EXCLUSIVE: Lev L. Spiro is set to direct ABC Family’s drama pilot What Would Jane Do, while Erica Dasher (The Lake) was cast as the title character. What Would Jane Do follows 16-year-old Jane (Dasher), who lands a job at a hip retail company when they mistake her for an adult. Jane soon finds herself juggling life as a regular teenager in high school and as an assistant to a high powered executive in the cutthroat world of fashion…all while trying to keep her true identity a secret. Spiro will direct from a script by April Blair; Gavin Polone is executive producing. CAA-repped Spiro most recently directed the directed the season 2 premiere of Spike TV’s Blue Mountain State, which posted a series high.
UPDATED: Now this is a back order we rarely see — ABC Family is picking up 20 additional episodes of freshman comedy Melissa & Joey, bringing the show’s freshman season to a whopping 30 episodes. Who will claim now that cable creators have it easy with smaller orders than their broadcast counterparts? Additionally, ABC Family greenlighted 4 pilots, an untitled project from The Secret Life of the American Teenager creator Brenda Hampton, The Great State of Georgia, What Would Jane Do and The Lying Game. They joined the 3 pilots ordered last week by the cable network, Strut, Nine Lives and Switched at Birth, in what is shaping up as one of the largest pilot slates for a cable network. The pickup for Melissa & Joey is no surprise and had been in the works for awhile. ABC Family brass have been happy with the freshman comedy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence despite it falling off its big debut. Melissa & Joey premiered in June as ABC Family’s biggest ever series debut among adults 18-49, 1.3 million.