Paul Lee, president, ABC Family, today announced the network’s 2009 summer schedule and fall/winter premieres at its Upfront presentation in New York. The network’s slate includes three new original series, returning hits, original movies and blockbuster theatrical acquisitions. The network finished 2008 as its best year on record, and 1Q09 just wrapped as the best quarter in its history.
“ABC Family is powering forward after a year of record growth and ratings success,” said Lee. “This summer we’re excited to launch an unprecedented slate of programming, including the premiere of our three new original series, plus all-new original movies, all of them told with the bright, optimistic storytelling that’s at the heart of our Millennial brand.”
“Make It or Break It” is a one-hour scripted drama, created and written by Holly Sorensen. Sorenson and Paul Stupin (“In Plain Sight”) serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Steve Miner (“Wildfire,” “Dawson’s Creek”). Set in the world of competitive gymnastics, “Make It or Break It” follows a group of teen Olympic hopefuls as they train and prepare for their day in the spotlight. The cast includes Chelsea Hobbs (“Lords of Dogtown”) as gymnastic newcomer ‘Emily Kmetko’; Ayla Kell (“CSI: Miami”) as top gymnast ‘Payson Keeler’; Josie Loren (“17 Again”) as the beautiful gymnast ‘Kaylie Cruz’; and Zachary Burr Abel (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) as the gym’s resident hottie, ‘Carter Anderson.’ Peri Gilpin (“Frasier”) and Candace Cameron Bure (“Full House”) both make a return to series television in starring roles. “Make It or Break It” premieres Monday, June 22 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
“10 Things I Hate About You” is a half-hour, single-cam series with director Gil Junger (who also directed the 1999 “10 Things I Hate About You” feature film) and executive producer and writer Carter Covington (“Greek”). Inspired by the hit movie, the Stratford sisters, Kat (Lindsey Shaw, “Aliens in America”) and Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin, “Camp Rock”), are two very different people, which is evident as they start at their new high school with very contradictory goals. Kat is a strong-willed, in-your-face feminist looking to save the world and get out of high school as fast as she can. Bianca is a social butterfly carefully maneuvering the minefield of high school popularity. Can each sister find happiness after getting off to a very rocky start at new school Padua High? The original series will also star Larry Miller, who reprises his film role as the girls’ over-protective father, and Ethan Peck (grandson of Gregory Peck, “Tennessee”) has been cast in the role of ‘Patrick’ (portrayed by Heath Ledger in the 1999 film). “10 Things I Hate About You” premieres on Tuesday, July 7 at 8:00PM ET/PT.
“Ruby & the Rockits” is an ABC Studios half-hour multi-cam comedy executive-produced by Shaun Cassidy (“Invasion”) and Marsh McCall (“Carpoolers”). “Ruby & the Rockits” follows Patrick Gallagher, a former teen idol who has chosen to lead a quiet life with his wife and two sons. But when his former Rockits band mate and brother, David, shows up unexpectedly with his new-found teenage daughter in tow, the Gallagher family’s life becomes anything but normal. David, who refuses to give up his past glory days, comes to Patrick for help in raising Ruby while he continues to perform. Patrick must now put the past with David behind them in order to help raise Ruby and keep order within the rest of the Gallagher clan. “Ruby & the Rockits” story by Shaun Cassidy and Ed Yeager, with teleplay by Ed Yeager and Marsh McCall. The pilot was directed by Ted Wass.) Alexa Vega (“Spy Kids”, Patrick Cassidy (“Smallville”), Katie Amanda Keane (“Eli Stone”), Austin Butler (“Zoey 101”), Kurt Doss (“Role Models”), and former teen idol David Cassidy (“The Partridge Family”) star. “Ruby & the Rockits” premieres on Tuesday, July 21 at 8:30PM ET/PT.
