Friday, September 16, 2011

ABC Family Picks Up MAKE IT OR BREAK IT; Four New Pilots In Development

ABC Family, the Millennial-skewing network, continues to go from strength-to-strength as it grows its lineup of groundbreaking original programming. To join this summer’s breakout hit, SWITCHED AT BIRTH, the network has given the greenlight to an additional season of MAKE IT OR BREAK IT and a back-order pick-up of THE LYING GAME, it was announced today by Michael Riley, president ABC Family. Riley also announced development of four new pilots, including two dramas, BUNHEADS and INTERCEPT, and two comedies, BABY DADDY and VILLAGE PEOPLE.

"ABC Family expanded its schedule to present three nights of original programming this summer, and we saw our most successful on record, one that gave us our very own ‘triple-threat’ -- SWITCHED AT BIRTH, THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER and PRETTY LITTLE LIARS," said Riley. “Joining this group of series will be another season of the gymnastics drama MAKE IT OR BREAK IT, just in time to ignite Olympic fever, and a back-order of Warner Horizon’s THE LYING GAME. Our momentum continues to grow, and I’m thrilled with the strength of our schedule which includes a great mix of returning favorites, breakout series and what are sure to be new hits.”

Kate Juergens, executive vice president, Original Programming and Development, ABC Family continued: “We are thrilled about our returning originals, the hugely successful summer and the exciting new pilots that will continue to deliver on our promise to offer our viewers programming that is engaging, optimistic and relatable. Our lineup continues to resonate with our audience, and we believe that the shows in development will become strong additions to our slate as well.”

Powered by strong original series including the launch of SWITCHED AT BIRTH and the return of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER, ABC Family delivered its largest summer audience on record in Prime in Total Viewers (1.48 million), Adults 18-34 (431,000), Adults 18-49 (705,000) and Viewers 12-34 (698,000) -- and with all three key female targets, Women 18-34 (302,000), Women 18-49 (486,000) and Females 12-34 (520,000). To date, THE LYING GAME leads its time period among basic cable with females 12-34, females 12-17 and persons 12-17.

From Alloy Entertainment, the producers of GOSSIP GIRL and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE LYING GAME is a one-hour scripted drama that follows Emma, a kind-hearted foster kid who learns she has an identical twin sister, Sutton. Sutton, unlike Emma, was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. After their initial meeting, Sutton talks Emma into stepping into her life for a few days while she pursues a lead on the mysterious identity of their birth mother. After Sutton inexplicably fails to return to the girls’ designated meeting place, Emma must decide whether to come clean about her identity and risk her own safety in the hope of uncovering her twin sister’s whereabouts, along with the truth about why they were separated in the first place.

To get people ready for the Olympics, MAKE IT OR BREAK IT will return with new episodes. Set in the world of competitive gymnastics, MAKE IT OR BREAK IT follows a group of Olympic hopefuls as they train and prepare for their day in the spotlight. Leading the pack are Payson, the gym’s top girl and most focused; Kaylie, who is graceful with model looks; and Lauren, a spitfire who will stop at nothing to be at the top. All three have been training their entire lives for this moment, and now is the time where all of their hard work will be tested as they are called to the Olympic stage.

SWITCHED AT BIRTH tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a working class neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls. Lizzy Weiss, Paul Stupin and John Ziffren serve as executive producers. “Switched at Birth” stars Katie Leclerc as Daphne Vasquez, Vanessa Marano as Bay Kennish, Constance Marie as Regina Vasquez, D.W. Moffett as John Kennish, Lea Thompson as Kathryn Kennish, Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish, and newcomer Sean Berdy as Emmett. Marlee Matlin guest-stars as Melody.

Pilots in production include:

Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls,” “The Return of Jezebel James,” “Veronica’s Closet,” “Roseanne”) is executive producer of BUNHEADS, a one-hour scripted drama about Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl, who impulsively marries a man and moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school.

In commenting on her pilot, Amy Sherman-Palladino said, “I spent 20 years of my life with my hair in a bun. I was supposed to be a dancer. My mother was a dancer. Her greatest heartbreak was when I got on ROSEANNE. So, while writing this will never equal playing ‘Rumpelteazer’ in a bus and truck tour of ‘Cats,’ it does let me to tip my hat to a really special time in my life.”

INTERCEPT is a one hour technology and action driven drama about a group of college students who get roped into solving crimes when one of them creates a high-tech communication device that intercepts conversations throughout the West Coast. “Intercept” will be executive-produced and written by Ray Wright (“The Crazies,” “Case 39,” “Pulse”).

BABY DADDY, a half hour comedy from executive producer Dan Berendsen (“The Nine Lives of Chloe King,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie”), is about Ben who, in his 20s, becomes a surprise dad to a baby girl when she’s left on his doorstep by an ex-girlfriend. Ben decides to raise the baby with the help of his mother, his brother, his best buddy and his close female friend, who is harboring a secret crush on him.

VILLAGE PEOPLE, from executive producer, Meg DeLoatch (“Brothers,” “Eve,” “One on One”), is a multi-camera half-hour comedy centering on a single, high-powered career woman who adopts a baby from a teen mother -- whom she ends up caring for as well.

- Q&A With MAKE IT OR BREAK IT's Cassie Scerbo, Star of Teen Spirit

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