Exclusive: Drop Dead Diva Boss Talks 'Amazing' Renewal, Rumored Cuts and 'Best Season Yet'

Drop Dead Diva Season 5 SpoilersMuch like its heroine, Drop Dead Diva pulled off a miracle on Friday when it was plucked from the cancellation ashes and renewed by Lifetime for Season 5.

What saved the series from death? It wasn’t “creative financing,” creator Josh Berman tells TVLine. Instead, he credits Diva‘s loyal fans.

RELATED | Broadcast Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled? On the Bubble?

But with cuts no doubt needing to be made, how many episodes will the show be back for? And will it look any different? Here, Berman sounds off on those burning questions and teases what’s in store for Jane, Grayson and Fred.

TVLINE | First of all, congrats! How does it feel to have the show resurrected?
It feels amazing. I love writing this show. I love the characters. I love the cast. I love the crew. For me, Drop Dead Diva feels like a family. It sounds corny, but it feels like the pick-up brought the family back together.

TVLINE | Were you surprised when Lifetime cancelled the show? Did you have any inkling?
I was disappointed when we were cancelled. Our ratings have always been strong, so I was surprised. Our finale was up over 30 percent from the prior year.  I never would have left our fans with such a big cliffhanger if I thought we were going to be cancelled.

TVLINE | How did Drop Dead Diva get uncancelled? What was the deciding factor that changed Lifetime’s minds?
I believe the fans saved the show. When we were cancelled, we trended on Twitter, off and on, for days. Tens of thousands of fans signed petitions for the show to be brought back. Our Facebook numbers grew, and fans posted homemade videos on YouTube in support of Drop Dead Diva. I received thousands of messages of support from around the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on several popular shows, including CSI and Bones, but the fan base for Drop Dead Diva is nothing like I’ve ever seen. I’m grateful for such loyal fans.

TVLINE | Were some other options/homes for the show seriously explored? Or was it always about trying to work things out with Lifetime?
Lifetime was always my first choice. Other networks were interested, but Lifetime was our home, and it made the most sense to stay put.

TVLINE | According to Deadline, Sony was able to work out a new financial model for the show. Does that mean budget cuts?
The show will look and feel the same. There is some creative financing, but that won’t affect the viewing experience. Fans shouldn’t notice a difference. … I’ve had a singular creative vision for this series since Day 1. Nothing will change in Season 5 that hadn’t already been in the works. I’ve always thought the first four seasons served as a platform for Season 5. I believe Season 5 will be the best season yet.

TVLINE | Will it be a shorter episode order?
No, it will be a full order. And it will air later this year.

TVLINE | I have to ask about last season’s cliffhanger. How long will original Jane be in Owen’s body? And how do you balance that without it getting campy?
I can’t answer the first question without giving away too much information. I love the second question. The show lives in a bright, shiny world that’s grounded in reality. Our characters will remain relatable and flawed, and I’m not worried about going too camp. I can promise some very big surprises in the first episode back.

TVLINE | What’s ahead for Jane and Grayson now that they’ve kissed? Will he get closer to learning that she’s really Deb?
Ah! Stay tuned for that answer. The Grayson-Jane love story will feature prominently in Season 5, but I’m not ready to give away any secrets. I promise lots of twists and turns.

TVLINE | Any hope of getting Ben Feldman back for the Stacy/Fred lovers out there?
Ben Feldman has been very vocal about his appreciation and love of the show.  He’s beloved on Drop Dead Diva by the actors, writers, fans, and me.  The door is always open.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him back this season.

Drop Dead Diva fans, are you enthused by the show’s resurrection? And what would you like to see next season?

Comments (121)

  • Doing the happy dance. Woohoo!

    Comment by Staci – March 2, 2013 06:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank God they finally came to their senses. While i hated the twist with Jane/Owen I totally adore this series, esp Ms Margaret Cho and Brooke is out of this world awesome.

