Drop Dead Diva Spoilers: Exec Producer Josh Berman talks budget cuts and teases the season 5 return
Drop Dead Diva didn’t drop dead for long as it is back for its fifth season, despite being cancelled only two months earlier.
However, the show has undergone some major budget cuts since being picked up for its fifth run. Josh Berman, Drop Dead Diva’s Executive Producer has said that even though a lot of cuts have happened, fans of the show won’t notice any changes. In fact, he thinks the first three episodes are the best yet!
The first episode of the new season, titled “Back from the Dead” picks up from where season four left off, in which Old Jane appeared to return to Earth in the body of Owen, New Jane’s fiancé. Kim also goes public with her pregnancy, in which it was revealed in the season four finale that Parker is the father.
Speaking about the new season, Berman said that from watching the first three episodes, he believes this year’s season is the best yet, despite the cutbacks.
“It’s so funny because if you watch the show — I’ve seen the first three episodes, and this is the best our show has ever looked. The budget cuts are not anything fans will notice. We spent four years significantly investing in our infrastructure — everything from soundproofing to redoing the sets to buying our own Avid base for editing. We did that our first four seasons. Our capital expenditures were already made. So naturally, this would have been the time for our show to save money, and so we got very lucky. It would have been a lot more difficult if they had asked for budget cuts in our second or third season. We were able to take advantage of everything we had already done”. He told the Hollywood Reporter.
He also went on to say that he didn’t know the show was initially being cancelled, otherwise he wouldn’t have “left fans in the lurch” with the season 4 cliffhanger. He added he was rather overwhelmed and excited when the show got picked up for the fifth season as there so much more “of this story that I was dying to tell”.
As we all know, Josh Stamberg who played Jay Parker won’t be returning for the fifth season. Berman said his “exit works seamlessly into how we’re evolving the show”. Unfortunately Berman is unsure whether Josh will return to the show, but if he does it will be kept a secret anyway.
He also revealed that the whole New Jane/Old Jane storyline will be resolved “quite soon” but the door is open to continuing it if they decide to do so.
Grayson is in love with Jane, but Jane is still in love with Owen, so we definitely have the potential for a little love triangle to go on when the season returns.
Berman said: “You know, it’s so fun being able to write situations that are messy and complicated. And I think that so many of us have had feelings for multiple people, and how do we juggle that? And in TV or in movies there’s always the one, and that’s the one you want and that’s the one you go after and that’s the one you get or you don’t get. But, I think Jane — it’s complicated for Jane. She truly loves Owen, but she still has strong feelings for Grayson. So, season five is a little bit messy, and we watch Jane juggle these two men, and more importantly try to figure out what is right and wrong. What does she really want? What should she really want?”
Finally, the executive producer teased that the first four seasons set the benchmark for season 5. Everything in Jane’s life is coming to a head, professionally and romantically – she has a lot to deal with. He also teased that the shows best cliffhanger of all comes at the end of the premiere episode.
“The first four seasons were the platform for season five. Everything in Jane’s life is coming to a head, professionally and romantically. Jane has a lot to juggle, but she’s better equipped to juggle than ever before. I would say that for me, every cliffhanger of a season finale is big, but I think our best cliffhanger comes at the end of the first episode back. I think viewers are going to love it. And it was important for me as a writer that season five is very accessible to new viewers as well as rewarding to hardcore fans. For viewers who have never seen the show before, it will be super easy to join Drop Dead Diva and become a fan,” he teased.
Drop Dead Diva returns to Lifetime on June 23rd at 9pm.