Last year, Lifetime cancelled "Drop Dead Diva," then brought the Peachtree City-produced dramedy back to life a couple of months later for a fifth season following some budget-cutting moves.
After solid ratings, the network decided to bring the show back for a sixth season and 13 more episodes. But today, Lifetime made it official: this will be the show's final season.
Josh Berman, the show's creator based in Los Angeles, texted me this: "The fans are already going nuts. I've received a bunch of tweets and facebook messages. I think anything is possible. After all, 'The Killing' was cancelled twice and brought back twice. I can just say that this season is amazing and we will finally see what happens when Jane's secret is revealed. I'm psyched for the 2 hour!"
"Drop Dead Diva" returns March 23 with a two-hour premiere, which will include Corbin Bleu as a guest star.
Later this season, Rick Springfield will appear and perform, along with Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts. Springfield shot his scenes in Peachtree City on Tuesday just before the storm hit hard. (I was invited on set but given the weather, I decided it was better to be safe than sorry.)
Emmy winner S. Epatha Merkerson ("Law & Order") also reprises her role as Judge Hiller, while Emmy nominee John Ratzenberger ("Cheers") returns as Kim’s father, Larry Kaswell.
Here's a quick summary of how things ended last season:
At the close of last season, Jane (Brooke Elliott) thought she would finally have her happy ending with Grayson (Jackson Hurst), until Brittany (Old Jane) revealed to Grayson that Jane isn’t who he thinks she is. In the season six premiere, Jane is forced to finally tell the truth to Grayson, but his reaction leaves her more lost than ever. Meanwhile Owen gets a visit from his estranged brother, Charlie (Colin Egglesfield), that puts his personal life and the firm at risk. As Jane buries herself in work once again to hide from the problems in her life, she discovers her new pro bono case has high stakes with the U.S. government. With Kim (Kate Levering) on maternity leave, a new lawyer, Belinda (Virginia Williams) joins the firm and gives Jane a run for her money.
"Drop Dead Diva" was one of the first TV series to use metro Atlanta as a home base after the TV/movie tax credits were sweetened in 2008 and made the state competitive with Canada, North Carolina and Louisiana.
During the first four seasons the show brought in a raft of big stars to guest on the show including Rosie O'Donnell, Paula Abdul, Vivica A. Fox, Kathy Griffin, Tim Gunn and Liza Minnelli. The star power dimmed last year following budget cutbacks.
Margaret Cho, the big-time stand-up comic has truly entrenched herself in Atlanta over the years, spending gobs of time at Laughing Skull Lounge while shooting "Drop Dead Diva" for six months. She even lived upstairs from the lounge for a season.