Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Saturday September 21, 2013 @ 12:52pm PDT

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: Who Will Win Sunday’s Major Races?
By Lisa De Moraes - Predicting Primetime Emmy winners was such a cushy assignment back when broadcasters had the field to themselves.

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.

Marvel Developing ‘Agent Carter’ TV Series
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: The “one shot” short films featured as extras on Marvel movies’ DVD releases are becoming a hotbed for TV series ideas. Read More »

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UPDATE: ABC Family President Michael Riley To Exit; Kate Juergens In Mix As Replacement

By | Friday September 20, 2013 @ 1:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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). Read More »

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ABC Family Preps Horror Drama With Jamie Lee Curtis Attached To Star, Steve Miner To Helm

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 3:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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. Read More »

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‘The Nine Lives Of Chloe King’ Movie Script To Be Released Online

By | Wednesday September 11, 2013 @ 3:46pm PDT

ABC Family will take a page out of Showtime‘s book on Friday when it releases the script for The Nine Lives Of Chloe King: Salvation, a two-hour telefilm conclusion to the popular series that was cancelled … Read More »

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ABC Family’s ‘Melissa & Joey’, ‘Baby Daddy’ Wrap Seasons In Strong Shape

By | Thursday September 5, 2013 @ 4:40pm PDT

ABC Family‘s Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy wrapped their seasons last night, tops in their slots. At 8 PM, M&J finished its season as cable TV’s No. 1-ranked series in the time period in the 18-34 and 12-34d demos, and the No. 1 original cable TV series in 19-49 (TBS’ The Big Bang Theory repeats edged it out in this demo). Of the season finale’s 1.1 million viewers, 704,000 were 18-49, and 590,000 were 12-34. Expect those stats to jump in a week; over its season, Melissa & Joey — Melissa Joan Hart as a politician who hires Joey Lawrence to look after her niece and nephewspiked by 52% in viewers, 61% in 18-34, and nearly 60% in both 18-49 and 12-34. Read More »

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Season Finale Sets Ratings, Social Records

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 4:19pm PDT

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) Tuesday night on ABC Family. In the finale episode, the Liars get a riddle from … Read More »

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Comedy Starring Tori Spelling Among Three Half-Hour Pilot Orders At ABC Family

By | Friday August 23, 2013 @ 12:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Family has greenlighted three new comedy pilots: Mystery Girls starring Tori Spelling, Work Mom and Young & Hungry, exec produced by Ashley Tisdale. The network has been looking to expand its current comedy portfolio, which includes Baby Daddy, renewed for a third season, and Melissa And Joey, picked up for a fourth.

Mystery Girls follows a former starlet (Tori Spelling) who is roped into solving crimes with her former mystery TV show costar when a witness to a crime will only speak to the infamous Mystery Girls. Beverly Hills, 90210 alumna-turned-reality star Spelling and Maggie Malina (Single Ladies) serve as executive producers. The pilot was written by Shepard Boucher based on a story by him and Spelling, who previously toplined another comedy series co-created by her, So NoTORIous on VH1. Read More »

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ABC Family’s ‘The Fosters’ & ‘Twisted’ Get Back Orders, ‘Switched At Birth’ Renewed

By | Tuesday July 30, 2013 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Family has ordered a third season of Switched At Birth and has given back-order pickups to freshmen The Fosters, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, and Twisted. Charles Pratt Jr. has come in as new showrunner on Twisted, which also is expected to change its writing staff. The orders are said to be in line with ABC’s traditional full-season pickups (20 episodes) and back orders (10 episodes). All three shows will return with new episodes in January 2014. “ABC Family has always been a home for groundbreaking storytelling with iconic characters and families and we’re thrilled to have The Fosters and Twisted join our line-up as breakout summer hits,” said ABC Family president Michael Riley. The drama renewals join ABC Family’s comedy pickups of a fourth season of Melissa and Joey and third season of Baby Daddy. They also come on the heels of ABC Family  officially cancelling Bunheads and The Lying Game over the past few weeks. Read More »

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ABC Family’s ‘Bunheads’ Cancelled

By | Monday July 22, 2013 @ 3:17pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Five months after the first season of ABC Family‘s Bunheads ended its run, the cable network has officially decided not to order a second season. “Bunheads is a wonderful series that we are very proud to … Read More »

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‘Lying Game’ Cancelled, Tweets Star

By | Monday July 15, 2013 @ 11:21am PDT

ABC Family has pulled the plug on The Lying Game, star Alexandra Chando has tweeted: “Sad news @abcfLyingGame was cancelled!” Back in April, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reported it had … Read More »

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ABC Family Hires Former GSN Exec Kelly Goode As VP Original Programming

By | Monday July 15, 2013 @ 10:02am PDT

TV veteran Kelly Goode has been named VP Original Programming for ABC Family, where she will be responsible for all existing scripted series including drama and comedy as the network launches a dedicated Current team amid a … Read More »

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Returns Up Double Digits; ‘Twisted’ Debuts Solid

