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Freeform Orders Kenya Barris Comedy ‘Besties’ to Series, Renews Drama ‘Siren’

Freeform has given a series order to a Kenya Barris comedy and given a sophomore season renewal to mermaid drama “Siren.”

The orders were unveiled Tuesday in advance of Freeform’s upfront presentation today to advertisers in New York. The Disney-owned cabler will be part of ABC’s presentation at Lincoln Center.

Besties” revolves around the coming-of-age relationship between two lifelong female best friends. Barris created the series with Ranada Shepard, who are exec producers for ABC Signature Studios.

“Siren” has nabbed a 16-episode second season renewal.

“In the past year, our commitment to quality has been reflected back to us with a rousing chorus of critical and fan acclaim,” said Freeform president Tom Ascheim. “Our young adult audience is the most important and influential generation in America and we want to be right there with them every step of the way.”

Previously, Freeform announced a series order for the “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff “The Perfectionists.” The series will star “PLL” fan favorites Sasha Pieterse as Alison and Janel Parrish as Mona, reprising their roles from the original series.

The network has also ordered a pilot for “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” from writer and comedian Josh Thomas. The pilot introduces Nicholas, a typical 25-year-old still living at home with his single dad and two teenage half-sisters, who is not particularly helpful in raising his siblings, one of which has autism. However, when their dad becomes terminally ill, the girls have to cope not only with a devastating loss but with the realization that Nicholas is the one who will have to hold it all together. Thomas created the concept and wrote and stars in the pilot with David Martin, Jon Thoday, and Richard Allen-Turner serving as executive producers for Avalon Television. Stephanie Swedlove and Kevin Whyte also serve as executive producers. Produced by Avalon Television and Freeform Studios, it will be distributed internationally by Avalon Distribution.

Finally, Freeform will air over 1000 thousand hours of holiday themed programming this year. It will begin with “31 Nights of Halloween” on Oct. 1, an increase of the annual “13 Nights of Halloween.” The network also airs November’s “Kick Off to Christmas,” Then the annual “25 Days of Christmas” Dec. 1.

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