Additionally, three of the network’s one-hour original series will mark their returns: The hit series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” which finished 1Q09 as cable’s No. 1 original series in Viewers 12-34 and Females 12-34, will launch its second season on Monday, June 22, at 8:00PM ET/PT; the critically acclaimed and NAACP Image Award-winning “Lincoln Heights” will premiere its fourth season on Tuesday, August 4 at 9:00PM ET/PT; and the third season of “Greek” will premiere on Monday, September 14 at 8:00PM ET/PT.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ Academy Award-winning (Best Animated Feature Film) “Happy Feet” will make its basic cable premiere on ABC Family in June 2009. The film features the voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Anthony LaPaglia.
The network will also present the original movie premiere “Labor Pains,” starring Lindsay Lohan (“Georgia Rule”), on Sunday, July 19 at 8:00PM ET/PT. Lohan plays ‘Thea,’ an assistant at a publishing company who pretends to be pregnant in order to avoid being fired by her boss (Chris Parnell, “Saturday Night Live”). Cheryl Hines (“In the Motherhood,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) also stars as her best friend and colleague in on her secret; Luke Kirby (“Tell Me You Love Me”) as Thea’s love interest; Kevin Covais (“American Idol”) as her suspicious colleague; and Janeane Garofalo (“24”) as a talk show host. The film is produced by Nu Image/Millennium Films in association with Overnight Prods. and Plum Pictures.
The network’s new summer programming event, “Campus Crush,” takes place from Saturday, August 1 through Monday, August 10, and will feature the premiere of the latest installment from the “Legally Blonde” movie franchise, “Legally Blondes,” premiering on Sunday, August 2 at 8:00PM ET/PT. With a legal approach to life built into their blood, twins Izzy (Becky Rosso) and Annie (Milly Rosso) Woods share their cousin Elle’s DNA, including beauty, perfect blonde hair and fabulous fashion sense. When the teens move from their native England to California to attend a posh prep school, they end up the target of the school’s wealthy “queen,” Tiffany (Brittany Curran), and become embroiled in a school trial. Izzy and Annie have to use the trademark Woods’ ingenuity to take the blonde fight to the toughest venue of all — high school. “Legally Blondes” directed by Savage Steve Holland; written by Chad Gomez Creasey & Dara Resnik Creasey. Executive producers are Irene Dreayer and Matthew Papish.
Actress Jenny McCarthy will star in the network’s new original holiday movie, “Santa Baby 2,” with Paul Sorvino and Dean McDermott. The movie will premiere in December during ABC Family’s 12th annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming event which will feature over 200 hours of holiday-themed entertainment for the whole family from December 1- 25. McCarthy reprises her role as Mary Class, Santa’s business minded daughter, to help save Christmas in “Santa Baby 2,” the sequel to ABC Family’s original hit movie of 2006. Santa’s in the midst of a late-life crisis — he’s tired of the responsibilities of the job and is ready to pass on the reins to Mary, who feels torn between the family business and running her own high stakes firm in New York City, along with balancing a relationship with the love of her life, Luke. The situation gets increasingly dire when a disgruntled former elf, Teri, in cunning disguise, sows dissension at the North Pole in an effort to take over Christmas. “Santa Baby 2” also stars Paul Sorvino as ‘Santa Claus,’ Dean McDermott as ‘Luke Jessup’ and Kelly Stables as ‘Teri’; written by Peter Garrett Frawley & Brian Turner and executive-produced by Jody Brockway and Craig McNeil.
In addition to “Santa Baby 2,” the network will feature classic holiday favorites such as “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year,” “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland” and “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” ABC Family will also present the basic cable premieres of DisneyPIXAR’s Academy Award-winning (Best Animated Feature Film) “RATATOUILLE” and “Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.” And again this year, Christmas comes early with “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas,” which adds 16 additional days of holiday programming.
Part of the Disney-ABC Television Group, ABC Family is distributed in over 97 million homes. ABC Family features programming reflecting today’s families, entertaining and connecting with adults through relevant stories about today’s relationships, all told with diversity, dysfunction, passion, humor and heart. ABC Family’s programming is a mix 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.