It’s been more than a month since The Lying Game aired its second season finale and six months since the series wrapped production. But ABC Family is yet to make a decision on the future of the show based of Sara Shepard’s books. Complicating things is the fact that the options on the cast are up this week. I hear ABC Family asked The Lying Game producer Warner Horizon to extend the options on cast as the cable network wants to see how its summer series launch before making a decision on The Lying Game. That is easier said than done as the extension process involves a slew of actors with virtually no assurances that the extra hold will lead to a renewal. I hear all actors passed on Warner Horizon’s initial offer. I hear the efforts focused on the leads, with Alexandra Chando, now signed, and Blair Redford, who is in negotiations. The rest of the actors are in various stages of talks with the studios. I hear the hold is only until July, so ABC Family will have to make a decision shortly after its new and returning scripted series debut (between May 29 and June 11). Also unknown is the status is of Chuck Pratt who developed The Lying Game as serves as executive producer/showrunner. While the majority of the writers on the show have three-year deals, I hear Pratt’s contract was up at the end of Season 2.
ABC Family is launching four new series this summer — family drama The Fosters, mystery drama Twisted, reality competition series Dancing Fools and docu-soap The Vineyard. That is up from three last summer, when the network introduced drama Bunheads and comedy Baby Daddy, both renewed for second season, and docuseries Beverly Hills Nannies, which was not. Like last summer, ABC Family will have three nights of original programming (Monday-Wednesday). They will feature new episodes of eight original series including returning Pretty Little Liars, Switched At Birth, Baby Daddy and Melissa & Joey. Here is a list of the network’s summer premiere dates:
Jeanine Mason, who won Season 5 of Fox‘s competition series So You Think You Can Dance, has been cast in the network’s drama pilot Delirium. The project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment and based on Lauren Oliver’s book trilogy, is set in a world where love is deemed illegal and is able to be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway (Emma Roberts) falls in love. Mason will play Lena’s best friend Hana, who also faces the procedure. An apparently flirty girl who lives next door to Julian Fineman (Gregg Sulkin) and enjoys messing with his head, she is ultimately less rebellious than she appears. Billy Campbell, Corey Reynolds and Daren Kagasoff co star in the pilot, written and executive produced by Karyn Usher. Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope and Paula Mazur are also exec producers. Mason, whose recent credits include a turn on ABC Family’s Bunheads, is repped by ABA Talent and 3 Arts.
ABC Family has picked up to series two of its three drama pilots — The Fosters, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, and Socio, which has been renamed Twisted. Filming on both, which are produced in-house, will begin in the spring for a summer debut. “These new shows will bring the same depth, heart, close relationships and authenticity that our viewers have come to expect and will pair nicely with our already established pop culture hits,” ABC Family president Michael Riley said. I hear the network’s third drama pilot, Terminales, is still very much in contention and appears likely to get a series order contingent on some deal-making. As for ABC Family’s two comedy pilots, Miseducation aka Phys Ed and Continuing Fred, I hear neither is going forward.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Last summer, mega-producer Shonda Rhimes took to Twitter to criticize Bunheads executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino for a perceived lack of diversity in the Bunheads cast. The ABC Family show is set in a small-town ballet studio. The first of 8 new episodes aired Monday.
The Rhimes tweet: “Hey@abcfbunheads: really? You couldn’t cast even ONE young dancer of color so I could feel good about my kids watching this show? Not ONE?”
After today’s TCA panel on Bunheads, the always-outspoken Sherman-Palladino said there are no planned cast changes or additions to the list of major characters on the show to add diversity in response to Rhimes’ criticisms (Rhimes later backtracked a little on her tweet, saying that she didn’t object to her kids watching shows with white actors and praising Bunheads for showing girls of diverse body types).
ST. LOUIS, MO and NEW YORK, NY –– DECEMBER 31, 2012 –– Charter Communications and The Walt Disney Company today announced a comprehensive long-term distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s robust lineup of top quality sports, news and entertainment content to Charter TV customers across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and internet-enabled televisions. The renewal agreement supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms. Launch of content across these new distribution platforms is planned to begin in the first half of 2013.
