TV Article

Imitation Of Life

Cable channels grant second chance to B-list stars -- ABC Family and Lifetime both showcase made-for-TV movies featuring Marilu Henner, Tori Spelling, and Thora Birch

Marilu Henner and Joseph Lawrence -- together! The work of Lifetime, you say? Not so. With a burgeoning catalog of guilty-pleasure telepics featuring fabulous B-listers, ABC Family -- which brings you ''Love Rules!'' (June 6 at 8 p.m.), starring Henner as Lawrence's meddling future in-law-is starting to look a lot like the Television for Women network. Here, a sampling of their shared traits.

90210 ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS LIFETIME Tori Spelling as victim of bullying boyfriend in ''Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?'' ABC FAMILY Brian (Austin) Green as victim's bully-turned-boyfriend in ''This Time Around.''

MARQUEE MAKEOVER MOVIE LIFETIME ''Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story,'' in which Thora Birch liberates herself from her troubled mom and enters Ivy League college. ABC FAMILY ''Beautiful Girl,'' in which Marissa Jaret Winokur liberates herself from her troublemaker mom and enters beauty contest.

GAYS OF THEIR LIVES LIFETIME In ''An Unexpected Love,'' middle-aged mom (Leslie Hope) gets romantic with a lady named Mac. ABC FAMILY In ''Celeste in the City,'' twentysomething lady (Majandra Delfino) gets a makeover from gay dudes armed with MAC.

Originally posted Jun 11, 2004 Published in issue #769 Jun 11, 2004 Order article reprints