Last week, we brought you word that the folks at CBS were firing a good portion of the female cast of “Criminal Minds,” a story that illustrated the odd phenomenon of actresses struggling on network TV while flourishing on cable TV. Well, score one for cable TV once more, because the gang at Lifetime just ordered up not one, but THREE brand spanking new female police procedurals. From the Hollywood Reporter:
"Against the Wall," from (Annie) Brunner, is about a policewoman who causes a riff with her cop brothers when she joins Internal Affairs.
"Exit 19" is about a single mother raising kids while working as a New York City homicide detective. The project is from ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios, (Jeffrey) Bell and executive producers Nina Wass ("Sherri," "Less Than Perfect") and Gene Stein.
Finally, an untitled project from (Josh) Berman and Sony Pictures TV is about two female police detectives in San Diego who investigate high-profile crimes while navigating their personal lives. Berman is also the creator of Lifetime's dramedy "Drop Dead Diva."
Obviously, Lifetime is a cable channel whose target audience is female. But Kyra Sedgwick has already proven that female-centric police procedurals can do well on basic cable. “The Closer” was an enormous success, and it’s clear that Lifetime would like to duplicate the feat, perhaps by maybe hiring Paget Brewster and AJ Cook?
You’ll notice that two of the three shows will have a woman running the series, or at least sharing in the duties. And that will help. Us menfolk tend to marginalize women awfully quickly when we’re in charge of movies and TV shows. I doubt Lifetime will accept such a thing happening on these shows.
These shows also represent a nice change from Lifetime’s constant stream of women-in-peril TV movies. They’ve finally shifted over to women kicking a little butt. And that’s pretty cool.