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Drop Dead Diva
Drop Dead Diva Logo.jpg
Genre Comedy
Created by Josh Berman
Starring Brooke Elliott
Margaret Cho
April Bowlby
Kate Levering
Jackson Hurst
Josh Stamberg
Ben Feldman
Theme music composer Scott Starrett
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26
Executive producer(s) Josh Berman
Jason Geigerman
Neil Meron
David Petrarca
Craig Zadan
Location(s) Atlanta, Georgia
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel Lifetime
Original airing July 12, 2009 – Present
External links
Official website

Drop Dead Diva is an American comedy-drama/fantasy television series that debuted on Lifetime on July 12, 2009[1]. The hour-long series, which was created by Josh Berman, is produced by Sony Pictures Television. The show airs on Showcase in Canada.


Plot summary

The series revolves around vapid blonde and aspiring model, Deb Dobson (played by Brooke D'Orsay in the pilot and in flashbacks), who is killed in a car crash. As her soul enters the gates of Heaven, she finds herself declared a self-centered "zero" (meaning she has performed zero good deeds and zero bad deeds during her time on earth; she is simply shallow) by the gatekeeper Fred. After not liking what she hears, she presses for a return to her former body, hoping to get back to Earth. Deb gets her wish, only to be brought back to life in the body of a recently deceased, intelligent, overweight lawyer named Jane Bingum. Initially horrified, Deb – in her new human form – discovers the meaning of inner beauty as she finds the ability to juggle legal cases, aided by her assistant Terri, while attempting to reconnect incognito with her still-grieving boyfriend, Grayson Kent, who just started working at Jane's law firm. At the same time, Deb begins to rediscover her past while learning more about her inherited body's current life and how Jane was treated when she was alive. In addition to former gatekeeper Fred (who was demoted to guardian angel and had been assigned to watch over her at the law firm), only Deb's long-time mortal friend Stacy knows Jane's true identity.


