Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATED: We may not have seen the last of The Nine Lives Of Chloe King on ABC Family. The network canceled the drama series about a girl with cat-like powers in September after one modestly rated season. But during this morning’s ABC Family executive session at TCA, the network’s president Michael Riley said that “we are on the verge of putting a (Chloe King) movie into development.” No details to announce on story, but the plan is “to capitalize on the storytelling that’s already been in place,” he said. Dan Berendsen (Hannah Montana: The Movie), who developed and executive produced the series, is on board to write the Chloe King movie. In talking about the series, Riley didn’t want to use the word canceled. “We didn’t cut it short — we never talk about canceling shows at ABC Family,” he said, referring to the fact that Chloe King completed its first-season run before the network opted not to go forward with Season 2. “We loved the cast; we loved the writing on that show. For us it was about making some decisions. We had to choose between what we thought was resonating stronger for the audience.” That would be the other 2 new ABC Family drama series that launched last summer, breakout hit Switched At Birth, which received a second-season pickup, and The Lying Game, which received a back-12 order after posting ratings similar to those for Chloe King.
Also during the session, Riley announced that The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make It Or Break It will return with new episodes on March 26. ABC Family has 4 pilots in contention, dramas Bunheads, written by Amy Sherman-Palladino, and Intercept and comedies Village People, and Baby Daddy, penned by Berendsen. Word is that three of them, Intercept, Village People and Baby Daddy, are already in preliminary stages of staffing.
Riley also talked about ABC’s commitment to developing musical programming, including the movie Elixir. He called musicals the next step in building on the channel’s success with romantic comedies such as sitcom Melissa and Joey. “It’s a direction for us we haven’t been in, we’re excited to see where it goes,” he said. He said ABC Family is looking into more musical content for next summer and is in the process of casting for its 25 Days of Christmas movie. He also noted that the network is exploring venturing into the reality genre.