×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Freeform Upfront: Selena Gomez, Will Packer, ‘Gossip Girl’ Duo and Andy Samberg Developing Projects

Freeform is hitting the gas on original series development, pacting with a slew of producers — from Selena Gomez to Will Packer to Mila Kunis to Andy Samberg to the “Gossip Girl” team of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage — as the Disney-owned cabler hunts for shows to reinforce its revamped brand image.

The network formerly known as ABC Family relaunched in January with a moniker designed to appeal to millennial viewers and their younger siblings. Losing the “ABC” and “Family” designations was meant to allow the channel to expand the horizons of its original series and separate it from the established Alphabet network. The channel has also sought to expand its digital horizons with original content and by making its TV shows more readily available on its authenticated streaming app.

Not surprisingly, the projects on Freeform’s slate feature multicultural families, fantasy vehicles and rags-to-riches aspirational tales. The slate includes the channel’s first late-night talk show — with the decidedly un-family friendly title “Later Bitches,” from producers Jennifer Flanz (“The Daily Show”) and Elise Terrell (“The Daily Show”). Freeform is also taking a page from the playbook of its ESPN sibling in developing “Freeform Presents: Snapshot,” two one-hour documentaries focusing on pop culture moments. The series hails from the producers of ESPN’s sports docu series “30 for 30” and ESPN Films.

Here’s a rundown of Freeform scripted projects in various stages of development:

Drama

Rising

Exec produced by Selena Gomez, Mandy Teefey and Aaron Kaplan, this drama is set in a low-income Latino neighborhood, and is told through the eyes of an 18-year-old girl destined for greatness. Ana Cobarrubias will be a consultant on the project.

The Deep

In the mermaid-obsessed sea town of Bristol Cove, everyone’s lives will change when actual mermaids come ashore, causing sides to be taken, loyalties to be tested and a war between man and mermaid to begin.  Executive producers include Eric Wald, Dean White, Brad Luff, RD Robb and Nate Hopper.

Hunted

From executive producer Mila Kunis, “Hunted” centers on Valerie who escapes prison to prove she did not murder her husband. While the police hunt for her and attempt to prove her family helped her escape, Valerie fights to exonerate herself – but is she really innocent?  Along with Kunis, Ed Bernero and Hugh Sterbakov executive-produce.

Lore

A sci-fi drama from executive producer McG, “Lore” tells the story of the lone survivor of an ancient race of paranormal beings who is abducted and forced to put his extraordinary abilities to work for the government. When an old nemesis resurfaces, this arrangement turns into an uneasy alliance, and the only hope for survival in a dangerous world of mystery and magic. The series is written by Zack Stentz (“Thor”) and executive-produced by McG, Mary Viola, Zach Stentz, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross.

 Misfits

A drama based on a hit British series, a group of twenty-somethings are exposed to a mysterious chemical, and subsequently develop peculiar superpowers. The series is from ABC Signature Studios and executive-produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

New People

Executive-produced by Joel Silver and writer/director Don Roos, in association with Lionsgate, this dramedy focuses on a middle class family who adopted identical twin boys at birth. One is all boy, one grew up trans. The series is inspired by the book “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family.”

Nine Years Under

From executive producer Will Packer, “Nine Years Under” tells the story of a law school grad who blows off the bar exam to take a job at a funeral home after the sudden death of her mother.  Along with Packer, Korin Huggins exec produces.

Comedy

Alone Together

From the Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, two misfits from different backgrounds try to make their way into the vain and status-obsessed culture of Los Angeles. Along the way, they find salvation in their male/female, strictly platonic friendship.

Made in LA

From executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (“Gossip Girl”), along with Mila Kunis, “Made in LA” is a half-hour comedy set in the world of fashion, centering on two friends who join their different skill sets to become fashion entrepreneurs. The series is loosely inspired by the creators of fashion label Juicy Couture and the authors of “The Glitter Plan.” The series is from ABC Signature Studios.

Paige One

Elizabeth Banks exec produces this single-camera comedy that follows the insulated life of a children’s book author who hates children. Her life is turned upside down when her brother shows up on her door with his two young daughters. The show comes from Warner Horizon TV and executive producers Banks, Max Handelman and Susan Jaffee.

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content