Having just done the renewal/cancellation of its summer series, ABC Family is embarking on its next pilot cycle with the pickup of two new drama pilots, multi-ethnic family show The Fosters, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, and Socio, about a teen psychopath.
Created by Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige, who will serve as executive producers, The Fosters is a one-hour drama about a multi-ethnic family mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Lopez will executive produce with her producing partner at Nuyorican Prods. Simon Fields as well as Greg Gugliotta. Nuyorican is producing with ABC Family’s in-house production arm Prodco, Inc.
Socio is a one-hour drama centered on a charismatic sixteen-year-old alleged sociopath, who recently reconnected with his two female best friends from childhood, and who becomes the prime suspect when a fellow student is murdered. The project, which has Dexter Jr. vibe, was written by Adam Milch (Greek) who will serve as co-executive producer.
In ABC Family’s renewal announcement today, there was one bubble series conspicuously missing — Jane By Design. The cable network will not order more episodes of the comedic drama, which is being cancelled after one season. Jane By Design had an OK initial 10-episode run in the winter, which yielded an eight-episode back order in February. But the series could not keep up with its Pretty Little Liars lead-in this summer.
Jane by Design stars Andie MacDowell and Erica Dasher and is about high-schooler Jane (Dasher) who finds herself, through a case of mistaken identity, working in the world of high fashion. The series’ future has been in doubt since MacDowell in May signed on as the lead of another series, Hallmark Channel’s Cedar Cove. April Blair created Jane By Design and executive produced it with Gavin Polone and John Ziffren. As for the other two ABC Family series not mentioned in the pickup release today, both Pretty Little Liars and The Secret Of The American Teenager were renewed earlier this year.
ABC Family Renews ‘Baby Daddy’, ‘Melissa & Joey’ & ‘Switched At Birth’, Gives Back Order To ‘Bunheads’
After a very strong launch, ABC Family’s new comedy Baby Daddy will bypass the standard back order for a full-fledged second season pickup. Fellow freshman, ballet drama Bunheads, is getting a back-order pickup while the network also is renewing comedy Melissa & Joey for a third season and Switched At Birth for a second. “The new series have resonated with our viewers, and the combination of drama, comedy and reality brings great depth to our lineup, said ABC Family president Michael Riley. The dramas will premiere in Winter, with the comedies returning in Spring 2013. ABC Family also just announced a reunion special for its new reality series Beverly Hills Nannies to air on September 4. Baby Daddy, created by Dan Berendsen, launched as ABC Family’s #1 comedy series ever and is pacing as the #1 new cable comedy this summer in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34. It also boosted its lead-in, Melissa & Joey, to its best season to date. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Bunheads is cable TV’s #2 series on Mondays at 9 o’clock in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34. Here is more on the newly picked up series:
Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left that still-in-syndication WB/CW show (along with husband/frequent creative partner Daniel Palladino) in 2006 when contract negotiations ended unsuccessfully. Since then, she has developed several series scripts and/or pilots but none has been a success. Now she has found a home at ABC Family with Bunheads, a summer series about a ballerina-turned-Vegas showgirl (Tony-winner Sutton Foster) who unexpectedly finds herself teaching at her mother-in-law’s small-town dance school. (ABC Family is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group cocktail party at TCA this evening.) After its June 11th premiere, Bunheads immediately ignited controversy when mega-producer Shonda Rhimes, who is black, tweeted: “Hey@abcfbunheads: really? You couldn’t cast even ONE young dancer of color so I could feel good about my kids watching this show? Not ONE?” The outspoken Bunheads co-creator (with Lamar Damon) and executive producer talks to Deadline TV contributors Diane Haithman and Allison Hope Weiner about the new series, failed projects, what’s next, and her response to Shonda Rhimes.
DEADLINE: Dance insiders know the word “bunheads” describes ballet students who pin their hair up for class. Will the general public get it?
AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO: It’s the term I grew up with. We were called bunheads, and when I threw it out there it seemed to stick and people seemed to like it. I’m sure there was a conversation behind closed doors: “Perhaps we should call it Debbie Dances On Pointe.” And there was one phone call that said: ‘The title is Bunheads???’ ” And that was it. It was not a point of contention… I just like the word.
