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 …
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.
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.
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.
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, …
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.
After lengthy deal-making process, ABC Family has given a series order to drama Chasing Life (formerly Terminales) for a launch in early 2014. Chasing Life, which I hear has received a 13-episode pickup, joins new ABC Family drama series The Fosters and Twisted, meaning all three ABC Family pilots from the most recent cycle went to series. (The network passed on its comedy pilots, Phys Ed and Continuing Fred.)
Chasing Life is an adaptation of the successful Televisa Spanish-language Mexican television series. The pilot was produced by Lionsgate in association with Televisa. As part of the series pickup, ABC Family and its in-house production arm BV Family Prods have come on board as co-producers. Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan (The Neighbors), who has shepherded the project for the past two years, is executive producing alongside writers Susanna Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz, who joined last year and whose script was greenlighted to pilot. Chasing Life stars Italia Ricci as April, an ambitious young newspaper reporter who tries to balance her career aspirations with her family — her widowed mom Sara (Mary Page Keller), rebellious little sister Brenna (Haley Ramm), and her grandmother. Just as things start to look up at work, home and on the romance front with co-worker Dominic (Richard Brancatisano), April gets the devastating news from an estranged uncle that she has cancer.
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: