I’ve learned that ABC Family has opted not to renew the Pretty Little Liars spinoff series Ravenswood for a second season. The project received a straight-to-series order from the previous ABC Family regime and had a solid …
EXCLUSIVE: ABC Family star Avan Jogia is keeping busy as the network’s teen mystery-drama Twisted concludes its first season this month. The former Nickelodeon star (Victorious) has joined the cast of Ten Thousand Saints opposite Hailee Steinfeld and Asa Butterfield. American Spendor duo Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are directing the adaptation of Eleanor Henderson’s 2011 novel in which Jogia will play Teddy, who knocks up Eliza (Steinfeld) and overdoses, sending his best friend Jude (Butterfield) into the straight-edge hardcore punk scene of 1980s New York City. Anne Carey, Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler are producing the pic which is now filming in NYC.
Jogia’s also in talks for a role in Painstaking Pictures, Haven Entertainment, Bona Fide, and Anonymous Content’s 1970s-set Shangri-La Suite opposite Emily Browning and Luke Grimes. Pic is directed by first timer Eddie O’Keefe from his script with Chris Hutton and follows two young lovers who meet in a mental hospital. The Bonnie & Clyde-esque pair set out to fulfill what one believes is his destiny – to kill Elvis Presley.
UPDATED: The winter debut of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars is the most-tweeted season premiere in TV history. Tuesday’s debut generated more than 1.3 million tweets by nearly 700,000 contributors, peaking at a rate of 30,000 tweets per minute. The series now accounts for the Top 5 most-tweeted TV series telecasts on record, with eight episodes amassing more than 1 million tweets
Pretty Little Liars ranked as Tuesday’s No. 1 telecast among women 18-34 (900,000), viewers 12-34 (2.1 million) and 12-34 females (1.8 million). It also was the No. 1 cable telecast in primetime in the 18-34 demo. An average of 3.2 million total viewers tuned in to join the search for the person who wanted to kill clique boss Alison, making it the No. 2 original cable telecast in overall audience (3.2 million) — just 100,000 viewers behind BET’s unveiling of Being Mary Jane (3.3 million).
Back in August, Pretty Little Liars clocked its biggest summer-finale crowd in viewers 12-34, 18-34, and 18-49, as well as total viewers (3.3 million). In the finale episode, the Liars got a riddle from “A” that sends them to Ravenswood, where one of them disappeared during a magic show, and a shocking discovery proved everything they thought they knew about “A” and the “A-Team” might be wrong and that the Liars may have just started World War A. You had to be there.
This marks the reunion and return to primetime for former Beverly Hills, 90210 stars Tori Spelling & Jennie Garth and the first pickup decision for new ABC Family president Tom Ascheim. The network has given series orders to two of its three comedy pilots: Mystery Girls, starring and executive produced by Spelling and Garth, and Young & Hungry, starring Emily Osment and executive produced by Ashley Tisdale. Production on both comedies will begin early this year for a premiere later in 2014. “It’s great to start the new year and my tenure at ABC Family with the pickup of these two funny original series,” Ascheim said. ABC Family’s third comedy pilot, Work Mom, remains in contention. Mystery Girls and Young & Hungry join ABC Family’s established comedy series Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy. “Viewers are excited to see Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth back on television together again, and will fall in love with Young & Hungry star Emily Osment in these comedies that bring us fun, new characters with which to laugh out loud,” said ABC Family’s Chief Creative Officer Kate Juergens. This is a big year for ABC Family comedy pilots as last cycle none of the network’s half-hour hopefuls went to series.
