Lifetime in comedy series 'State of Mind'


PASADENA -- Lifetime Television has given a series pickup to "State of Mind," a drama starring Lili Taylor set to debut in the summer.

In addition, Kirstie Alley is set to star in and executive produce the Lifetime original movie "And She Was," also set to premiere in the summer. Lifetime Entertainment Services president of entertainment Susanne Daniels made the announcements Thursday during the network's portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel.

"State of Mind," from Warner Horizon Television and executive producers Greer Shephard and Michael Robin, is described as a quirky, comedic drama series about a brilliant take-charge therapist (Taylor) whose personal problems rival those of her eclectic and offbeat patients.

"Lili's character is imminently relatable, and we know our viewers will instantly connect with her," Daniels said.

The show's ensemble cast also includes Derek Riddell, Mido Hamada, Kevin Chamberlin, Lolita Davidovich and Devon Gummersall.

The pilot, directed by Robin, was written by author and practicing psychotherapist Amy Bloom. The show is produced by Shephard/Robin Prods. in association with Warner Horizon.

The series becomes the second new drama to be ordered by Daniels for 2007, after "Army Wives," which is now set to debut in June instead of March for competitive reasons as well as to allow more time to properly launch the show. "Army Wives," from the Mark Gordon Co. and Touchstone Television, features an ensemble cast including Kim Delaney and Catherine Bell.

Meanwhile, "And She Was" is described as a satiric comedy about a middle-aged screenwriter (Alley) who learns that she is all washed up in Hollywood because she is considered too old. She enlists the help of her twentysomething nephew (Eric Christian Olsen) who passes himself off as the writer of her scripts. But when he falls in love with a studio executive, her plan to reveal that she actually wrote the scripts is jeopardized.

"The caliber of Kirstie's comedic talents and unique perspective into our industry offers a great lens for this wonderfully funny material," Daniels said.

"And She Was" is produced by Jaffe/Braunstein Films. In addition to Alley, the executive producers are Howard Braunstein, Michael Jaffe and Richard Fischoff. Graeme Clifford will direct from a script by George Beckerman.

Lifetime also said that Willow Bay is set to host and executive produce "Spotlight 25," an hourlong special that takes an in-depth look at 25-year-old women and features commentary from singer-actress Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls"), among others, on topics including career, dating, family and financial issues. The special airs at 8 p.m. March 26, during National Women's History Month.

Meanwhile, Lifetime also announced premiere dates for the four movies based on Nora Roberts books: "Angels Fall," 9 p.m. Jan. 29; "Montana Sky," 9 p.m. Feb. 5; "Blue Smoke," 9 p.m. Feb. 12; and "Carolina Moon," 9 p.m. Feb. 19. In addition, the original movie "The Staircase Murders" is set to debut at 9 p.m. April 8.

Earlier in the day, Style Network announced a new show, "Dress My Nest," a home-decorating series hosted by Thom Filicia (Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"). The half-hour series is set to debut March 28.

Style also announced that "Style Her Famous," hosted by Jay Manuel (CW's "America's Next Top Model"), will be back with a second season premiering at 10 p.m. March 12, while "Split Ends," the beauty-salon swap series, will return for a second season in June.