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E! Orders Second Scripted Series ‘The Arrangement’ (EXCLUSIVE)

E! has given a series order to “The Arrangement,” ordering 10 hourlong episodes, Variety has learned exclusively.

The drama marks E!’s second scripted series, following the cable net’s push into scripted territory with “The Royals,” which wrapped up its second season earlier this month.

Described as a modern day Cinderella story with a complicated Hollywood twist, “The Arrangement” follows a young actress, Megan Morrison, who auditions for the female lead in a summer blockbuster to star opposite the hottest male action stars, Kyle West. After Megan’s amazing audition leads to an incredible first date — and more — with Kyle, her Cinderella story takes an unexpected turn when she is presented with a contract that would change her life forever.

Christine Evangelista (“Chicago Fire”) will play Megan, co-starring with Josh Henderson (“Dallas,” “Desperate Housewives”) who will play Kyle. Michael Vartan (“Alias”) plays Kyle’s mentor Terrence Anderson, who runs a self-help organization called the Institute of The Higher Mind with his wife Deann (Lexa Doig, “Continuum”).

Hailing from NBC-owned studio Universal Cable Productions, the pilot was written by “Mad Men” alum Jonathan Abrahams who will serve as executive producer. Other exec producers are Jimmy Fox of All3Media’s Objective Productions USA, plus Layla Smith and Gregory Lipstone of All3Media. Ken Olin directed the pilot, which was ordered this past summer.

“E! viewers have shown a strong appetite for scripted fare, and we look forward to building on the success of ‘The Royals’ with this exciting, new drama,” said Jeff Olde, EVP of programming and development at E! “We love the way Jonathan has juxtaposed dark storylines against a backdrop of Hollywood glitz and glamor. His unique and sinister twist on the classic fairy tale love story is a perfect addition to E!’s pop culture line-up.”

“Jonathan is a great writer with a sophisticated and fun voice. He has an uncanny knack for turning everyday events into complicated and compelling morality tales.  We’re thrilled to be working with him,” added UCP’s EVP of development, Dawn Olmstead.

Known for its red carpet fare, celebrity news and Kardashians, E! has enjoyed much success with its first jump into scripted programming with “The Royals,” which was recently renewed for a third season. With “The Arrangement” — which is a seamless fit for E!’s target audience of young, social women — the network continues to build out its scripted slate.

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