When Drop Dead Diva returns this Sunday (Lifetime, 9/8c), things will look a little different. Although once again Jane will be tangled up in a love triangle, this time Grayson is the one pining for her. As if that wasn’t enough, there will now be another new guy in our heroine’s life — her new guardian angel! And even that’s not all! Kim Kardashian’s guesting in several episodes as Stacy’s business partner.
Below, series creator Josh Berman updates TVLine on Jane’s romances, reveals Ben Feldman’s status as Fred and explains why the reality star’s presence is a good thing. (If you missed out on any of last season’s drama, check out a mini-marathon on Saturday, June 2, from 11 am-4 pm.)
TVLINE | Romantically speaking, Jane was left in an interesting place in last season’s finale. Where is her love life headed?
As much as was going on in the end of that episode, that’s how much is going to be going on in the beginning of Season 4. We start with Jane in Italy with Owen, and we see what their vacation has been like. And then we also go back to Grayson, who’s been pining over Jane.
TVLINE | So there’s a bit of a role reversal between Grayson and Jane.
Totally. For three seasons, Jane has been pining over Grayson, and now Grayson has some real feelings for Jane. The question that we ask of these characters — and I think the viewers are going to ask as well — is, does Grayson fall in love with Jane because she’s Jane or because he thinks she’s Deb? That’s a real important distinction that we’re going to explore in Season 4.
TVLINE | Stacy told Grayson, “Jane is Deb.” What is he making of that sentence? And how close will he get to figuring things out?
He’s taking that pretty literally. We play that out over the fist couple of episodes. I don’t want to give away too much. But the first three episodes, he gets closer and closer. The cliffhanger of the season opener is just as good as our season finale cliffhanger.
TVLINE | Lex Medlin, who plays Owen, is a series regular now. What does that mean for his relationship with Jane?
Their relationship has some real twists and turns. We’re going to learn some things about Owen that I don’t think anyone saw coming. That’s going to throw Jane for a loop. It’s funny, because on the set, people are divided between Team Owen and Team Grayson. I’ll be curious to see if the fans are more Team Owen or Team Grayson. There’ll be some real resolution there [with the love triangle]. It’ll be a very satisfying season.
TVLINE | When I talked to Brooke Elliott, she teased a proposal.
I can promise you that in the first half of Season 4, there will be a very big proposal. There’s a romantic proposal in the first six episodes. It’s a game-changer for the show.
TVLINE | Jane has a new guardian angel this season. Considering how much viewers love Fred, why did you decide to introduce a new person?
For a lot of reasons. But Fred is in the season opener, and I can promise you that he’s not gone forever. We love Ben Feldman, but Fred was always a manifestation of a boy or of a child. We always look at him as like a little kid inside of a grown man’s body. As Jane aged, we wanted to give her a guardian angel who was not just a man-child but a real man. That was the evolution of the angel and why we introduced the character of Luke, played by Carter MacIntyre, who’s more self-assured, more grounded and really more of an equal to Jane whereas as Fred always played the little brother.
TVLINE | Did Ben Feldman’s gig on Mad Men have any impact on this storyline?
Ben Feldman actually shot his Mad Men [episodes] before this season. I don’t think that was important. Like I said, Ben remains a friend of the show. He’s terrific. He’s not gone forever. But when he comes back, it’s going to be a big surprise to everybody.
TVLINE | How will this affect Fred and Stacy?
If you are a Fred/Stacy fan, your favorite scenes in that relationship will be in the season premiere. We kick that relationship to a new level, and we also explain what their future’s going to be.
TVLINE | Can you talk about who Kim Kardashian is playing and why you decided she was right for this role?
[She] plays a love guru who is also a barista at a juice bar. Her character’s name is Nikki LaPree. This was a really important character for us, because she needed to have a lot of confidence but also a lot of misplaced confidence. We wanted her to have an air of mystery to her, a feeling that she was larger than life. And we also wanted her to be an adversary to Jane. In looking to cast this role, we learned that the Kardashians are big fans of Drop Dead Diva. Khloe has talked about it. When we approached Kim to play this role, she jumped at the opportunity, and we were thrilled to have her.
TVLINE | Some people love Kim, and some people dislike her. Were you concerned about that and getting any flak for that?
The character she’s playing is not herself. I hope that people will watch these couple episodes with her and then judge for themselves. When you’re on a cable network and you want the show to succeed and you want the show to survive and go more seasons, you have to do things to get attention for the series. If Kim helps bring attention to the series and helps us gain more viewers, get more years on the air, then whatever your feelings about Kim, I hope people will appreciate what she’s doing for Drop Dead Diva.
- Ben Feldman