December 07, 2011 11:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Neve Campbell to Star in Amish Drama for Lifetime
Neve Campbell is plotting her return to series television with Lifetime.
The female-skewing cable network has given the green light to a two-hour TV movie/backdoor pilot for Sworn to Silence, which would star the former Party of Five actress as part of a development deal with Lifetime.
Silencerevolves around Kate Burkholder (Campbell), a girl who survives a series of brutal murders that rock her peaceful Amish farming community in Painter's Mill, Ohio. Fifteen years after she left her Amish life behind, Kate returns to the town as its chief of police, when a new murder investigation triggers emotions from her childhood and exposes a dark secret that could destroy her.
Based on the book by Linda Castillo, executive producers on Silence include Barbara Lieberman (Lifetime's upcoming The Pregnancy Project) and Poppy Montgomery (Unforgettable), with Campbell serving as co-exec producer. Girl Fight's Stephen Gyllenhaal will direct from a script by Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Mark Malone.
In addition, Campbell has inked a development deal with Lifetime involving scripted dramas and original movies as the network continues its push into longform and scripted programming.
“Growing our scripted programming remains a top priority for Lifetime and our longform strategy provides us with a strong stable from which to identify potential series,” Lifetime president and GM Nancy Dubuc said in a statement announcing the news Wednesday. “I’ve always admired Neve’s work. She is a proven talent who will bring a high level of intensity and presence to this role and Sworn to Silence.”
Lifetime in August picked up hourlong series The Client List, with Campbell's former Party of Five co-star Jennifer Love Hewitt reprising her role from the 2010 telefilm of the same name.
The cabler's development slate also includes drama Modern Love, starring Eric Stoltz as a newspaper science editor whose marriage is deteriorating; marriage drama American Housewife, starring Melanie Griffith; and Renee Zellweger's the 1960s L.A.-set music-themed period drama series Cinnamon Girl.
In addition, the network is also developing a period drama revolving around The Hollywood Reporter founder William Wilkerson with Johnny Depp’s shingle Infinitum Nihil attached as well as a contemporary reboot of Steel Magnolias from Hairspray duo Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, among other projects.