By | Wednesday June 12, 2013 @ 2:37pm PDT

Pretty Little Liars Ratings Season 4Pretty Little Liars was back for its fourth season last night with 2.972 million viewers watching. That’s up slightly from the 2.93 million total viewers the ABC Family flagship drama garnered in its Season 3 debut on June 5, 2012. However in key demos the 8 PM Season 4 premiere saw significant gains over last summer’s debut. Last night’s episode was up 31% among Adults 18-34 to 1.28 million over the Season 3 premiere for its best summer opener ever. The show was also up 15% among Adults 18-49 to 1.62 million and rose 11% in Viewers 12-34 to 2.11 million. In total viewers, PLL was the No. 1 scripted drama on cable on Tuesday. Unlike last night, that Season 3 premiere wasn’t up against an NBA Finals game but it did face basketball as the Miami Heat took on the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference. Tuesday’s Season 4 premiere of the teen thriller series, which featured computer hacking, a funeral and a body in a car trunk, was down from the 3.210 million viewers who watched the Season 3 winter return on January 8, 2013.  

Related: ABC Family Greenlights ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Spinoff Series, Renews ‘PLL’ For Season 5 Read More »

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ABC Family’s ‘The Fosters’ Rises, ‘Switched At Birth’ Down In Season Return

By | Tuesday June 11, 2013 @ 4:30pm PDT

The second week of ABC Family’s The Fosters saw double digit growth for the new Jennifer Lopez produced drama. The 9 PM show about two lesbian moms raising a biological son, adopted twins and two foster … Read More »

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‘Secret Life Of The American Teenager’ Rises In Series Finale

The Secret Life Of The American Teenager ended its five-season run on a high last night. With 1.50 million watching at 8 PM on Monday, the ABC Family series garnered its best regular telecast viewership … Read More »

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ABC Family’s ‘Melissa & Joey’ Gets Season 3 Back Order, Renewed For Fourth Season

By | Tuesday May 28, 2013 @ 10:16am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: ABC Family is banking on Melissa & Joey. Ahead of the series’ Season 3 premiere tomorrow, I’ve learned that the network has given the comedy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence a back order for 20 more episodes. Additionally, ABC Family has ordered a 20-episode fourth season, making Melissa & Joey the network’s first comedy to reach 100 episodes. The additional Season 3 episodes will air in 2014. “One hundred episodes is a great accomplishment for any series and we are thrilled to give Melissa And Joey the opportunity to achieve this milestone, as they’ve delivered hundreds and hundreds of laughs over the seasons,” said Kate Juergens, EVP Programming and Development and Chief Creative Officer, ABC Family. Read More »

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ABC Family Picks Up Game Show ‘Spell-Mageddon’ For Summer

By | Thursday May 23, 2013 @ 10:08am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Family has picked up to series Spell-Mageddon, an hour-long game show where contestants take on hilarious distractions while spelling increasingly challenging words. The series, created and executive produced by Adam Reed, Adam Freeman and Leslie Greif of Thinkfactory Media (Hatfields & McCoys), will premiere on July 24, … Read More »

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ABC Family’s Kate Juergens Adds Chief Creative Officer To Title

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 11:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Family‘s top programming executive Kate Juergens has a new title. In addition to her current moniker, EVP, Programming and Development, Juergens has been named Chief Creative Officer for the network. She will continue with her … Read More »

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Britne Oldford To Co-Star In ‘Ravenswood’, Angela Bassett In ‘American Horror Story’

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 6:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

American Horror Story alumna Britne Oldford has been cast in ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars spinoff Ravenswood as a regular, playing Remy, who can fit anywhere but doesn’t belong to any one crowd. Inquisitive and … Read More »

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ABC Loses Bid To Kneecap Xmas Movie Suit

By | Thursday May 2, 2013 @ 5:38pm PDT

ABC and ABC Family discovered today that they must face the courts over whether they stole the idea for a 2011 Christmas movie from two veteran producers. A LA Superior Court judge today rejected an effort by the two companies and other defendants to legally eviscerate the complaint Beth Grossbard and Barri Rosenblum filed in January claiming their I Hate Christmas idea was lifted for the ABC Family movie 12 Dates Of Christmas. Judge Ruth Ann Kwan ruled against most of the demurrer (read it here) the defense introduced in late February. Kwan ordered that the claims of breach of confidence and accounting could stand from the initial complaint, but she did instruct Grossbard and Rosenblum’s lawyers to amend their breach of contract suit in regard to the claim of constructive trust. Once that is done, the process of discovery will begin in the case — which means it is still a ways off from reaching a jury as the plaintiffs’ have requested.

As I reported in January, the two seasoned producers say that they and I Hate Christmas writer Denise Gruska met with then-ABC Family Director of Development Beth Miller and ABC Family VP Original Programming Donna Ebbs on December 13, 2005, at the company’s Burbank offices in a pitch meeting for their TV movie. Though everyone supposedly made nice, their idea eventually wasn’t picked up. However, when they saw 12 Dates Of Christmas in December 2011 on ABC Family, the duo felt there had been a “brazen theft,” as their complaint states, of many elements of their movie. Besides the plot and other similarities, what also fueled the producers’ outrage was that 12 Dates Of Christmas was executive produced by Miller, who had left ABC since the 2005 meeting. Disney was a defendant in the original complaint but has  since been dismissed from the case with prejudice. Read More »

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