Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
ABC Family kicked off today’s TCA with a panel on The Fosters, which also happened to mark the first press tour appearance of the network’s new president Tom Ascheim. Before introducing the panel, Ascheim confessed he is dealing with family matters of his own as he transitions from New York to LA. “I have been here for all of two weeks,” he said. “I am so much in familial transition that [after his remarks] I am running out to get my daughter into high school out here — or there will be hell to pay.” He joked the task is consistent with ABC Family’s mandate to “take care of teenage girls.” Nicely done.
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).
Related: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Season Finale Sets Ratings, Social Records
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.
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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.
Related: ABC Family Sets January Premiere Date For ‘Melissa & Joey’ And ‘Baby Daddy’
Here are descriptions of ABC Family’s newly picked up comedy series: Read More »
Changes are coming Monday as Disney/ABC Television Group launches its new ABC Family authenticated streaming service, limiting the 24/7 availability of streaming content and bringing the network’s multi-platform offerings in line with the nets and HBO. Effective Monday January 6, viewers will have to log into the WATCH ABC/WATCH ABC FAMILY apps, websites, or Hulu with subscriptions in order to watch the most current ABC and ABC Family streaming episodes. The WATCH ABC FAMILY app will be available on iOS and Kindle Fire devices and select Android tablets. Shows can also be accessed online at WATCHABCFAMILY.com. (The service will expand to select Android phones, Blackberry, and Windows 8 devices later this month.) After an 8-day privileged viewing window for subscription customers On Demand, WATCH ABC content will be unlocked for all users; ABC FAMILY episodes will be viewable On Demand only to verified subscribers. Cable providers offering authenticated subscriptions include Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Verizon FiOS, Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse.
Related: Disney Brings ‘WATCH ABC’ App To Four Cities Including L.A.
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.” Read More »
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. Read More »
Half-hour comedies Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy are both set to return on January 15, ABC Family announced today. Melissa & Joey is up first at 8 PM, followed by Baby Daddy at 8:30 PM. Melissa & Joey stars Melissa Joan Hart, Joey Lawrence, Taylor Spreitler and Nick Robinson, and is executive produced by Bob Young & David Kendall, Paula Hart, Melissa Joan Hart and Lawrence. Baby Daddy, created and exec produced by Dan Berendsen, stars Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Derek Theler, Tahj Mowry with Melissa Peterman and Chelsea Kane. The returning series join previously announced all-new episodes of Pretty Little Liars and Ravenswood on January 7 and Switched At Birth and The Fosters on January 13.
ABC Family unveiled debut dates for returning series Pretty Little Liars, Twisted, Switched At Birth, and The Fosters, in the second week of January. Social hit Pretty Little Liars returns Tuesday, January 7 at 8 PM ET (yes, the special Halloween episode still premieres tomorrow night, Tuesday, October 22, at 8 PM) . The series surged to its best season on record in Summer 2013, passing the 4 million viewer mark for the first time ever, thanks in part to ranking as the No. 1 cable series for the third consecutive summer among females 12-34 — and, not coincidentally, according to SocialGuide, enjoyed the “most social” TV series episode in television history with the series’ summer finale, breaking records with more than 1.9 million tweets. Led by that August 27 finale, Pretty Little Liars accounts for the Top 4 “most social” TV episodes of all time, and 6 of the Top 8 overall. Twisted will return with all-new episodes on Tuesday, January 7, at 9 PM; the third season of Peabody Award-winning Switched At Birth begins Monday, January 13 at 8 PM, with RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad), Max Adler (Glee), Sandra Bernhard (Roseanne), and Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty) guest starring, and recurring throughout the season. The Fosters will return with all-new episodes on Monday, January 13, 9 PM. ABC Family recently announced a second season pick-up for the series, which, according to Nielsen … Read More »
With production still underway on the back freshman season order for ABC Family‘s The Fosters, the network has picked up a second season of the family drama, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. The second part of Season 1 launches in January 2014. “The Fosters has demonstrated its ability to build an audience, and the creative team’s compelling storytelling assures us that there will be more growth in upcoming seasons,” said ABC Family Chief Creative Officer Kate Juergens. The Fosters ranked as the #1 new cable TV series of the summer in viewers 12-34 and females 12-34, building throughout its run and setting across-the-board series highs in its summer finale. The Fosters, which was lauded by GLAAD in its annual LGBT representation on TV report released today, is about a multi-ethnic family mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms, played by Teri Polo and Sherri Saum. Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige are the creators/executive producers/showrunners, with Johanna Johnson as exec producer/co-showrunner.
EXCLUSIVE: Hannah Montana alumna Emily Osment has been cast as the lead in a new multi-camera comedy project, ABC Family pilot Young & Hungry, which is executive produced by another former Disney Channel star, High School Musical alumna Ashley Tisdale. The project, written by David Holden, centers on Gabi (Osment), a feisty young blogger hired as the personal chef to a young San Francisco tech entrepreneur. Not the typical polished chef, Gabi is blunt and klutzy and has an outrageous sense of style. But not only does she have a true gift for cooking, she has the ability to figure out what people want to eat. Holden is exec producing with Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Tisdale, and Jessica Rhoades. Osment is with CAA, Management 360, and Edelstein, Laird & Sobel.
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 »
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 »
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 in 2011 after one season. Fans can head online to Alloy Entertainment’s official site on Friday, September 13 at 9:13 AM PT for closure on the series about Chloe, a teenager with cat like powers who discovers she’s descended from an ancient race and must defend the human race from assassins. The film script by exec producer Dan Berendsen will wrap up loose ends and answer lingering questions about The Order, Whitley Rezza’s true motivations, Alek’s past and whether Meredith will finally learn about her daughter’s secret identity. Showtime paved the way for this kind of post-cancellation fan service last month when it released the unproduced screenplay for a Borgias movie as an e-book after that series ended.
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 “A” that sends them to Ravenswood, where one of them disappears during a magic show, and a shocking discovery proves everything they thought they knew about “A” and the “A-Team” might be wrong and that they, the Liars, may have just started World War A. You had to be there.
Anyway, the episode pulled in so many young women that it ranks as the No. 4 telecast in that bracket in ABC Family history. The whole World War A thing broke the show’s own social media records, becoming the most-tweeted series TV episode ever in SocialGuide’s books, with nearly 1.9 million tweets by 637,000 unique contributors, and spiking at 70,000 per minute in the show’s final minute. The soapy drama series consistently ranked as one of the top-10 most social series on Twitter throughout the 2013 summer season, SocialGuide said.
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 »