EXCLUSIVE: New ABC Family president Michael Riley is making his first development move a month after he took over the cable network following Paul Lee’s move to ABC. ABC Family has greenlighted 3 pilots, Strut, Nine Lives and Switched at Birth. I hear the pickup of a fourth pilot, The Lying Game, is imminent. Two of the pilots, Nine Lives and The Lying Game, hail from Alloy Entertainment, the company behind ABC Family’s freshman hit Pretty Little Liars.
Strut, whose order is cast-contingent, centers on a Las Vegas showgirl who unwittingly gets married to a stranger after a wild night and becomes a high school instructor for a misfit drill team in a small Texas town. Lamar Damon wrote the script and is executive producing with Anna Mastro, Karey Burke, Charlie Stratton and Norman Buckley.
Nine Lives is based on Alloy’s Nine Lives of Chloe King series of 3 young-adult novels by Celia Thomson. Alloy Entertainment is producing the pilot, about Chloe King, a teenager with heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing…claws) who discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure. Dan Berendsen (Hannah Montana: The Movie) penned the script and is executive producing with Alloy’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo.
Switched at Birth, written and executive produced by Lizzy Weiss (Blue Crush), is a one-hour drama about two teen girls who discover that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and two brothers, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing as a child due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a poor 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.
The Lying Game, which Alloy is producing with Warner Horizon TV, is based on the upcoming Alloy book series of the same name by Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard, which will be released in December. Its premise is similar to Switched at Birth: it centers on twin identical sisters separated at birth – one rich and one poor. When the rich one goes missing the poor sister sets out to find her. Chuck Pratt Jr. (Ugly Betty) wrote the script and is executive producing with Morgenstein and Girolamo.