Nicholas Sparks is best known for his celebrated novels, many of which have been adapted into feature films, but his upcoming endeavor doesn't involve a book, nor a feature film for that matter. Lifetime announced today that they've set the date for Deliverance Creek, a TV movie (and backdoor pilot) that will mark Sparks' TV debut as a producer. The period drama is described as a revenge story and will star Lauren Ambrose, with "special guest star" Skeet Ulrich.
Set to premiere September 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, Deliverance Creek is set two years into the Civil War and stars Lauren Ambrose as Belle Gatlin Barlowe, a woman looking to protect her family's land by any means necessary. " When the corrupt bank that runs their town pushes Belle into becoming an outlaw," the official description for the movie reads, "the stakes become personal, setting off a chain of events that force her to question whether it’s better to be good or to survive."
While Sparks is on board to produce the drama through Nicholas Sparks Productions, the movie was written by Melissa Carter, with The Borgias John Amiel set to direct. Deliverance Creek is one of numerous projects in development through Warner Bros. Television Group.
Lifetime is referring to Deliverance Creek as a "two-hour programming event," while Deadline's report -- which includes a trailer that teases plenty of drama and more than a few guns fired -- refers to it as a backdoor pilot, which suggests that if the film does well when it airs this September, perhaps Lifetime will move forward with a series. That might explain why Lifetime's announcement stresses that Skeet Ulrich is a "special guest star," if he isn't intended to stick around beyond this movie, should Lifetime decide to move forward with Deliverance Creek as a series. Or maybe Ulrich's screen time is limited.
It would be great to see Lauren Ambrose back on the small screen in a regular role. Her last steady run on television was in 2011 when she played Jilly Kitzinger in the most recent season of Torchwood. Ambrose may be best known on the TV side for playing Claire Fisher in HBO's Six Feet Under. On the feature side, her credits include Can't Hardly Wait, Wanderlust and a voice role in Where the Wild Things Are.
In addition to Ambrose, Deliverance Creek's cast also includes Wes Ramsey, Yaani King, Caitlin Custer, Christopher Backus, Riley Smith, Katherine Willis, Christopher Baker, Barry Tubb and Joel Johnston.
While Lifetime viewers have Deliverance Creek to look forward to this September, things have been heating up on the cable network this summer. The Flowers in the Attic sequel movie Petals on the Wind debuted on Lifetime last night. And the network has new episodes of their original dramas Drop Dead Diva and Devious Maids airing on Sunday nights. And coming up in July, the network will bring back Witches of East End and later, debut The Lottery.