ABC Family greenlights four pilots; 'Melissa & Joey' a go


Back-Order on “Melissa & Joey” Takes the First Season Order to a Total of 30 Episodes.
ABC Family has given the production greenlight to four more pilots and ordered additional episodes of its new hit comedy series, “Melissa & Joey,” it was announced today by Michael Riley, president, ABC Family.  The pilots are “Untitled Brenda Hampton Project,” “What Would Jane Do,” “The Lying Game” and “The Great State of Georgia.” 

The network has also given a back-order to “Melissa & Joey,” starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, bringing its first season order to a total of 30 episodes. The original comedy series currently premieres on Tuesday nights at 8:00PM ET/PT.

“The addition of these four pilots to the network’s existing order, coupled with the breakout success of ‘Melissa & Joey,’ reflects the incredible momentum of ABC Family,” said Riley. “This is the most aggressive development slate in the network’s history. It shows the network’s commitment to offering viewers a great mix of brand-defining original series.”

“We’re glad to have the opportunity to collaborate with Brenda again on this new project,” said Kate Juergens, executive vice president, Original Programming & Development, ABC Family. “In addition, we couldn’t be happier to have ‘Melissa & Joey’ return with more episodes. The chemistry between the two has again proven to be a hit with our viewers.  We’re so proud of them and excited to have original comedy on ABC Family.”

“Untitled Brenda Hampton Project,” a one-hour scripted drama to be executive produced by Brenda Hampton (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “7th Heaven”), is a groundbreaking and heartfelt look at the lives and families of four ethnically-diverse teenage girls at a private school in California. The pilot follows the girls and the challenges they face at home — challenges that include a parent with terminal cancer, a brother with a behavioral disorder, and a father who parents with an unwaveringly strict hand. Casting on the project is yet to be announced.

“The Great State of Georgia” is an ABC Studios’ half-hour, multi-cam comedy series about an exuberant plus-sized performer from the south and her science geek best friend who try to make headway in New York City. Pilot writers are Jennifer Weiner (author of the best-selling novels Good in Bed, and In Her Shoes (Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette starred in the feature film version by the same name) and Jeff Greenstein (“Desperate Housewives,” “Parenthood,” “Friends,” “Will & Grace”).  Casting on the project is yet to be announced.

“What Would Jane Do” a one-hour scripted drama, follows 16year-old Jane, who lands a job at a hip retail company when they mistake her for an adult. Jane soon finds herself juggling life as a regular teenager in high school and as an assistant to a high powered executive in the cutthroat world of fashion…all while trying to keep her true identity a secret.  Executive producer is Gavin Polone (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Gilmore Girls,” “My Boys”); writer is April Blair (“Lemonade Mouth,” “Major Movie Star,” “Christmas Caper”).

“The Lying Game,” a one-hour scripted drama which follows Emma, a kind-hearted foster kid who can’t catch a break. She finds out she has an identical twin sister, Sutton, who – 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 their birth mother. Initially excited to do this favor for her sister, Emma soon learns that Sutton has gone missing and could be in trouble. Now, Emma must decide whether to come clean to Sutton’s family and risk her own safety in the hope of uncovering her twin sister’s true whereabouts, along with the truth about why they were separated in the first place. Charles Pratt, Jr. (“Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives,” “All My Children,” “Melrose Place”) serves as executive producer and writer; Leslie Morgenstein (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries”) and Gina Girolamo will serve as executive producers. Produced by Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television, the series is based on the upcoming novel by Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard. Casting on the project is yet to be announced.

3Q 2010 Primetime Highlights
Driven by the net’s Top 2 original series of all time, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Pretty Little Liars,” and high performing movies, specifically the premiere of “Revenge of the Bridesmaids” and “Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix,” 3Q10 stood as ABC Family’s most-watched quarter on record in Adults 18-34 (380,000), Women 18-34 (271,000) and Females 12-34 (452,000), and 2nd-most-watched quarter ever in Women 18-49 (441,000) and Viewers 12-34 (613,000). In addition, the quarter wrapped as the network’s best-ever 3Q in Total Viewers (1.4 million) and Adults 18-49 (646,000).  ABC Family ranked No. 3 in Prime among Women 18-34, the net’s highest competitive quarter finish, and the 5th consecutive quarter the network has placed among the Top 5. In addition, the channel ranked among cable’s Top 10 networks in Total Viewers for the 4th time in the past 5 quarters, and ranked a solid No. 3 among Females 12-34.

Part of the Disney/ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 98 million homes. ABC Family features programming reflecting today’s families, entertaining and connecting with adults through relatable programming about today’s relationships – told with a mix of diversity, dysfunction, passion, humor and heart. ABC Family’s programming is a combination of network defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals.  ABC Family is also the destination for annual Holiday events with “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas!” ABC Family. A New Kind of Family.

Source: ABC – Nielsen Media Research (National Ratings, 3Q10: 6/28/10-9/26/10, Most Current: Live + SD, blended with Live + 7, when available. Program ranks based on trackage level data with minimum 5 telecasts.