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Freeform Greenlights Mermaid Drama Pilot ‘The Deep’

Freeform has greenlit a new drama pilot, “The Deep,” Variety has learned.

The hourlong drama is set in Bristol Cove, a coastal town known for its legend of once being home to mermaids. When the arrival of a mysterious girl proves this folklore all too true, the battle between man and sea takes a very vicious turn as these predatory beings return to reclaim their right to the ocean.

Based on a story by Eric Wald and Dean White, who will both serve as executive producers on the pilot, Wald penned the script. Other exec producers are Brad Luff, Nate Hopper and RD Robb. Scott Stewart (Syfy’s “Dominion”) will direct the pilot, and Emily Whitesell (MTV’s “Finding Carter”) will serve as showrunner.

“’The Deep’ is a very different show than one would expect when they hear the word ‘mermaid’ — the mermaid tale has been reinvented in this pilot,” said Karey Burke, Freeform’s executive vice president of programming and development. “The writing is thrilling, stories complex and scary, and we are excited to explore the themes of obsession and violence through these amazing creatures.”

“The Deep” is one of Freeform’s many new scripted projects on deck, as the Disney-owned cabler is skewing a bit older, ever since it rebranded from ABC Family. Other pilots picked up at Freeform include “Issues,” which is inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles, and comedy “Alone Together” from The Lonely Island. Already ordered to series is Marvel’s romance superhero show “Cloak and Dagger,” and “Famous in Love” from “Pretty Little Liars” boss Marlene King, which stars Bella Thorne. On the unscripted side, the cable net has ordered a “Bachelor” spinoff, starring Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell.

“The Deep” begins production this September in Vancouver.

 

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