Focus Features has picked up an untitled feature spec by Amy Welsh, who most recently was supervising producer on the ABC Family series Bunheads, and who has written on sitcoms from Roseanne to It’s Like You Know and Men Behaving Badly. They are keeping the logline under wraps. JC Spink, Jake Weiner, and Chris Bender are producing for Benderspink, which recently exec produced Ride Along and Hangover 3, and produced We’re The Millers and the just-wrapped Horrible Bosses 2. Welsh is repped by ICM Partners.
TCA Awards: ‘House Of Cards’ Snubbed As AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ FX’s ‘The Americans’ Nab Top Honors – Winners List
Netflix‘s House of Cards – the prettiest dress in the TV store these days – got shut out of the TCA Awards tonight. It had been up for Outstanding New Program and Program of the Year, but those wins went instead to FX‘s The Americans and AMC‘s Breaking Bad, respectively. (Scroll down for the full winners list.)
“Three nights ago we were in New York, and had this New York premiere and we had the pleasure of seeing Warren Buffet shake hands and have his picture taken with Keith Richards and that was fucking awesome,” said Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, picking up his show’s trophy for Program of the Year. He said he remembered at the time thinking, “‘How the heck did it come to this?’ I’ll tell you how it came to this – folks like you guys. A great many of you who, back in season one when our official number was 117 viewers – folks like you guys spread the word about Breaking Bad.”
“Boy this is awfully nice… it is,” said Individual Achievement in Comedy winner Louis C.K., eyeing the trophy and noting if he ever opens a diner he can put the list of cocktail specials on it. “No, it’s beautiful. It’s literally a plastic …
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 have aired,” ABC Family said in a statement. “The series had amazing storytelling, the most talented cast and a passionate and loyal fan base. Recognizing all of this, we took extra time to try and find ways to bring the series back for another season, but in the end it simply wasn’t possible. We wish the cast and crew the best in their future endeavors.”
Bunheads‘ cancellation comes a week after ABC Family pulled the plug on the other bubble series whose future was bleak, The Lying Game. Amy Sherman Pallandino’s Bunheads has been garnering stronger critical notices of the two series, which both drew about 1.7 million total viewers in Live+7, with The Lying Game doing better in the younger demos, 2.2 vs. 1.4 in F12-34 and 1.7 vs. 1.3 in F18-34. The Lying Game and Bunheads‘ fate was sealed by the solid recent launches of ABC Family’s new dramas The Fosters and Twisted. With the cancellations out of the way, ABC is expected to proceed with picking up more episodes from its new series within the next couple of weeks.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Last summer, mega-producer Shonda Rhimes took to Twitter to criticize Bunheads executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino for a perceived lack of diversity in the Bunheads cast. The ABC Family show is set in a small-town ballet studio. The first of 8 new episodes aired Monday.
The Rhimes tweet: “Hey@abcfbunheads: really? You couldn’t cast even ONE young dancer of color so I could feel good about my kids watching this show? Not ONE?”
After today’s TCA panel on Bunheads, the always-outspoken Sherman-Palladino said there are no planned cast changes or additions to the list of major characters on the show to add diversity in response to Rhimes’ criticisms (Rhimes later backtracked a little on her tweet, saying that she didn’t object to her kids watching shows with white actors and praising Bunheads for showing girls of diverse body types).
ABC Family Renews ‘Baby Daddy’, ‘Melissa & Joey’ & ‘Switched At Birth’, Gives Back Order To ‘Bunheads’
After a very strong launch, ABC Family’s new comedy Baby Daddy will bypass the standard back order for a full-fledged second season pickup. Fellow freshman, ballet drama Bunheads, is getting a back-order pickup while the network also is renewing comedy Melissa & Joey for a third season and Switched At Birth for a second. “The new series have resonated with our viewers, and the combination of drama, comedy and reality brings great depth to our lineup, said ABC Family president Michael Riley. The dramas will premiere in Winter, with the comedies returning in Spring 2013. ABC Family also just announced a reunion special for its new reality series Beverly Hills Nannies to air on September 4. Baby Daddy, created by Dan Berendsen, launched as ABC Family’s #1 comedy series ever and is pacing as the #1 new cable comedy this summer in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34. It also boosted its lead-in, Melissa & Joey, to its best season to date. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Bunheads is cable TV’s #2 series on Mondays at 9 o’clock in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34. Here is more on the newly picked up series:
Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left that still-in-syndication WB/CW show (along with husband/frequent creative partner Daniel Palladino) in 2006 when contract negotiations ended unsuccessfully. Since then, she has developed several series scripts and/or pilots but none has been a success. Now she has found a home at ABC Family with Bunheads, a summer series about a ballerina-turned-Vegas showgirl (Tony-winner Sutton Foster) who unexpectedly finds herself teaching at her mother-in-law’s small-town dance school. (ABC Family is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group cocktail party at TCA this evening.) After its June 11th premiere, Bunheads immediately ignited controversy when mega-producer Shonda Rhimes, who is black, tweeted: “Hey@abcfbunheads: really? You couldn’t cast even ONE young dancer of color so I could feel good about my kids watching this show? Not ONE?” The outspoken Bunheads co-creator (with Lamar Damon) and executive producer talks to Deadline TV contributors Diane Haithman and Allison Hope Weiner about the new series, failed projects, what’s next, and her response to Shonda Rhimes.
