.8c
About "Drop Dead Diva"
Lifetime’s fan favorite and critically-acclaimed series "Drop Dead Diva," which follows a shallow wannabe model that suddenly dies in an accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, plus-sized recently deceased attorney, is back by popular demand for a fifth season with 13 all-new episodes set to debut on Sunday, June 23, at 9pm ET/PT. Immediately following "Drop Dead Diva’s" return, Lifetime will premiere its new drama "Devious Maids."
Produced by Sony Pictures Television, the one-hour, comedic drama stars Brooke Elliott ("Wicked," "Taboo"), Margaret Cho ("Dancing with the Stars," "Cho Dependent"), Jackson Hurst ("Living Proof"), Kate Levering ("Cashmere Mafia"), April Bowlby ("Two and a Half Men") and Lex Medlin ("Southland").
The series’ fifth season opener, entitled "Back from the Dead," picks up from last season’s cliff hanger finale with Jane (Elliott) frantically searching for her missing fiancé Owen (Medlin), who disappeared after witnessing her kiss Grayson (Hurst) moments before their wedding. While both Jane and Owen nurse their broken hearts, Jane’s friends and co-workers also are confronted with their own life dilemmas. Kim (Levering) goes public with her pregnancy at the firm as Grayson continues to struggle with his feelings for Jane. Meanwhile, Stacy (Bowlby) is left contemplating the future of her business, The Pakery. Newcomer Justin Deeley (90210) joins "Drop Dead Diva" as Jane’s new heavenly guide Paul, stepping in for Luke (Carter McIntyre) when he is called back to Heaven just after telling her that Old Jane has returned to earth. Now that Jane and Old Jane are both on earth, the two kindred spirits will finally meet face-to-face, creating one of the most highly anticipated "Drop Dead Diva" moments ever.
Emmy® nominated actor John Ratzenberger returns to "Drop Dead Diva" this season to reprise his role as Kim’s father, while Jamie Ray Newman is back as Grayson’s ex-fiancée Vanessa, further complicating his heart. Other guest stars for season five will be announced in the coming weeks.
Josh Berman (Executive Producer/Creator/Writer)
Josh Berman began his writing career on the first season of the hit CBS drama series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” He remained with the series for six seasons, and exited as an executive producer. While working on “CSI,” Berman earned two Emmy nominations.
Berman also spent four seasons as a writer and consulting producer on the Fox series “Bones,” and created, executive produced and wrote for the Fox drama series “Vanished” and “Killer Instinct.”
Berman was formerly a creative executive at NBC Studios. He has graduate degrees in law and business from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Scholar to Australia, where he earned a master’s in history at the University of Sydney. In 2005, Television Week named Berman as one of the top 10 people under 35 to watch in the industry, for their annual “Hot List.”
Alex Taub (Executive Producer)
Alex Taub most recently served as co-executive producer on the series “Eli Stone.” Prior to that, he was an executive producer on “Kevin Hill” and “Judging Amy,” and was a consulting producer on The WB series “Related” and “Felicity.” Taub also wrote for the drama “Early Edition,” where he worked his way up to co-executive producer.
After graduating from Brown University, Taub moved to Los Angeles, where he landed a job writing the animated series “Life with Louie,” for which he earned two Humanitas Awards. Taub also wrote for the beloved Norwegian sitcom “Mot i Brøstet.” He grew up in Wayland, Massachusetts, and currently lives with his family in Los Angeles.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Executive Producers)
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are the producers of critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films, television movies and series. All totaled, their films and television projects have garnered six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards. For television, their movies have amassed 69 Emmy nominations. The producing duo was recently honored by The Casting Society of America with Career Achievement Awards at the 24th Annual Artios Awards.
Zadan and Meron’s most recent television event was Liza Minnelli’s Tony Award-winning “Liza’s at the Palace” performance, which was filmed and broadcast on public television. It was directed by Matthew Diamond and executive produced by JoAnn Young, Zadan and Meron.