Here are descriptions of ABC Family’s newly picked up comedy series:
ABC Family‘s new president is Tom Ascheim. Ascheim, who has served as EVP and General Manager of Nickelodeon Television and CEO of Newsweek, will start immediately. He succeeds Michael Riley, who announced his departure in September to relocate to the UK. The hire of Ascheim comes after an exhaustive search led by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, that included vetting a number of internal Disney candidates (Riley also came from within the company) as well as outside ones. Those considered included Riley’s No. 2, EVP Original Programming and Development and Chief Creative Officer Kate Juergens, though, like she did when Riley’s predecessor Paul Lee left, she is expected to remain focused on the network’s programming as Sweeney reportedly searched for an executive with a strong business background. Ascheim certainly is a surprising choice. He wasn’t on people’s radar and is better known for his rocky tenure as Newsweek CEO than his TV experience. But he was on Sweeney’s radar from working together at Nickelodeon, leading to his dark-horse hire in the top ABC Family position over established TV executives who met for the job. “I knew Tom during my time at Nickelodeon, and always thought he was an incredibly smart, strategic executive,” said Sweeney, to whom Aschem will report. “Since then, he has only reinforced my opinion of his abilities. Whether in print, television, or the financial sector, Tom has gone from success to success.”
EXCLUSIVE: ABC Family‘s upcoming drama series Chasing Life has not been assigned a premiere date yet, but it just received a back order for seven episodes. The cast was given the good news today, just in time for Thanksgiving. The back order brings the first season of Chasing Life to 20 episodes, which is ABC Family’s standard for a full season. Chasing Life, from Kapital Entertainment, Lionsgate, Televisa and BV Family Prods, hails from the same pilot batch as ABC Family dramas The Fosters and Twisted. The other two had initial orders for 10 episodes and received back 10 orders after strong early ratings performance last summer. For Chasing Life, whose original order was for 13 episodes, the back order comes ahead of its premiere, slated for next year, representing a strong vote of confidence by the network.
Miss some of Deadline’s Top TV stories this week? With the fall season about to start and the Emmys tomorrow, here’s your chance to catch up:
2014-14 Broadcast Season Preview: Challenges The Networks Face
By Nellie Andreeva – The first new fall series, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, marks the unofficial start of the 2013-14 broadcast season.
Emmys To Kick Off With Oscars-Style Opening Film, Feature ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Video
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: Feeling it was impossible to follow the jaw-dropping opening musical number Neil Patrick Harris did in June as host of the Tony Awards, CBS — which carries both the Tonys and the Emmys this year — and producers of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards decided to go in a different direction.
UPDATE 1 PM: The search for Michael Riley‘s replacement is still in the nascent stages, but his No. 2, EVP Original Programming and Development and Chief Creative Officer Kate Juergens, is being talked about as a logical choice. The main question is whether, following her recent promotion to a Chief Creative Officer, Juergens would want the top job. The situation is reminiscent of that at sibling Disney Channel, where the top creative executive, Gary Marsh, did not go for the president job when Rich Ross left to run Disney Studios. After the job became vacant again two years later when Carolina Lightcap left, Marsh took over. Juergens similarly had been ABC Family’s top development executive but did not make a play for the president position when Paul Lee left in 2010. Will she do it now?
PREVIOUS 12:05 PM: Michael Riley is leaving ABC Family after a three-year stint as president. The move comes on the heels of a strong summer for the cable network, which launched two breakout new series, The Fosters and Twisted, both of which have received back orders. Anne Sweeney, President, Disney/ABC Television Group, has asked Riley to stay on during the search for his replacement. Riley, who for the past few months has been commuting between Los Angeles and London, where his partner had relocated, is expected to look for opportunities in the international marketplace where he worked before joining Disney in 2008. (His experience in the arena includes stints as VP and general manager, Turner Broadcasting System France, and SVP and GM, Turner Broadcasting, Europe, Middle East and Africa).
EXCLUSIVE: ABC Family has closed a deal for a high-profile horror spec script by writer Jeff Dixon, which has Jamie Lee Curtis attached to star and Steve Miner to direct and executive produce if the project goes to pilot. That would mark a reunion and return to the horror genre for the Halloween H2O star Curtis and its director Miner. While there is no green light yet for the project, I hear it is being put on a fast track. Titled The Final Girls, the drama revolves around a group of girls who have, in essence, survived their own personal horror stories and are brought together by a mysterious older woman (Curtis) to channel the stress and scars of their experience for some greater good. Horror launched Curtis’ feature career with the Halloween movies, starting with the original 1978 franchise-starter Halloween. Miner also helmed the second and third installment of another popular horror movie franchise, Friday The 13.