DEADLINE: Dance insiders know the word “bunheads” describes ballet students who pin their hair up for class. Will the general public get it?
AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO: It’s the term I grew up with. We were called bunheads, and when I threw it out there it seemed to stick and people seemed to like it. I’m sure there was a conversation behind closed doors: “Perhaps we should call it Debbie Dances On Pointe.” And there was one phone call that said: ‘The title is Bunheads???’ ” And that was it. It was not a point of contention… I just like the word.
Related: Producer Dan Fogelman On ‘The Neighbors’: TCA
ABC Family is launching three new series this summer: drama Bunheads, comedy Baby Daddy and docuseries Beverly Hills Nannies. The network will have three nights of original programming (Monday-Wednesday) this summer featuring new episodes of seven series, including returning Pretty Little Liars, The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, Jane By Design and Melissa & Joey. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Bunheads, about a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school, will debut June 11 and air in the Monday 9 PM slot. New comedy Baby Daddy, about a young man (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) who becomes a surprise dad to a baby girl when she’s left on his doorstep by an ex-girlfriend, will premiere June 20 and air Wednesdays at 8:30 PM. Beverly Hills Nannies, about nannies working in Beverly Hills, will launch July 11 and run Wednesdays 9 PM. Pretty Little Liars‘ third season will start Tuesday, June 5 at 8 PM. It will be paired with freshman Jane By Design, which will return with new episodes Tuesday, June 5 at 9 PM. As previously announced, Secret Life returns with all-new episodes next Monday at 8 PM. Melissa & Joey’s second season will launch Wednesday, May 30 at 8 PM. Missing from the summer schedule is drama Switched At Birth, which will return in the fall.
Related: ABC …
BURBANK, CA (February 8, 2012) – ABC Family continues to expand its original programming slate, giving the greenlight to the new drama series “Bunheads” (working title), it was announced today by Michael Riley, president, ABC Family.
Executive-produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) and headlined by Tony Award-winning actor Sutton Foster, “Bunheads” is the tale of a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school. “Bunheads” joins ABC Family’s recently announced new original series, comedy “Baby Daddy” and unscripted “Beverly Hills Nannies.” All three series will begin production in Spring 2012.
Kate Juergens, executive vice president, Original Programming and Development, ABC Family added, “Amy and I had a great collaboration on ‘Gilmore Girls,’ which continues to find new fans here on ABC Family, and I look forward to this new partnership being just as successful. Her vision for ‘Bunheads’ aligns beautifully with our brand and is a wonderful addition to ABC Family’s original programming slate. I know our Millennial audience is going to fall in love with Sutton Foster the same way Broadway has.”
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that ABC Family is moving ahead with a series order to Bunheads, its dance drama pilot from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. It will join another new ABC Family series that was picked up last week, comedy Baby Daddy. I hear that the cable network’s 2 other pilots from the current batch, drama Intercept and comedy Village People, are not going forward.
Bunheads stars Sutton Foster as Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man and moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school. “I spent 20 years of my life with my hair in a bun,” Sherman-Palladino, who got her break as a writer on Roseanne, said when the project was picked up to pilot in September. “I was supposed to be a dancer. My mother was a dancer. Her greatest heartbreak was when I got on Roseanne. So, while writing this will never equal playing ‘Rumpelteazer’ in a bus and truck tour of Cats, it does let me to tip my hat to a really special time in my life.” Bunheads was originally picked up as a cast-contingent pilot in fall 2010 with a different writer.
Dillon Casey, who has been recurring on the current second season of the CW drama Nikita, playing new Division operative Sean Pierce, has now been promoted to a series regular status. He is with SDB and Luber Roklin.
Tony winner Sutton Foster has been cast as the lead in Amy Sherman-Palladino’s ABC Family pilot Bunheads. The project, which Sherman-Palladino wrote and is expected to direct, centers on Michelle (Foster), a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school.