EXCLUSIVE: MTV has picked up both of its comedy pilots, Happyland and Faking It, to series with eight-episode orders. These were the first MTV scripted pilots greenlighted by the network’s new regime of president Susanne Daniels and and head of scripted Mina Lefevre. Happyland, written by Ben Epstein and executive produced by Storyline’s Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, is described as a soapy teen comedy which explores the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there. The pilot, directed by Lee Toland Krieger, starred Bianca Santos, Zulay Henao, Shane Harper, Katherine McNamara, Cameron Moulene, Brady Smith and Ryan Rottman. Faking It, from 10 Things I Hate About You developer Carter Covington, revolves around two best friends who will do almost anything to fit in and be popular in high school — including pretending to be something they are not. The cast of the pilot, directed by Jamie Travis, included Bailey Buntain, Gregg Sulkin, Katie Stevens, Michael Willett, Rita Volk. On the drama side, MTV has pilots Eye Candy and Finding Carter, now casting.
EXCLUSIVE: Bianca Santos (The Fosters) will lead the cast of MTV‘s comedy pilot Happyland. Also cast in the project, written by Ben Epstein, directed by Lee Toland Krieger and executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, are Zulay Henao (Love Thy Neighbor), Shane Harper (Awkward), Katherine McNamara (Contest) and Cameron Moulene (Raising Hope). Happyland is a soapy teen comedy exploring the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there. It centers on Lucy (Santos), a cynical teen working as a greeter at the park where her single mother (Henao) has played a fairytale princess for 15 years, and explores the realities of growing up and falling in love while living in a make-believe world. Harper will play Ian, the handsome son of the park’s new president, a new hire at the park who is smitten by feisty Lucy.