‘Drop Dead Diva’ Star Brooke Elliott Talks Show’s Return From Cancelation

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The actress previews fallout from the Season 4 cliffhanger, new relationships and fractured ones on the Lifetime dramedy

"Drop Dead Diva" returns Sunday with a new lease on life — revived after being canceled in January.

"It was like, 'No, you’re back!'" The dramedy's star, Brooke Elliott, who was only able to participate in pilot season casting for a short time before hearing Lifetime had reversed its decision, said.

"We didn’t know for such a long time, and then they were like, 'It was canceled,'" she said during TheWrap's visit to the show's Atlanta area set.

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"And we’re, 'Oh, my God, it’s canceled.' It was weird, I had this feeling like, 'Why do I think this isn’t canceled?' And then Lifetime and Sony, I guess, were able to work out something, and we came back, which is great."

As TheWrap previously reported, show producer Sony Pictures Television made some budgetary cuts in order to seal the return deal, which included cutting series regular Josh Stamberg from the cast amid other production changes.

When we last left off on the Season 4 finale, Jane (Elliott) and Grayson (Jackson Hurst) were caught kissing on her wedding day to Owen (Lex Medlin). Upon witnessing the act of betrayal, Owen suffered a heart attack just as the original Jane had found a way to return from heaven.

Where do we find Jane in the season premiere?
Brooke Elliott: Jane is incredibly frightened that Owen is dead or missing. Then he becomes missing, and we don’t know where Owen is. She also doesn’t know if Old Jane’s soul is in Owen’s body. If she’s not in Owen’s body, where is Old Jane? And who’s got control of Old Jane? And so, there’s a lot of back and forth and back and forth for Jane. So, she’s very frantic and scared and upset and, of course, filled with guilt and mortified that she would have behaved this way.

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Grayson has finally fallen in love with Jane. How does that play out?
I think Jane’s feelings for Grayson, they never [go away], she always is in love with Grayson, but she’s gotten to point where she’s going, “This is what I chose.” Owen’s a wonderful man, and this is not a, “Oh, well, I guess I’ll choose Owen” kind of thing. She loves Owen, and she should, he’s great. So she’s kind of like torn between the two, always loving Grayson but going, “You know what, I could do other things. I can choose a different path, of course.” And so that’s kind of where she is. So, she never stops loving Grayson, but she chooses someone else.

He's pretty angry about the kiss on the premiere episode. How long does the rift with Owen last?
The Owen rift goes on for a while. We’re in the Owen rift, yeah.

Richard Ducree

What does Justin Deeley bring to the role of Jane's guardian angel?
Justin Deeley’s great. He’s been a lot of fun. What I like about his character is that we’ve been able to add a little bit more comedic scenes to the show, physical comedy, which I love to do. That’s one of my favorite things to do. So, getting to add more of that into the show is really, really fun for me. So I’m happy about that.

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Are Jane and Stacy (April Bowlby) in a good place? Does she help advise on the Owen/Grayson situation?
They’re good. They’re happy right now. She’s trying, and she’s been pretty honest with Jane, which would make the audience feel vindicated in that, at least, that she says, “That was pretty terrible. That was not a great thing you did.” She doesn’t pull any punches with her, which, I think, is fun, because your best friend probably wouldn’t. She is trying to help, and she is supportive, though. “It will get better,” and that’s what you need a best friend to say. “Yeah, this was pretty bad, and it’s going to be OK.” So, she plays a great best friend role in what’s going on.

Watch the debut of Jane's new guardian angel below.

Season 5 of "Drop Dead Diva" debuts Sunday at 9/8c on Lifetime.