ABC will bring its summer series Mistresses back for a second season next summer. The soapy drama, based on the British series, had a quiet freshman run, capped by 3.9 million total viewers and a 1.1 18-49 rating for the recent season finale. ABC owns the series, created by K.J. Steinberg and starring Yunjin Kim, Rochelle Aytes, Jes Macallan and Alyssa Milano.
New drama Mistresses, starring Alyssa Milano, Yunjin Kim, Rochelle Aytes and Jes Macallan, will premiere on Monday, May 27 at 10 PM on ABC. Meanwhile, the network has set the Season 9 premiere of The Bachelorette for Monday, May 20 at 9 PM. The following week it will move to its regular 8 PM time slot. Based on the UK series, Mistresses revolves around the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery. The ABC Studios series is executive produced by Rina Mimoun, K.J. Steinberg, Robert Sertner and Douglas Rae. The Bachelorette is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television; Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers.
At a morning TCA panel, ABC entertainment chief Paul Lee said that ABC is high on soap operas, saying he’s delighted that General Hospital is “rocking and rolling” in daytime and adding that the series Scandal has reinvented the genre. (He also offered that the important Latina audience “loves that genre.”) “But you want to do something that breaks the rules,” the executive said.
Lee did not mention ABC’s new primetime soap Mistresses in his remarks about soaps, but at an afternoon panel the cast and producers had plenty to say about flawed women, the show’s abundant nakedness, adultery as a dramatic premise and how to “break the rules” without offending the audiences and the Standards department.
Lyndon Smith has landed a major recurring role on the CW’s drama series 90210. In a six-to-nine episode arc, she will play Michaela, who is an exceptional singer – a cute, free-spirited girl trying to make a fresh start. We come to find out that Michaela has an unexpected connection to the gang, and will end up playing a very big part in one of our characters’ lives. Smith, repped by Don Buchwald-Fortitude and Main Title, is a regular in the MTV pilot Cassandra French.
Amir Arison has signed on for a recurring role on ABC’s midseason conspiracy drama Zero Hour. The actor will play scientist Theo Molars. Arison has recently guest starred on Showtime’s Homeland and FX’s American Horror Story. Anthony Edwards leads Zero Hour as a conspiracy magazine editor who becomes involved in a grand conspiracy when his wife is kidnapped. Amir Arison is repped by Bauman Redantly & Shaul and Sweet180.
Originally ordered for next summer but also considered for the upcoming season, ABC‘s racy new soap Mistresses will launch next May for a summer run, ABC’s Paul Lee said during a press call this morning. It will likely premiere on Monday after The Bachelorette.
Also on the call, Lee addressed the decision to move Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— to Tuesdays against Fox’s New Girl after the two launched in the protected post-Modern Family slot. Lee said both shows have passionate audiences that would follow them to the new night. As for pitting them against other comedies, especially New Girl, Lee said, “I do think there is room on the networks for big ratings” for multiple series in the same slot. Opting not to put a comedy against New Girl last year but to do it this fall with Happy Endings is not a suggestion that ABC feels New Girl is getting weaker but confidence that Happy Endings “can open a comedy block at 9 PM on Tuesday,” Lee said.
EXCLUSIVE: Designing women alumna Delta Burke is set as a lead of another comedy about sisters running a business together, ABC/Sony TV’s multi-camera pilot Counter Culture. Written and executive produced by writer-actress Stephnie Weir and executive produced by Claudia Lonow, Counter Culture revolves around three sisters, Billie (Kerri Kenney), Nonie (Burke) and Joyce (Margo Martindale), running their family diner together in West Texas who find that sibling dynamics are always getting in the way of getting the job done. Nonie is the put upon middle sister, a dreamer.
Orlando Jones has joined Claudia Lonow’s other ABC comedy pilot, How to Live With Your Parents For The Rest Of Your Life, which she wrote. The single-camera comedy, from 20th TV and Imagine, centers on Polly (Sarah Chalke), a recently divorced single mom, who moves in with her eccentric parents, Elaine and Max, (Brad Garrett, Elizabeth Perkins) a couple who’s full of life but knows no boundaries. Jones, repped by Paradigm and New Wave, will play Gregg, Polly’s best friend and boss, the only one who truly understands her and is there for her in the midst of the insanity. He also did an ABC pilot last year, drama Identity, and recently did an arc on USA’s Necessary Roughness.
Alyssa Milano has been tapped as the last of the four leads in ABC’s drama series Mistresses. The soap, written by KJ Steinberg, is based on the British format. It centers on four women, April (Rochelle Aytes), Josslyn (Jes Macallan), Katie (Yunjin Kim) and Josslyn’s older sister Sarah (Milano), chronicling their sometimes scandalous romantic lives. Sarah is a classy and elegant married lawyer at a top Los Angeles law firm. Charmed and Melrose Place alumna Milano, recently seen in Garry Marshall’s romantic comedy New Year’s Eve, will next reprise her guest starring role on the Fox comedy Breaking In as the ex-wife of Oz (Christian Slater). She is with CAA and Alchemy Entertainment.
