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 numbers, is the No. 1 ranked new cable TV series of Summer 2013 in millennial demos.
ABC Family Picks Return Dates For ‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Twisted’, ‘Switched At Birth’ & ‘The Fosters’
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.
The Big C co-star Gabourey Sidibe is joining the cast of American Horror Story: Coven. Ryan Murphy announced the casting on Twitter this morning. In his typical fashion, he didn’t disclose any details about the character Sidibe will be playing. The Oscar-nominated actress joins another heralded new AHS addition, Oscar winner Kathy Bates, in addition to returning cast members Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Taissa Farmiga. The final installment of The Big C premieres tonight.
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:
ABC Family has picked up to series two of its three drama pilots — The Fosters, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, and Socio, which has been renamed Twisted. Filming on both, which are produced in-house, will begin in the spring for a summer debut. “These new shows will bring the same depth, heart, close relationships and authenticity that our viewers have come to expect and will pair nicely with our already established pop culture hits,” ABC Family president Michael Riley said. I hear the network’s third drama pilot, Terminales, is still very much in contention and appears likely to get a series order contingent on some deal-making. As for ABC Family’s two comedy pilots, Miseducation aka Phys Ed and Continuing Fred, I hear neither is going forward.
EXCLUSIVE: In a late buy, NBC has put in development The Fosters, a comedy co-written by and starring Gary Anthony Williams (Weeds) and executive produced by one of the network’s top personalities, Today co-host/producer Al Roker. The project, which Williams will co-write with Sindy McKay based on an idea by Williams, McKay, Larry Swerdlove and Scott Ward, would have him starring as a father with numerous foster children. Roker, who became involved with the project because of his personal experience with foster kids, will executive produce with his executive at Al Roker Entertainment Tracie Brennan; McKay, Swerdlove, and Ward will co-executive produce. The comedy should not be confused with the ABC Family hourlong pilot The Fosters, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, about a lesbian couple raising biological and foster kids.
Kevin Dunn has been tapped for a recurring role on HBO’s comedy Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He will play Ben, the President’s Chief of Staff. Pragmatic and no-nonsense, Ben finds himself unable to navigate the all-spin-all-the-time world of Washington politics. The casting brings Dunn back to HBO, where he co-starred on drama Luck. Dunn, repped by Gersh and Lighthouse Entertainment, will next be seen in Lionsgate’s The Frozen Ground, in the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs and Diego Luna’s Chavez.
Having just done the renewal/cancellation of its summer series, ABC Family is embarking on its next pilot cycle with the pickup of two new drama pilots, multi-ethnic family show The Fosters, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, and Socio, about a teen psychopath.
Created by Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige, who will serve as executive producers, The Fosters is a one-hour drama about a multi-ethnic family mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Lopez will executive produce with her producing partner at Nuyorican Prods. Simon Fields as well as Greg Gugliotta. Nuyorican is producing with ABC Family’s in-house production arm Prodco, Inc.
Socio is a one-hour drama centered on a charismatic sixteen-year-old alleged sociopath, who recently reconnected with his two female best friends from childhood, and who becomes the prime suspect when a fellow student is murdered. The project, which has Dexter Jr. vibe, was written by Adam Milch (Greek) who will serve as co-executive producer.