UPDATE 11 AM: I have learned that, like Nine Lives, ABC Family’s new comedy State of Georgia also has been canceled.
PREVIOUS: ABC Family news kept coming in dribs and drabs all day yesterday: The back-12 episode pickup for The Lying Game, the cancellation of The Nine Lives of Chloe King and the pickup of two new drama pilots, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Strut and the technology-themed Intercept. This morning, the network made its official announcement, which includes the pickups for Lying Game, drama pilots Strut (now titled Bunheads) and Intercept, as well as the pickup of two comedy pilots — Baby Daddy, from Nine Lives creator Dan Berendsen, and Village People — and the renewal of gymnastics drama Make It or Break It, “in time to ignite Olympic fever,” as ABC Family president Michael Riley put it. The network’s breakout hit this past summer, Switched at Birth, has already been renewed for a second season. “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. This year, ABC Family delivered its largest summer primetime audience in total viewers (1.48 million) and all key demos. The network has new drama series Jane By Design slated to premiere in early 2012. Here are descriptions of ABC Family’s newly picked-up pilots:
Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is executive producing 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. “I spent 20 years of my life with my hair in a bun,” Sherman-Palladino said. “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.” The project was originally picked up as a cast-contingent pilot last fall with a different writer.
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).
Baby Daddy, a half-hour comedy from executive producer Dan Berendsen (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), 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.