Network execs lend surnames to characters
Making up character names for a teenage soap can be an exercise in frustration if the studio keeps bouncing them back for legal reasons.After one too many rejections, Brenda Hampton, exec producer of ABC Family’s hit rookie series “Secret Life of the American Teenager,” attached the surnames of network execs to four key characters. The lead, a pregnant, unmarried 15-year-old, is named Amy Juergens; the exec VP of original-series programming and development is Kate Juergens. The name of lovesick geek Ben Boykewich, also 15, is lifted from Elizabeth Boykewich, VP of casting for series and movies. The goody two-shoes who’s taken a vow of chastity until marriage? Grace Bowman, after VP of development and casting Brooke Bowman. But Hampton singled out a particular character for Paul Lee, prexy of ABC Family: Adrian Lee, the town bad girl who’s sexually insatiable.