Related: Producer Dan Fogelman On ‘The Neighbors’: TCA
Justified, Teen Wolf, Pretty Little Liars and Body Of Proof are among the 28 projects picked by lottery to receive tax credits from the California Film Commission’s $100 million allocation, the commission revealed today. The basic breakdown: 10 film productions and 18 TV productions will receive credits. The commission says 53.5% of the projects were independent and 46.5% were studio-based. It estimates the projects will spend more than $683 million in California, including nearly $265 million in qualified wages.
The selected projects, which could change based on schedules and other production-delay issues, will mean employment for about 2,800 crew members, an estimated 2,900 cast members, and 57,000 extras/stand-ins. (UPDATE: The Hollywood guilds have come out with a pro-tax credit statement praising the lottery results; see their statement below.) The commission received 322 applications for this year’s production tax credit lottery by Friday’s 3 PM deadline. It will continue to accept applications for placement on the waiting list. Here’s the breakdown of today’s winners, followed by the projects by name:
The current eight-episode third season of the ABC Family series Make It Or Break It will be its last. The writing has pretty much been on the wall for the gymnastics drama, which first faced cancellation last summer following its second 20-episode season, which was down from the 20-epsiode Season 1. But last September, the network renewed the series for eight episodes “in time to ignite Olympic fever,” as ABC Family president Michael Riley put it. The timing does make sense as the premise of the series was following several elite female teen gymnasts dreaming of competing at the upcoming summer 2012 Olympics in London. The current abbreviated third season chronicles the final leg of the race to the Olympics, with the May 14 finale revealing who of the three girls will make the U.S. team for the games. ABC Family this week began promoting the May 14 closer as the series finale, with Make It Or Break It creator Holly Sorenson chiming in on Twitter. “We are, very sadly, three weeks away from the series finale of MIOBI,” she wrote Monday. ABC Family has three new series on tap for this summer: drama Bunheads, comedy Baby Daddy and docuseries Beverly Hills Nannies.
ABC Family is launching three new series this summer: drama Bunheads, comedy Baby Daddy and docuseries Beverly Hills Nannies. The network will have three nights of original programming (Monday-Wednesday) this summer featuring new episodes of seven series, including returning Pretty Little Liars, The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, Jane By Design and Melissa & Joey. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Bunheads, about a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school, will debut June 11 and air in the Monday 9 PM slot. New comedy Baby Daddy, about a young man (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) who becomes a surprise dad to a baby girl when she’s left on his doorstep by an ex-girlfriend, will premiere June 20 and air Wednesdays at 8:30 PM. Beverly Hills Nannies, about nannies working in Beverly Hills, will launch July 11 and run Wednesdays 9 PM. Pretty Little Liars‘ third season will start Tuesday, June 5 at 8 PM. It will be paired with freshman Jane By Design, which will return with new episodes Tuesday, June 5 at 9 PM. As previously announced, Secret Life returns with all-new episodes next Monday at 8 PM. Melissa & Joey’s second season will launch Wednesday, May 30 at 8 PM. Missing from the summer schedule is drama Switched At Birth, which will return in the fall.
Related: ABC …
EXCLUSIVE: ABC Family has given a back order of 8 additional episodes to freshman original series Jane By Design. The pickup brings the total first-season order for the show to 18 episodes. The new episodes will air in the summer alongside ABC Family’s recently announced new series, comedy Baby Daddy, drama Bunheads and reality series Beverly Hills Nannies. Jane by Design is a light-hearted drama starring Andie MacDowell and Erica Dasher about high-schooler Jane (Dasher) who finds herself, through a case of mistaken identity, working in the world of high fashion. April Blair created the series and is executive producing with Gavin Polone and John Ziffren. The pickup comes on the heels of ABC Family’s announcement yesterday that Jane by Design finished February as the No.1 series on Tuesday at 9 PM in female teens (391,000/3.3rating) and the and the No.1 scripted cable series in the hour in females 12-34. (781,000/1.7rating). The last episode of Jane By Design‘s original 10-episode order airs next Tuesday.