      Comment by Brock – March 2, 2013 02:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • jane got married with tht ugly guy owen???

        Comment by Wolfgang Blade – April 17, 2013 07:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Owen is a cutie.. sweet and adorable.

          Comment by Cha – May 21, 2013 12:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I totally agree!

            Comment by Rioz – May 26, 2013 01:40 PM PDT  
    • happy dance here too :D thank you Josh, thank you Lifetime. I am still hoping that that last episode (at least) was nothing but a usual Jane/Deb dream.

      Comment by Su – March 4, 2013 05:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I am SOOO SOOOOOO HAPPY!!!! I LOVE DROP DEAD DIVA!!!!!!!! It is my favorite show!!!! Thank you for keeping this show :)

      Comment by Kandy – March 4, 2013 09:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I lovvvvvvvvvvve this show. can’t wait to see it.

      Comment by tina – March 13, 2013 07:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOVE LOVE LOVE this show!!! My husband “deals with it” because I “make” him, but I KNOW he secretly LOVES it too!
      It is charming, smart, endearing, fabulous, and I will never get sick of Jane’s “OMG! I’m a bri lliant lawyer” moments, or Staci’s character development, or Grayson’s dopey discovery moments – the bitchy blonde lawyer is NOT bitchy – Margaret Cho, who I was NEVER a fan of, lights up every scene she is in and I adore the Deb flashbacks.
      Wish I was more articulate at this moment – feeling more like Staci than Jane – but THANK YOU for saving a treasure of a show. 43 minutes a week of pure bliss for all of us!

      Comment by Stace – April 9, 2013 09:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank you for resurrecting Drop Dead Diva, TV has turned in to an abysmal year of yuk and we need some humor. This show is humorous and entertaining. Keep it on!

      Comment by Annette – May 13, 2013 05:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • WHOO! Im so excited!! I REALLY want Fracy back sooooooo bad!

      Comment by Lindsay – July 1, 2013 07:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m really glad this show is coming back! I’ve always enjoyed it and was bummed when I heard it was canceled. It’s a perfect summer show- I hope later this year means summer.

    Comment by Kate – March 2, 2013 06:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m a law student and DDD was one of the few shows that didn’t make me cringe while watching. I loved the creative legal storylines and cute characters… and now they’re back!! Yes!!

    Comment by slizabeth – March 2, 2013 07:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yeah! We are so happy! And please bring Ben Feldman back! He is adorable!!

    Comment by Linda Ryan George – March 2, 2013 07:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Bring Ben Feldman back he is awesome. He is so adorable. We want him back.

      Comment by Rose – May 23, 2013 04:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s a miracle!!!!

    Comment by Beth – March 2, 2013 07:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So happy it’s back!!

    Comment by ladyluck527 – March 2, 2013 07:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so fricking happy DDD has been renewed. It would have been an awful ending to the show. Can’t wait to see wot happens next !!!

    Comment by lynn – March 2, 2013 07:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Im suprised but glad to hear this.I love this show, though the cliffhanger I didnt like and im glad the series will have a chance to wrap up.This and Client List are all I watch on Lifetime.

    Comment by Brandy – March 2, 2013 08:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m just so happy… I can’t even explain.

    Comment by Babybop – March 2, 2013 09:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was not a fan of the cliffhanger’s big twist last season, but I am very happy the show’s coming back! Let’s hope that twist resolves SOON.

    Comment by Annie – March 2, 2013 09:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love this show, glad it is back!

    Comment by Marc – March 2, 2013 09:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the ending was so stupid and hated it so much that I wasn’t sad when it was canceled. Will give it a chance to fix what they did, but if it goes on too long I am done.

    Comment by Carm – March 2, 2013 10:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No offense to DDD but Ben Feldman is incredible on Mad Men! I’m much more concerned on whether we see him back for that show. Herr Weiner is so tight-lipped about EVERYTHING so who knows!

    Comment by Lauren – March 2, 2013 10:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am glad for fans of the show that they get another season, but anyone who thinks it was online petitions and fan videos that did the trick is kidding themselves. Of COURSE it was creative financing that did it. If they found a way for bringing it back from the dead to be more profitable than leaving it dead, the result is a no brainer. But online petitions and Twitter trending doesn’t mean squat.

    Comment by Brooke – March 2, 2013 10:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • ITA! They’re a waste of time.

      Comment by Alex – March 2, 2013 07:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • DROP DEAD DIVA IS BACK and that’s all that matters TO the TRUE fans.

      Comment by A Fan – March 10, 2013 01:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What does “later this year” mean? Does that mean that DDD won’t be on this summer?

    Comment by Karen – March 2, 2013 11:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m glad it’s back. I really hope Fred comes with them.

    Comment by tvwillrotyourbrain – March 2, 2013 11:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Finally a network that sees the error of it’s ways and brings back a show that never should have been cancelled to begin with! Even if it’s just for 1 more season it’d be great to be able to end things the way that they wanted.. To cancel it after a cliffhanger like that? Thank you Lifetime for bring DDD back!

    Comment by Jenn – March 2, 2013 11:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ooops, I had already deleted this one from my DVR…guess I have to pay attention to when it returns. TVL, please help so I don’t miss it, not really a Lifetimer anymore…hate the annoying logo, it’s waaaaaaay too distracting!

    Comment by c-mo – March 2, 2013 11:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank heavens the show is coming back! I was amazed they even considered canceling it. It’s a great, fun show during the summer months and a great way to enjoy tv on a Sunday night.

    Comment by Kathy – March 2, 2013 12:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank you Lifetime and show creators for giving DDD fans a new lease!! Never missed an episode. Will continue to tune in as long as it’s on!!! WELCOME BACK!

    Comment by Norkir – March 2, 2013 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I must have had my head buried in the sand as I didn’t even know Lifetime had cancelled DDD, otherwise I would have been signing petitions myself. Thanks to all the fans who did. DDD is one of a handful of shows that I am happy to watch (Hart of Dixie, Parenthood). It’s got sass, quirkiness and great actors. Glad the cliffhanger from season 4 will be resolved.

    Comment by Mel – March 2, 2013 01:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank you, outgoing Pope for this last-minute miracle! This news made my week!!

    Comment by dan_in_kc – March 2, 2013 01:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!!!! :)

    Comment by Brittany – March 2, 2013 01:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What fabulous news!!! I am so proud of us all for demanding that Drop Dead Diva be un-cancelled and put back on for season 5!!! And thank you Josh Berman and Lifetime TV for giving us back a great show!!! Cannot wait for Season 5 to begin!!!!

    Comment by Holly Tuell – March 2, 2013 02:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • finally

    Comment by Doris Casteel-Burkhart – March 2, 2013 02:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Awesome news!!! :)

    Comment by Robin – March 2, 2013 02:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • so happy. The show must go on :) can’t wait to find out what happens. i also hope they bring brandy back.

    Comment by andi – March 2, 2013 03:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is the best news of the year. The fans brought this show back, to h*** with the ratings (and the ratings were great). The point here is that this show is in my opinion the only show without any violence that you can actually enjoy with the family and not get all freaked out.
    Congratulations to the cast, the crew, the producers for coming back for a 5th season and make our summer happy and to Lifetime for making a wise decision and renew this show.

    Comment by Lourdes T – March 2, 2013 05:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m not really into this show, but good on you fans for getting your show saved! VINDICATION!

    Comment by Sheila – March 2, 2013 05:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So glad it’s coming back. Saw Owen playing a plumber recently in a TV ad and would much
    rather see him on Drop Dead Diva. I like both Grayson and Owen for Jane. Fingers crossed that this won’t be the last season but one more is better than none!

    Comment by dvikib – March 2, 2013 09:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love, love, love this show! Can’t wait to see it again, hopefully very soon and not in the fall!

