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ABC Family fans ‘Wildfire’

Nets greenlights 4th season of drama

ABC Family is giving “Wildfire” an early boost of confidence, greenlighting a 13-episode fourth season months before season three debuts.

Cabler also has ordered production on series pilot “Greek,” a college comedy from “Wildfire” producers Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller.

Lensing on the fourth season of the Lionsgate TV-produced “Wildfire” will begin in January for a fall debut. Upcoming third season will premiere Jan. 1 at 8 p.m.

Sean Smith (“Summerland”) will pen the script for “Greek,” which revolves around the misadventures of college-aged siblings — a geeky brother and his super-social older sister — in the Greek fraternity/sorority system at a fictional university.

Gil Junger is aboard to direct the pilot. Blueprint Entertainment will produce.

Blueprint also is producing a second one-hour pilot for ABC Family, the mother-daughter drama “Nobody” from scribe Kevin Murphy, which was greenlit to production last month (Daily Variety, Oct. 20).

ABC Family president Paul Lee said the college setting is a “very natural place for us to go,” since the net targets a young-adult 18-34 demo.

“Greek” is both “funny and dramatic, and sort of a nice companion show to ‘Wildfire,’ ” a more serious primetime sudser centered on young people, Lee said.

Early renewal for “Wildfire,” about a girl who works on a family-run horse ranch, is the result of two successful cycles on ABC Family. Pickup also works toward the network’s goal of a lineup of original programming year-round.

Cabler’s push to go year-round will kick off in earnest next month with the net’s “25 Days of Christmas” programming event, which will lead into the third-season launch of “Wildfire.” That will be followed by the bow of frosh inner-city cop drama “Lincoln Heights,” which was ordered to series a year ago (Daily Variety, Oct. 24, 2005), and the second-season preem of “Kyle XY” in the summer. Fourth season of “Wildfire” and a new drama will roll out during the fall and winter months.

In addition, ABC Family will offer a sneak peak of the new season of “Wildfire” on the network’s Web site beginning Dec. 1.

Piller, Segan and Remi Aubuchon exec produce. Show stars Genevieve Cortese, Ryan Sypek, Micah Alberti, Nicole Tubiola, Nana Visitor, Greg Serano and James Read.

Piller/Segan signed an overall first-look development deal with Lionsgate earlier this year (Daily Variety, July 26). Duo also produce USA Network’s “The Dead Zone,” which received a sixth season pickup in September.

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