'Side Order' is Lifetime entree

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Lifetime Television has picked up "Side Order of Life" to series with a 13-episode order.

Meanwhile, Jeff Melvoin has been named executive producer/showrunner of another Lifetime series, "Army Wives."

"Side Order," produced by the Jinks/Cohen Co. in association with Warner Horizon Television, is described as a quirky, thought-provoking, comedic drama centering on a young magazine photographer (Marisa Coughlan) who suddenly re-evaluates her life and impending nuptials after learning some life-altering news. Filmed in Los Angeles, the series also stars Jason Priestley, Christopher Gartin and Diana-Maria Riva.

"Side Order" is set to debut in July. It is Lifetime's third new original scripted drama series to premiere in the summer, joining previously announced dramas "Army Wives," starring Kim Delaney and Catherine Bell and premiering in June, and Warner Horizon's "State of Mind," starring Lili Taylor and premiering in July.

Susanne Daniels, president of entertainment at Lifetime Entertainment Services, said "Side Order" has several appealing elements, including the "moving, emotionally compelling" story lines and its ensemble cast.

As for the decision to debut all three new series in the summer, Daniels said: "We want to have a -- pardon the pun -- hot summer on Lifetime. We want people to notice our new product, and in an environment that's less competitive with broadcast originals, it's really the time to strike, and strike big."

Daniels said it's likely the dramas will air on Sunday nights, but that's not yet official. She added that two other pilots -- "The Madness of Jane" (aka "The Madness of Ava"), from Fox 21, and "The Virgin of Akron, Ohio," from Fox TV Studios -- are still in contention for a series pickup and 2008 debut.

Overall, "Side Order" is the fourth drama to get a series pickup since Daniels joined the network in September 2005. The first was "Angela's Eyes," which debuted in the summer but wasn't renewed for a second season.

"Side Order" is executive produced by Oscar-winning producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen. The pilot, directed by James Frawley, was written by Margaret Nagle, who created the series and serves as co-executive producer.

The series was packaged by UTA.

Meanwhile, Melvoin replaces Samantha Corbin-Miller as showrunner of "Army Wives," from the Mark Gordon Co. and ABC Television Studio. He has served as executive producer of many of the studio's series, including ABC's "In Justice," "Alias" and "Line of Fire." He also has exec produced CBS' "Picket Fences" and "Early Edition."

Melvoin is repped by Gersh Agency.
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