BURBANK, CA (February 8, 2012) – ABC Family continues to expand its original programming slate, giving the greenlight to the new drama series “Bunheads” (working title), it was announced today by Michael Riley, president, ABC Family.
Executive-produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) and headlined by Tony Award-winning actor Sutton Foster, “Bunheads” is the tale of a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school. “Bunheads” joins ABC Family’s recently announced new original series, comedy “Baby Daddy” and unscripted “Beverly Hills Nannies.” All three series will begin production in Spring 2012.
Kate Juergens, executive vice president, Original Programming and Development, ABC Family added, “Amy and I had a great collaboration on ‘Gilmore Girls,’ which continues to find new fans here on ABC Family, and I look forward to this new partnership being just as successful. Her vision for ‘Bunheads’ aligns beautifully with our brand and is a wonderful addition to ABC Family’s original programming slate. I know our Millennial audience is going to fall in love with Sutton Foster the same way Broadway has.”
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that ABC Family is moving ahead with a series order to Bunheads, its dance drama pilot from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. It will join another new ABC Family series that was picked up last week, comedy Baby Daddy. I hear that the cable network’s 2 other pilots from the current batch, drama Intercept and comedy Village People, are not going forward.
Bunheads stars Sutton Foster as Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man and moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school. “I spent 20 years of my life with my hair in a bun,” Sherman-Palladino, who got her break as a writer on Roseanne, said when the project was picked up to pilot in September. “I was supposed to be a dancer. My mother was a dancer. Her greatest heartbreak was when I got on Roseanne. So, while writing this will never equal playing ‘Rumpelteazer’ in a bus and truck tour of Cats, it does let me to tip my hat to a really special time in my life.” Bunheads was originally picked up as a cast-contingent pilot in fall 2010 with a different writer.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATED: We may not have seen the last of The Nine Lives Of Chloe King on ABC Family. The network canceled the drama series about a girl with cat-like powers in September after one modestly rated season. But during this morning’s ABC Family executive session at TCA, the network’s president Michael Riley said that “we are on the verge of putting a (Chloe King) movie into development.” No details to announce on story, but the plan is “to capitalize on the storytelling that’s already been in place,” he said. Dan Berendsen (Hannah Montana: The Movie), who developed and executive produced the series, is on board to write the Chloe King movie. In talking about the series, Riley didn’t want to use the word canceled. “We didn’t cut it short — we never talk about canceling shows at ABC Family,” he said, referring to the fact that Chloe King completed its first-season run before the network opted not to go forward with Season 2. “We loved the cast; we loved the writing on that show. For us it was about making some decisions. We had to choose between what we thought was resonating stronger for the audience.” That would be the other 2 new ABC Family drama series that launched last summer, breakout hit Switched At Birth, which received a second-season pickup, and The Lying …
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of last year’s Pregnancy Pact, Lifetime has greenlighted another original movie based on a true story involving the issue of teen pregnancy. The Pregnancy Project stars Spy Kids alumna Alexa Vega and is based on the true story of 17-year-old Washington state high-school student Gaby Rodriguez who pretended to be pregnant in an effort to explore conventional stereotypes and the treatment of pregnant teens for a senior year school project. The Pregnancy Project was written by Teena Booth who also co-wrote The Pregnancy Pact and penned the network’s Natalee Holloway films and the upcoming Drew Peterson Story. Norman Buckley (Pretty Little Liars) will direct. Barbara Lieberman and Tom Patricia executive produce. Additionally, Buckley executive produces the ABC Family pilot Bunheads, written/executive produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino. He is repped by Paradigm, which also reps Booth, and Rain Management Group.
Dillon Casey, who has been recurring on the current second season of the CW drama Nikita, playing new Division operative Sean Pierce, has now been promoted to a series regular status. He is with SDB and Luber Roklin.
Tony winner Sutton Foster has been cast as the lead in Amy Sherman-Palladino’s ABC Family pilot Bunheads. The project, which Sherman-Palladino wrote and is expected to direct, centers on Michelle (Foster), a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school.