  • Brooke Elliott as Jane Bingum/Deb Dobson: A former model now stuck in the body of a size 16 lawyer, Deb wrestles with this new life. She has Jane's legal smarts but not her memories and brushes off odd behavior as aftereffects of Jane being shot. Her lack of Jane's memories does hurt at times such as when she sues a diet guru unaware until the trial that Jane did a commercial endorsing the product. In addition, Deb learned at Jane's Class of 1994 reunion that Jane was very unnoticed at high school and her prom date was gay. Deb also handles the sudden urge for treats and snacks she denied herself before as well as realizing how self-absorbed she used to be. When her mother comes to the firm to get a divorce, Deb assumes that it's because of her death but soon discovers her parents were unhappy for years and just staying together for Deb's sake. She handles that but is later jarred when her birthday comes along and she discovers Jane is eight years older. At Jane's birthday party, Deb is pleasantly surprised to find that while she had been tone-deaf, Jane has a great singing voice. Deb wanted to tell Grayson who she actually was, but was devastated when he fell for fellow lawyer Kim Kasswell. Deb would later come to accept what had happen and told Grayson that she saw no problem about the two kissing, although Kim had decided already to tell Grayson that she did not want to start a relationship with him. She also was the one that warned her guardian angel Fred about falling for her best friend Stacy that would lead to memories of his existence being erased. When Jane's mother came to town to visit, Deb did her best to handle it, realizing the distance the mother and daughter had and deciding that if she couldn't be with her own mother again, she could at least have Jane's. In the first season finale, Deb/Jane helped a ballplayer win a lawsuit against a doctor who botched an operation on his arm but then discovered that the two had been in cahoots to rip off the insurance company. Warned that telling anyone would put her career in jeopardy, as she later learned that Jane could lose her license and be disbarred, Deb went ahead and filed evidence to the district attorney while also resigning from the firm. She was beginning to believe Grayson was interested in her as Jane but was jarred when a man arrived at her home claiming to be Jane's husband.
  • Margaret Cho as Teri Lee, Jane's assistant who helps her with her confusion while curious about her behavior.
  • April Bowlby as Stacy Barnett, Deb's best friend who learns the truth about her now in Jane's body. Another aspiring model/actress, she was at first hoping to get Jane to lose weight to be more like Deb. Eventually she confessed her fear that the smarter Jane will leave the less intelligent Stacy behind. She did help Jane win a case by posing as a shipping client to expose the illegal practices of a trucking company. Her favorite television show is Project Runway.
  • Kate Levering as Kim Kasswell, a hot-shot lawyer at the firm who's always looked down on Jane due to her looks. When Deb is reborn in Jane, she recognizes how Kim is jealous of Jane's success and smarts. Kim is interested in Grayson, and they eventually kiss, only to have Kim end it there because she believes that Grayson wasn't ready to start a relationship.
  • Jackson Hurst as Grayson Kent, Deb's fiancee who is still mourning her, unaware he now works with her as Jane. He's aware of Kim's attraction to him but ignores it as he still pines for Deb, but eventually kisses Kim, who would later end it because she felt he wasn't ready to start a relationship with her, despite Deb/Jane's approval.
  • Josh Stamberg as J. Parker, the firm's boss whose dalliance with another man's wife led to Jane being shot. Deb uses the guilt of that to get him to go along with her plans.
  • Ben Feldman as Fred, the angel who was in charge of Deb's case when she was alive. After she died, he was demoted to being her guardian angel and works as a mail clerk in the firm. Still getting used to being among humans, he's struck by the attraction he feels toward Stacy. He ends up kissing her and they seem to go out together but the next day Stacy claims to have no idea who he is. He leaves a note to Deb explaining that he ended up breaking rules with the kiss and was thus reassigned with all memories of him erased, except from Deb's mind. He returns a few episodes later, revealing he couldn't maintain his job because of his feelings for Stacy and thus gave up being an angel and took human form to return to Earth. However, he realized he was too focused on Stacy and told Deb/Jane he was leaving to learn more about being human.
  • Brooke D'Orsay as Deb Dobson, a self-centered diva who passes away in a car accident while doing her make-up. In heaven, she presses the return button on Fred's keyboard returning her to Earth. Unfortunately for her, she returns as Jane.

Guest stars

Many celebrities will be making guest appearances on the show. Among them are: Paula Abdul, Diedrich Bader, Delta Burke, Jorja Fox, Elliot Gould,[2] Steve Valentine, Tim Gunn, Sharon Lawrence, Liza Minnelli, Mark Moses, Kathy Najimy, Rosie O'Donnell, Teri Polo, Nia Vardalos, Gregory Harrison, Gina Torres, and Chuck Woolery.[3]


This series, which is being shot in Peachtree City, Georgia, even though its background setting is Los Angeles, California, was originally planned for Fox, but the studio passed after seeing the pilot. According to Berman, "It's a cross between Freaky Friday and Heaven Can Wait," calling it a "life-affirming dramedy". He adds that in Hollywood, "beauty has been defined as size 2 and under 25; hopefully we can help redefine the paradigm".[4]

On August 19, 2009, Lifetime renewed the series for a second season, ordering 13 additional episodes to air in 2010[5].


Season Ep # First Airdate Last Airdate
Season 1 13 July 12, 2009 October 11, 2009
Season 2 13 June 6, 2010 August 29, 2010


In its first outing, Drop Dead Diva scored a 1.6 overall and more than 2.8 million viewers tuning in[6].

"Drop Dead Diva" scored its highest ratings ever among women 18-49 (2.0), a 25% increase over its season-to-date average, and women 25-54 (2.3), a 28% increase over its season-to-date average.

The show aired on the Nine Network in Australia but failed to achieve high ratings for the channel and was subsequently dropped in early September, then the following week began airing the series starting with the first episode again on Nine's digital GO! channel.


External links

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