Their recent three-hour television movie event of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” was nominated for three Emmys, including Outstanding Television Movie, as well as nominated for a Golden Globe for Best TV Movie. The film was also nominated by the Television Critics Association for Best Television Movie or Miniseries and by the PGA for Best TV Movie or Miniseries of the Year. “Raisin” was also nominated for six NAACP Image Awards, winning three, including Outstanding Television Movie.
Zadan and Meron’s latest feature project was the Warner Bros. film “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman and directed by Rob Reiner which was voted one the National Board of Review’s Top Ten Pictures of the Year. It was also a box-office hit, grossing $175 million worldwide.
Zadan and Meron produced the smash hit feature film musical “Hairspray,” which was nominated for three Golden Globes (including Best Motion Picture/Musical or Comedy) and won many awards at both the Hollywood and Palm Springs Film Festivals. It grossed over $200 million worldwide. In 2007 they were honored with the Hollywood Film Festival's Producers of the Year award for “Hairspray” and “The Bucket List.”
Their feature film “Chicago,” executive produced for Miramax, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It was nominated for a total of 13 Academy Awards and won six. With seven Golden Globe nods, the film won three, including Best Motion Picture/Musical or Comedy. “Chicago” has gone on to become Miramax’s highest grossing movie in the studio’s history and was the first movie musical to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 34 years.
Zadan’s first feature film production was Paramount Pictures’ “Footloose,” starring Kevin Bacon, which received two Oscar nominations, one Golden Globe nomination and a Grammy nomination for Best Soundtrack Album. Zadan and Meron are currently in pre-production on a remake of “Footloose,” starring Chace Crawford. The film is set to premiere in 2010. They are also prepping a contemporary version of the Broadway smash “Damn Yankees,” starring Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal.
For television, their musical “Meredith Willson’s The Music Man,” starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth, received five Emmy nominations. Their production of “The Beach Boys: An American Family” was nominated for three Emmys, including Best Miniseries.
Additionally, they produced “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows,” starring Judy Davis and Tammy Blanchard, which was both a critical and a ratings success. The television movie topped most “Ten Best” lists and received a total of 13 Emmy nominations, winning five. “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows” was also nominated for three Golden Globes, winning one.
Zadan and Meron’s new version of the musical “Annie,” starring Kathy Bates, won two Emmys, the Peabody Award and the TV Guide Award for Favorite TV Movie or Miniseries. It was nominated for 12 Emmys, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie, and was also nominated by the Television Critics Association for Best TV Movie.
Zadan and Meron produced “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” starring Whitney Houston and Brandy. The critically acclaimed television musical received the highest ratings for a television movie on ABC in over a decade, reaching more than 60 million viewers. The production also garnered seven Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Special of the Year.
Zadan and Meron also produced “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story,” starring Glenn Close and Judy Davis. This landmark movie received six Emmy nominations, winning three. The show was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and won the prestigious Peabody Award for Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting.
Their first television movie event was “Gypsy” in 1993, a three-hour movie musical starring Bette Midler. “Gypsy” was a ratings and critical triumph, and was nominated for 12 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie (the first such nomination for a film musical in the Academy’s history). The movie was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Telefilm.
Other critically acclaimed television films include “Martin and Lewis,” “Wedding Wars,” “What Makes a Family,” “The Three Stooges,” “Brian’s Song,” “The Reagans” and Lifetime’s “Living Proof.”
Their next project for television, scheduled to air on ABC, will be the first movie version of the beloved musical “Peter Pan.”
They are also currently working on a new groundbreaking dramatic TV series, which they are producing with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks for Showtime, about the behind-the-scenes creation of a Broadway musical.
Zadan and Meron return to their theater roots this April, with the first-ever Broadway revival of the Neil Simon/Burt Bacharach/Hal David musical comedy, “Promises, Promises,” opening at the Broadway Theater, starring Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes, and Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth.
Zadan is also the author of the critically acclaimed “Sondheim & Co.,” the first book ever written about Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim.