Lifetime Orders 'Life,' 'Wives' Pilots

Lifetime is ramping up its scripted series development with pilot orders for two drama projects -- "Side Order of Life" and "Army Wives."

"Side Order," from writer Margaret Nagle and executive producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks, centers on a female magazine photographer who reevaluates her life and upcoming wedding when her best friend is diagnosed with cancer.

Nagle (HBO's "Warm Springs") will serve as a co-executive producer on the project, which was originally developed by Warner Bros. TV and will be produced by the company's cable/reality programming arm Warner Horizon.

"Army Wives," from writer Katherine Fugate ("The Prince & Me"), centers on a sassy woman from the wrong side of the tracks who marries a soldier, moves her kids onto a military base and becomes friends with a diverse group of army wives.

Touchstone TV is producing the pilot with Mark Gordon and Deborah Spera executive producing.

Sally Pressman has landed a role in "Army Wives," which is slated to begin filming Sept. 19 in South Carolina. Ben Younger ("Boiler Room") is set to direct.

Both projects were originally developed for ABC.

"I felt lucky to have found these scripts," Lifetime Entertainment Services president of entertainment Susanne Daniels said of the two dramas.

Most of Lifetime's scripted series and pilots picked up under Daniels hail from major studios -- WBTV's Warner Horizon for "Side Order" and "State of Mind," a one-hour pilot starring Lily Tomlin; Touchstone TV for "Army Wives"; and NBC Universal Network TV for Daniels' first drama series at the network, "Angela's Eyes."

Daniels' credits the success of such cable series as FX's "The Shield" and "Nip/Tuck," TNT's "The Closer" and USA's "Monk" for the major TV studio's increased interest in producing for cable.

"It has made studios take notice and feel that this is a worthwhile business to get into," she said.

In addition to "Side Order," "Army Wives" and "State of Mind," Daniels plans to pick up two more drama pilots by the end of the year and order two of them to series for next year.

Nellie Andreeva writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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