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). READ MORE »
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: Read More »
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 Read More »
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 … Read More »
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, … Read More »
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. Read More »