Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Near the beginning of today’s TCA panel on the ABC Family series The Lying Game, executive producers Charles Pratt Jr and Gina Girolamo were asked about the obvious similarities between this new series and the CW’s Ringer, introduced earlier during TCA. The CW series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in the dual role of two twin sisters. In The Lying Game, based on the book series by Sara Shepard (who also wrote the books behind the series Pretty Little Liars), it’s Alexandra Chando (As The World Turns) in the dual role of identical twin sisters from radically different backgrounds. Just like in Ringer, the sister from more humble beginnings takes the identity of her much richer sister. Said Pratt: “I actually haven’t seen it [Ringer], but I read the premise, and whether it helps us or hurts us I don’t know, we’ll leave it up to viewer. Essentially, the shows are very different. We’re not really thinking about it one way or another.” While both shows feature a mystery element, he said that The Lying Game caters to the interest of teens, with plenty of romance and a focus on the search for biological parents. “There are aspects of both shows that are great, that are specific to ABC Family,” he said. After the session, ABC Family president Michael Riley reiterated that The Lying Game‘s demo target is much younger than Ringer, which he also hasn’t seen (but he stressed that he is a big fan of Ringer star Sarah Michelle Gellar.) He said he actually sees more similarities between The Lying Game and another ABC Family series, Pretty Little Liars in terms of the setting and the mystery involved. (The titles have a similar ring to them too.) The Lying Game premieres on Aug. 15, Ringer debuts Sept. 15.