Josh Berman tells TheWrap how he’s handling the Lifetime show’s cancelation and storyline in its sixth season premiering Sunday
Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva” kicks off its sixth (and most likely) final season on Sunday.
After coming back from a previous cancelation, “Drop Dead Diva” creator Josh Berman is writing the sixth season for closure but he hasn’t totally accepted that the show will meet its end.
“We’ve been canceled before, but with our fan base and already seeing the petitions online and the movement to bring it back, I think anything is potentially possible,” Berman told TheWrap.
He continued, “That being said I am definitely writing a final season, which is a real pleasure to write because it’s a luxury as a showrunner to get advanced notice. So, I’m definitely moving plot and story along in a way, but anything’s possible. I mean look at ‘The Killing,’ which was brought back to life twice, I mean we’ve only been brought back to life once.”
“Drop Dead Diva,” about a model named Deb who dies and then finds herself in the body of attorney Jane (Brooke Elliott), left off with a cliffhanger last season in which Deb’s former fiancé and Jane’s co-worker Grayson (Jackson Hurst) finds out that she isn’t who she says she is.
TheWrap: Where were you in the season when you found out the show had been canceled?
Josh Berman: We actually found out before we began the season. I spoke with Lifetime about it and it was very important to me that I got a season to tell the last chapter. Lifetime was very supportive in not wanting to rob our fans of a true ending.
Today’s television landscape is such that there are a lot of avenues in which a canceled show can continue on. Is there a possibility that “Drop Dead Diva” could continue on another network, streaming video services or online?
When we were canceled the first time, so many networks stepped forward with interest in ‘Drop Dead Diva.’ I guess that’s what’s in the back of my mind as well, but I think that Lifetime is the right home for the show. They believed in the show, Lifetime bought the show and kept it on the air for six seasons and I have great relationship with Lifetime. I don’t know what will happen. I joke around that the show could come back, but that’s only because never say die right? And a show that’s about resurrection and second chances, I just like to keep an open mind.
After last season’s cliffhanger, you don’t write around the fact that Jane’s (Brooke Elliott) secret is out.
The cat is out of the bag. The new season picks up eight hours after the last season, with Grayson being told that Jane isn’t who he thinks she is. We don’t hide from it this year. We deal with the repercussions of Grayson finding out the truth, what that means to him and what that means to his relationship. How can he trust a woman that didn’t tell him the truth?
What can we expect from Stacy (April Bowlby) and Owen (Lex Medlin) now that she’s carrying his baby?
To me, that has been one of the biggest joys and surprises of Season 5. Stacy got pregnant using Owen’s sperm then found herself falling for him. At first there was a viewer backlash of people not wanting Owen and Stacy together, and as the natural course of their relationship transpired, they actually broke up at the end of the season and the backlash of their breakup was even worse. I don’t think that that storyline is done yet. The truth is that when a woman is pregnant with another man’s sperm and they are in each other’s life and there is sexual chemistry between them, it’s hard to deny what could happen and the season definitely plays with that relationship: Stacy and Owen, are they friends or are they more?
Guardian Angel Paul (Justin Deeley) is back this season. How do you see his role on the show?
All of our guardian angels have been very different. We had neurotic Fred, self-important Luke, and now we have Paul. Paul to me is the male version of Deb. He is beautiful and passive and gets things given to him just because of what he looks like. And I think for Jane, Paul is like looking into a mirror and seeing Deb and there are some parts about Paul that she loves and some parts that she can’t stand, but she has embraced Paul much more easily than Fred and Luke, and they became friends much quicker. I think it’s because she’s become almost maternal to him, as if she were interacting with a younger version of herself as Deb. So I love this relationship. In real life these actors have become very close, they get along so well and I really love this new relationship. We have an angel that is doing very little for Jane except allowing Jane to take care of him. As Jane takes care of him, we see a deeper more human Jane.
What’s ahead for Teri (Margaret Cho)?
We get to see Teri sing a lot this season and she actually wrote an original song for an episode of ‘Drop Dead Diva’ that’s coming up. We also get to meet her alternate personality this season, a woman named Cassandra Muffintop. It’s a huge season for Margaret Cho. She’s so funny.
Is Kate Levering still on the show?
Yes, Kate went on maternity leave both in real life and on the show, but she returns full time in the episode that airs March 30, which is, we have our two hour premiere and then she returns the next week with Episode 3. It’s weird, because we refer to the first 2 hours as one, but it’s really two.
Which guest stars can we look forward to?
What’s fun this season is how easy it’s been to get great guest stars. I think a lot of actors look at the show as kind of a destination place, because we’ve had so many wonderful actors on the show. In this season, even with our season-opener with Corbin Bleu and tWitch, and Virginia Williams and Colin Eglesfield. And even getting somebody like Rick Springfield, who I knew growing up, was so much fun. We have Janel Parish from ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ John Ratzenberger returns. We have some really big plot twists this season that I don’t think anyone will see coming.
Lifetime is currently airing a Season 5 marathon on Sunday, which leads up to the two-hour Season 6 premiere at 9/8c.
Watch a quick preview below: