ABC Family sparks to ‘Wildfire’ drama

Cabler orders up 11 segs

ABC Family has greenlit its second scripted drama, “Wildfire.”

Cabler ordered production on 11 one-hour episodes in addition to the two-hour pilot, which will serve as the premiere, from Lions Gate TV.

“Wildfire” revolves around 18-year-old Kris (Genevieve Cortese), a troubled teen who attempts to set her life straight when she finds work on the ranch of her foster family.

Project had previously been developed at the WB as a potential series but was reworked into a two-hour movie after moving to ABC Family (Daily Variety, Oct. 13). Execs changed their minds after screening the finished product.

Weekly series will bow with the two-hour telepic June 20.

Lions Gate TV will produce the show, with Michael Piller and Lloyd Segan (“The Dead Zone”) exec producing. Michael and Shawn Piller wrote the pilot script directed by Steve Miner.

Since his arrival last April, ABC Family topper Paul Lee has been making a big push into the scripted arena, focusing on shows that embrace the diversity and dysfunction of modern families. Last month (Daily Variety, Feb. 8), he commissioned the cabler’s first original drama, “Beautiful People,” from Michael Rauch (CBS’ “Love Monkey”) and Paul Stupin (“Dawson’s Creek”).

Execs hope “Wildfire” and “Beautiful People” capitalize on the loyal following of off-net hours “Gilmore Girls” and “Smallville.” “Gilmore” averages 1.3 million viewers in its weekday airings and has scored some of ABC Family’s best 18-49 numbers.

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