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NewFronts: Dolphin Signs Andy Tennant to Direct Ashley Tisdale’s ‘In Bloom’

Digital studio also unveils online soap “South Beach” at CAA newfronts event

Dolphin Digital Media has hired director Andy Tennant to helm young-adult Internet series “In Bloom” from actress-singer Ashley Tisdale, and unveiled  plans for online soap “South Beach” set in Miami.

Digital studio made the announcement at CAA’s NewFronts event Wednesday in Manhattan. “We’ve raised the bar of directors working in the digital space,” Dolphin topper Bill O’Dowd said.

Tennant’s other helming credits include “Ever After” (Drew Barrymore), “Anna and the King” (Jodie Foster) and “Sweet Home Alabama” (Reese Witherspoon).

Tisdale, repped by CAA, is exec producer for “In Bloom.” Skein, comprising 10×10-minute episodes, revolves around a sister-brother high school band and each will feature an original song. Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Prods. and partner Jessica Rhoades will coproduce “In Bloom” with Dolphin and O’Dowd. Josh Uranga of Drama 3/4 Productions is also producing.

O’Dowd said he’s in talks with YouTube about distributing “In Bloom” and “South Beach,” slated to go into production in the fall. Dolphin also is approaching marketers about sponsorship and brand-integration deals.

With the 10 original songs, “In Bloom,” written by Brice Beckham and David Fickas, will be like a concept album, such as Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” O’Dowd said. Tisdale has a massive online fan base, he added —  14.9 million Facebook and 9.6 Twitter followers.

Dolphin’s “South Beach” digital sudser, aimed at young multicultural and general auds, will follow in the footsteps of Prospect Park’s revivals of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” Studio will produce 10 hours of show, sliced into five 9-minute segments to run Monday-Friday for 10 weeks.

Series pivots on rivalry between fictitious music labels Lear Entertainment and Paradise Music set in the world-famous party scene of Miami. Half the cast will be Hispanic, according to O’Dowd. Dolphin also will produce 100-plus pieces of ancillary content, including music videos and recording sessions.

Miami-based Dolphin has previously worked with filmmakers including producer Anthony Zuiker (“CSI”) and producer and director McG (“Charlie’s Angels,” “Terminator: Salvation”). Zuiker developed “Cybergeddon,” a cybercrime thriller sponsored by Symantec’s Norton. Pic debuted Sept. 25, 2012, on Yahoo, garnering more than 30 million viewers worldwide. McG exec-produced high-school spy series “Aim High.”

O’Dowd formed Dolphin in 1996 as a TV and film financing outfit. The 7-footer played center for Creighton U’s college basketball team.

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