'Drop Dead Diva' Creator Josh Berman on the Polarizing Casting of Kim Kardashian

The executive producer and writer talks about the fallout of having the controversial E! reality star appear on the Lifetime series' upcoming fourth season and what he hopes to gain from doing it.
Bob Mahoney/ Lifetime

When the news broke that Kim Kardashian had been cast on the upcoming fourth season of Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, there was quite a backlash from fans – many saying they wouldn’t tune in as a result, which doesn't sit well with the show's creator and executive producer.

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“I’m disappointed when people say ‘I’m not watching,’ because of one person coming on to a show,” Josh Berman tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Drop Dead Diva has a loyal core audience,” he continues. “But look, there aren’t big posters up promoting our new season. There’s no billboards. If someone like Kim Kardashian can get people talking and get people to tune into the show and get people to embrace the message of the show, I think that’s terrific.”

Berman says he was surprised to see how polarizing the reality star’s casting became, especially for a series whose guest stars come from all parts of the Hollywood spectrum: From Oscar winners to reality stars.

“In my mind, someone like Kim Kardashian who is so in the public spotlight and who can bring attention to a show going into its fourth season is exciting,” he says about his willingness to face the fallout. “Good or bad, I’m really hoping the viewers will give her a shot and give the show a shot to see what she brings to it.”

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Kardashian makes her debut in the season four premiere episode as a love guru who befriends a brokenhearted Stacy (April Bowlby). And Berman says the role isn’t simply a stunt casting and may prove to live up to viewers’ expectations of the series, which examines what happens when a vapid model dies and finds herself in the body of Jane, an overweight and crafty attorney played by Brooke Elliot.

“The truth is Kim gets a lot of offers to do a lot of things. She embraced the message behind our show, which I think is quite wonderful,” he says. “She’s on for a couple of episodes. Her character goes head to head with Jane. And she’s got a fantastic twist that no one will see coming in episode three.”

Watch a quick sneak peek of Kardashian on Diva below.

Lifetime is airing a Drop Dead Diva third season marathon starting Saturday at noon. Season four premieres Sunday at 9 p.m.

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro