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Premature Infatuation: The Protector 

Next up on our PI roster is another one that’s definitely going to air. Lifetime is launching The Protector this summer, and this is another case of bonus casting. Ally Walker is set to headline the detective drama, and I’m so psyched to have her back on TV.

Ally Walker

I first had a mad girl crush on her 19 years ago for a sweet gem of a show she and Bill Campbell had on ABC called Moon Over Miami (if you have copies of the episodes, comment me!). Then Profiler was appointment TV even though it ranged into very dark territory. Walker stepped out for a while to be a mom and then resurfaced in HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me and FX’s Sons of Anarchy and a creepstastic turn on L&O: SVU but it’s been a decade since she headlined anything. Love, love, love her.The logline: “Divorced mother Gloria Sheppard (Ally Walker)…juggles her demanding personal and professional life as an intuitive LAPD homicide detective while raising two boys with the help of her troubled younger brother, Davey (Chris Payne Gilbert, who will be familiar to folks from TBS’s 10 Items or Less and a host of one-off appearances on shows like Dexter, Moonlight, and NCIS).

Tisha Campbell-Martin

Lifetime seems to be returning to the culturally diverse formula that worked for them for several years with 1-800-Missing and Any Day Now. Also in the cast are Tisha Campbell-Martin, who’s best known for her comedy roles in shows like Martin, My Wife and Kids, and All of Us, as Walker’s partner. I’m intrigued to see her do an hour-long drama. Miguel Ferrer will play their boss, and it sounds like he’s stepping back into his Crossing Jordan role as papa bear/confidante, which isn’t a bad thing. We last saw him as a regular in the Bionic Woman reboot.

Miguel Ferrer

The title is weird, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it changed again. Until last week, it was Exit 19. Lifetime has been out of the crime drama business for a while, so I’m glad to see them come back to it. I always liked 1-800-Missing, and the network only has two scripted shows running, so they can use another one. Here’s hoping they will program it well and get the same success TNT had with Rizzoli & Isles last summer.

Creative folks on the show include Jeffrey Bell (V and Angel), Nina Wass (Less than Perfect), and Gene Stein (Accidentally on Purpose). The pilot was directed by Peter O’Fallon, who I will always dig for his work on the Adrian Pasdar PAX series, Mysterious Ways.  An interesting bit of history on the project is that it was originally filmed with Geena Davis as a presentation for CBS a few years ago; it just took a while to gel all the players. We’ll get 13 episodes to decide this summer.

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