Amanda Walsh (Sons & Daughters) has joined Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Rebounding, written by Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, exec produced by Steve Levitan and directed by Jason Winer. It is an uplifting comedy about Danny (Will Forte), a man recovering from the death of his fiancé with the help of the idiots on his pickup basketball team. Walsh will play the girlfriend of one of Danny’s friends, Dave (Hayes MacArthur). Walsh, repped by ICM and 3 Arts, replaces Aly Michalka, who was originally cast in the role but departed after the table read when the charcter was reconceived.
Lost alumna Yunjin Kim has landed a lead opposite Rochelle Aytes and Jes Macallan in Mistresses, ABC’s drama recently greenlighted straight to series for a summer 2013 launch. The soap, written by KJ Steinberg and based on the British format, is described as a provocative drama about four women — three of them played by Kim, Aytes and Macallan — with scandalous romantic lives, caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal. Kim will play Katie, a therapist who slept with one of her patients, John, before his death. Also cast on the series are Erik Stocklin in the regular role of Sam, John’s son, who finds himself falling in love with Katie; and Cameron Bender in the recurring role of Richard, a recently divorced man who hires April to re-decorate his new apartment and starts a romance with her. Stocklin is with JC Robbins, Bender is with Metropolitan and Justice & Ponder.
Erin Moriarty has been cast in ABC’s drama pilot Penoza, written and executive produced by Twilight scribe Melissa Rosenberg. Based on a Dutch format, it centers on Martha (Radha Mitchell), the widow of an assassinated criminal who is forced to adopt her husband’s role in a crime syndicate in order to protect her family. Moriarty, repped by ICM and 3 Arts, will play Martha’s daughter. She will next be seen in Neighborhood Watch.
Rochelle Aytes (ABC’s The Forgotten) and up-and-comer Jes Macallan have landed two of the four leads in Mistresses, ABC’s drama recently greenlighted straight to series for a summer 2013 launch. The soap, written by KJ Steinberg, based on the British format, is described as a provocative thrilling drama that finds four women, two of them played by Aytes and Macallan, with scandalous romantic lives, caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal, and at the mercy of the complex relationships they’ve created. Aytes, repped by Innovative and Zero Gravity Management, will play April, a recent widow raising two daughters and running a high-end linen shop on Robertson Boulevard. Coincidentally, Aytes also played one of the 4 leads in the previous U.S. Mistresses adaptation, a 2009 Lifetime pilot penned by Melissa Carter. In her first series regular role, Macallan, repped by Luber Roklin, Momentum and attorney Lev Ginsburg, will play Josslyn, the youngest of the quartet of close friends, a real estate broker, and an unapologetically sensual woman. Cherie Nowlan, repped by UTA and Industry, is set to direct the pilot for the ABC Studios series, executive produced by Steinberg, Bob Sertner, Douglas Rae and Rina Mimoun.
EXCLUSIVE: Mistresses, the drama soap from The Nine co-creator KJ Steinberg, which had been on the short list at ABC for a pilot order for fall, is getting a straight-to-series pickup for summer instead. The network has greenlighted the project to series targeted for summer 2013. Based on the British format, Mistresses, whose setup evokes ABC’s departing Desperate Housewives, is described as a provocative thrilling drama that finds four women with scandalous romantic lives, caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal, and at the mercy of the complex relationships they’ve created. Steinberg wrote the adaptation, which is being executive produced by Bob Sertner and Ecosse Films’ Douglas Rae for ABC Studios. The original series, which ran for 3 seasons on BBC One, is carried in the U.S. by BBC America. Produced by Ecosse, it was created by Rachel Anthony, S.J. Clarkson and Lowri Glain and starred Sarah Parish, Sharon Small, Orla Brady and Shelley Conn.
This marks the second pickup this season for WME-repped Steinberg, who also wrote ABC’s period drama pilot Gilded Lillys and is executive producing it with Shonda Rhimes. ABC has been the most aggressive among the broadcast networks in developing scripted series for summer. Its most recent effort, Missing, originally eyed for last summer, was shifted to a regular season launch after landing Ashley Judd for the lead. Previous ABC summer scripted series developed at …
This is a topical project given the big healthcare debate at the moment. CBS has out in development The Advocate, a drama from CSI maven Carol Mendelsohn and Scandal co-exec producer Judy Smith, the crisis management consultant the series’ Olivia Pope was based on. Written by Ayelet Waldman, The Advocate centers on a former doctor who has found her calling as a medical advocate, where she works on behalf of patients and their loved ones, solving medical crises and mysteries, and guaranteeing people the care they deserve.
EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Channel has decided to simulcast Science Channel’s first stab at scripted programming — the 90-minute The Challenger Disaster — when it premieres on November 16 at 9 PM, to ensure it gets the biggest possible audience and because the movie fits Discovery’s footprint. Discovery Channel this calendar year, is averaging 1.3 million viewers – 660,000 of them aged 18-49. Science Channel this year is averaging 304,000 viewers – 117,000 of them in the demo. When Science first announced the project in July, its GM Debbie Myers said it was the “biggest swing” in the network’s history. Produced in collaboration with the BBC and based on Dr. Richard Feynman’s memoir, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, the movie details Feynman’s participation in the Presidential Commission put together to investigate the Challenger explosion. William Hurt plays Feynman – the Caltech physicist/Nobel laureate who, in a televised hearing, demonstrated that the Challenger’s O-ring was not sufficiently pliable, submerging a piece of it in a glass of ice water, causing it to grow stiff and bend, and Feynman to note, “I believe that has some significance for our problem,” according to press reports. At the investigation’s conclusion, Feynman’s report, “Appendix F – Personal Observations on the Reliability of the Shuttle,” was presented to POTUS, independent of the commission’s report.
The Challenger explosion was one of those where-were-you-then moments in American history; millions of TV viewers watched in horror on January 1986 as the space vehicle burst apart, killing all seven astronauts on board, including the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe, who’d been added to the crew because space travel was considered that safe; she was going to provide terrific PR for the space program by teaching some classes to school children from space.
EXCLUSIVE: Former Lost co-star Yunjin Kim, now a lead on ABC’s summer series Mistresses, is expanding her relationship with the network. ABC has put in development an untitled hourlong project from ABC Studios and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s studio-based Fake Empire based on the Korean drama series Nine: Nine Time Travels. The format was brought to Fake Empire by Kim, who will serve as executive producer alongside Schwartz, Savage and Fake Empire’s President of TV Len Goldstein in what marks Fake Empire’s tenth broadcast sale this season. Written by Derek Simonds, the untitled drama, described as part thriller, part epic love story, centers on a man with the ability to travel 20 years back in time who, in trying to alter a murder which destroyed his family, sets off a chain of events that impact the woman he loves and threatens his own life. He embarks on an odyssey through time to make things right. Nine: Nine Time Travels, from CJ E&M Corp., is available in the U.S. on Hulu. Here is a trailer:
ABC has ordered a second season of Motive, its Canadian-made summer drama series. With last week’s renewal of fellow freshman Mistresses and the previous pickup of veteran Canadian import Rookie Blue, ABC will be bringing back its entire summer scripted lineup next summer. Created by Daniel Cerone (Dexter), Motive opened with a 1.4/4 in adults 18-49 behind Dancing With The Stars in May and was relatively steady, ending its first season with the same rating last month. The series stars Kristin Lehman as Detective Angie Flynn and Louis Ferreira as her partner, Detective Oscar Vega. It takes a different spin on the crime procedural format by identifying the Killer and Victim at the beginning of each episode and then piecing together the connection between the two characters and what drove the Killer to commit murder. Developed by CTV, the series is produced by Foundation Features and Lark Productions in association with Bell Media, and distributed by NBCUniversal International.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ITV Studios To Distribute ‘The Great Fire’; ‘Young Detective Dee’ Opens Big In China; More
ITV Studios To Distribute Miniseries ‘The Great Fire’
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has come aboard to distribute miniseries The Great Fire, with a launch set for next year’s MIPTV. The four-part series is produced by Ecosse Films, the company behind biopic Diana with Naomi Watts and the original UK format of Mistresses. Written by Tom Bradby, ITV News Political Editor and author of Shadow Dancer, The Great Fire follows the lives and loves of both historical and fictional characters in a world where, on the surface, the rich have everything and the poor have nothing. Set in 1666, events unfold over four consecutive days as the Great Fire of London indiscriminately engulfs the city. The Great Fire is executive produced by Douglas Rae and Lucy Bedford for Ecosse Films.
‘Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon’ Opens Big In China
Tsui Hark’s Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon notched the fourth-biggest opening day ever for a domestic film in China this weekend with $9.2M. According to FilmBizAsia, the 3D film falls in behind Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons ($13.7M), Tiny Times 1 ($13.2M) and Painted Skin: The Resurrection ($11.7M) on the list. The Huayi Brothers production took in $15.1M over two days and accounted for about 30% of all screenings nationwide. FBA said Detective Dee has a “strong head start” going into the weeklong National Day holiday, which starts today. The other domestic films opening in time for the holiday are 3D fantasy The Fox Lover, road comedy Bump In The Road, the Pang Brothers’ firefighter drama Out Of Inferno 3D and sci-fi sports drama Amazing.
There will be no second season of NBC’s lower budget summer dramedy Camp. The news is not surprising given the low ratings for the series starring Rachel Griffiths as part of an All-Australian cast, which often fell under the 1 adults 18-49 demo rating. Camp, produced by Universal Studios and Berman-Braun and filmed in Australia, was part of a trend this year for more homegrown summer scripted series vs. straight imports. Two other freshman summer dramas developed and produced by U.S. studios, CBS’ Under The Dome and ABC’s Mistresses, both have been renewed for a second season.