You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC Family preps calls on pilots

Two comedies among the cabler's shows looking good for pickup

Amid a steady-as-she-goes status report at the Television Critics Assn. press tour, ABC Family plans to announce green or red lights on four pilots in development shortly.

Michael Riley, president of the cabler, touted the channel’s eighth consecutive year of growth and explained away its one blemish of 2011, the don’t-call-it-a-cancelation (though that’s what it was) of “The Nine Lives of Chloe King,” as a reflection of a deep bench. In fact, a potential telepic based on the departed series remains in development.

“We love all of our shows, and ‘Chloe King’ is such a great example,” Riley said at the press session in Pasadena. “For us it was about making some decisions, and we had to choose between what we thought was resonating stronger with our audiences.”

Two comedies, “Village People” and “Baby Daddy,” are said to be looking good for series orders soon and have put out feelers for recruiting staff writers. Also in contention are the lighter, ballet-set drama “Bunheads” and another hourlong, “Intercept.”

“Millennials (the target audience of ABC Family) aren’t genre specific,” Riley said, “and we’re not genre specific.”

ABC Family put five shows into production last year and opened up a third night of original programming. “Switched at Birth,” the top premiere of 2011, was in turn used last week to launch “Jane By Design,” exec produced by Gavin Palone and April Blair and starring Andie MacDowell, Erica Dasher and Nicholas Roux.

Returning series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” starring potential Oscar supporting actress nominee Shailene Woodley of “The Descendants,” will have its season premiere March 26, along with ” Make It or Break It.”

The coming year will also offer ventures by ABC Family into musical telepics, with Elixir (starring Chelsea Kane and Jane Seymour) followed in December by “Mistletones.”

“Who wouldn’t want to watch a movie about dueling caroling teams?” Riley said of the latter. “Music is something that is interesting to us.”

Riley addressed the perennial issue of Pat Robertson’s “The 700 Club” being contractually required to appear (though not under the ABC Family branding) on a channel that has received GLAAD’s highest rating. The channel’s roots date back to a founding by Robertson for his ministry.

“It’s obviously a show that is on our air,” Riley said. “It’s not a show we put on there, and we think our audience understands this. I think most viewers understand that they come to our network to watch the shows they want to watch.”

In other news, ABC Family has named Jori Petersen communications veep. She has moved over from ABC Daytime and the soon-to-be-departed SoapNet, where she has overeseen media relations since 2008.

And the cabler said it is also exploring venturing into reality series, though it had nothing to announce Monday.

More TV

  • Beta Drops Trailer, Closes Major Sales

    Beta Drops Trailer, Closes Major Sales on Berlinale Series Title ‘M’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Beta Film has rolled out its first major territory sales on drama series “M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder” (“M – A City Hunts a Murderer”), which has just been confirmed by the Berlin festival as one of seven shows selected for its TV strand, Berlinale Series. Viasat has licensed pay-TV rights for Russia [...]

  • Joel Kinnaman Mireille Enos Esme Creed

    Amazon's 'Hanna,' New Season of 'False Flag' Lead Strong Berlinale Series Lineup

    Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming high-concept thriller “Hanna” will debut at the 2019 Berlinale Series, with its stars – Esme Creed-Miles, Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos – expected in Berlin for its premiere. Netflix also features in the lineup and will debut “Quicksand,” its first Swedish original. A roster of seven shows also includes big-ticket Sky [...]

  • China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With

    China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With Animated Series and Movie

    Two seasons of the hit Chinese animation series “Boonie Bears” have been licensed for release in South Korea. The deal was struck by animation studio Fantawild with content distributor Media to Media. The broker has acquired IPTV and VOD rights to “Boonie Bears: Four Seasons” and “Sunsational Summer and Snow Daze,” a total of 104 [...]

  • Mike Royce24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot 'Story of Us' From 'One Day at a Time' Co-Creator Mike Royce

    CBS has ordered a pilot for the comedy “The Story of Us” from writer and executive producer Mike Royce. The hybrid comedy tells the story of how an unlikely couple becomes a family through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years. In addition to Royce, Nick Stoller and Conor Welch will serve as executive producers. Sony [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Bob Costas Olympics Mike Tirico

    Bob Costas Officially Out at NBC After Nearly 40 Years

    Bob Costas has formally parted ways with NBC after nearly 40 years as a sportscaster for the Peacock. Costas and NBC have been negotiating an exit agreement for months. Word surfaced last summer that he was preparing to end his tenure with the network. Costas confirmed the news in an interview with the New York [...]

  • Happy

    TV Roundup: Syfy Drops First Trailer for Season 2 of 'Happy!'

    In today’s TV News Roundup, Syfy drops the first trailer for the second season of “Happy!” and Imagine Kids & Family sets a partnership with Four M Studios.  FIRST LOOKS Syfy has dropped the first trailer for season two of “Happy!” starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt. The new season premieres Wednesday, March 27 at 10/9c [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content