    Comment by Annette – March 3, 2013 12:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • O M G, I am SOOOO happy! This was my FAVORITE show and I was very sad, very mad, and very “had it” with all these networks that jerk a good show out from under FAITHFUL fans because they don’t reach some magic number. And, why is my household not included in those numbers? There’s two of us here that watch DDD…are our “numbers” included? Just glad to have ya back, DDD!

    Comment by Merry Mary – March 3, 2013 01:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great! I am so glad the story line twist will be resolved…hopefully very quickly. Have to admit I’m pulling for A Jane-Qwen happily ever after…but will watch it play out. Kudos to all who made this possible.

    Comment by Elderleigh – March 3, 2013 04:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay, I feel like an idiot. I didn’t even know it had been cancelled, and I’m usually so on top of it! At least I was spared the heartache :)

    Comment by hannah – March 3, 2013 08:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If we can save Drop Dead Diva, lets save LEVERAGE. Fans what is going on with the save LEVERAGE efforts?

    Comment by monieet – March 3, 2013 11:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Really miss Leverage. What can we do to get Leverage back?

      Comment by Elena – March 4, 2013 09:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yahoooooooooooooooo!!!!

    Comment by Karen B. – March 3, 2013 08:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Am so glad DDD will be back. My husband and I are big fans. One thing though…I hope Kim kardashian does not come back…she can’t act and show doesn’t need her. I do hope Fred returns…miss his character.

    Comment by Elena – March 4, 2013 09:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Jane has to be with Grayson could you deepen his character. He is so boring and shallow. Just eye candy and not much else. I really like Owen. Jane is not the bimbo she was when she died. Why would she want Grayson?

    Comment by Claudia Collette Scarbrough – March 4, 2013 03:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am so excited! Season 5 needs to get here asap! I hope it will be the season for Jane/Grayson! Also really happy Ben Feldman might appear again. Love this show and really happy a show that deserved to be saved got renewed!!

    Comment by Mennonna O'Brien (@NonnaOBrien) – March 4, 2013 04:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I did not know the show was cancelled and have been searching for it on TV guide every week. I am so glad the show is back. I love all the cast and I too, wish Fred was back. Every season has been a joy to watch and for me, the season finale always comes too soon and leaves me waiting for the next season. CONGRATS on returning!!!

    Comment by Georgia Girl – March 4, 2013 05:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! SO excited to read this, I could die!!

    Comment by Kristen58 – March 4, 2013 06:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So excited! Thank you, Lifetime for bringing back this wonderful show :)

    Comment by Nikki – March 4, 2013 07:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • well its really good that its coming back…this is the 1st i seen that it was even going to be canceled because i was looking when i seen the shows that were being canceled…but is this going to be the final season…i really hope not…this show is great….enough with the fake reality tv shows…

    Comment by pam – March 4, 2013 07:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • YAY!!!!!!! I always loved this show and recorded it since the beginning and for some reason I stopped watching for a long time, but never deleted the episodes. I was recently home sick for several days and watched the last 2 seasons non stop knowing full well that it was cancelled. Now I find out it isn’t…..This is truely a prime time miracle. YAY!!!!

    Comment by PC – March 5, 2013 02:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Amazing! They got this one right! S

    Comment by Karlee – March 5, 2013 08:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I want Jane and Grayson together. Owen was not the right guy for her! Glad we get another chance to work it all out!

    Comment by ForeverBones – March 7, 2013 08:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yeah for Jane and Grayson!!

    Comment by ROCKYGIRL – March 7, 2013 04:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My Life = MADE.

    I am so happy that DDD is back for another season, this show is my shizz (:

    Comment by JaLisa – March 7, 2013 08:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What channel will season 5 air on in Canada?

    Comment by J David – March 8, 2013 09:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Soooooo happy, my favorite show.

    Comment by Fatima – March 9, 2013 01:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s