EXCLUSIVE: In their latest collaboration, Audience Network and Fullscreen have teamed to co-produce Cassandra French’s Finishing School, a half-hour series based on Eric Garcia’s (Matchstick Men) novel. The eight-episode series, which has been fully cast, will debut on AT&T-owned DirecTV and U-verse on February 17 and will air all eight episodes before moving to the millenial-focused SVOD service of Fullscreen, owned by Otter Media, the digital-media joint venture of AT&T and Chernin Group. Garcia wrote the adaptation and serves as showrunner for the series, whose cast includes Jessica Renee Russell (Donny), Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally), Brooke Markham (Friend Request), Savannah Jayde (Big Time Rush), Anjali Bhimani (Modern Family), Nathan Stewart Jarrett), Lisa Schwartz (Lisbug) and Mo Collins (MADtv).
Cassandra French’s Finishing School stars Russell as Cassie, a 23-year-old overachieving publicist who can’t find a guy ready for a mature relationship. After a disastrous one night stand, Cassie takes matters into her own hands when she knocks the unsuspecting guy, Owen, (Worthy) unconscious and decides that the only way to turn things around is to set up a finishing school in her basement to try and teach him how to become a better man.
Markham and Jayde play Cassie’s girlfriends Claire and fellow PR pro Wendy, respectively. Elijah (Jarrett) is a charming British actor looking to make a name for himself in the states and employs Cassie’s PR firm to arrange a PRomance (staged relationship) with social media influencer Kaylee (Schwartz). Collins plays Judi, Cassie’s overbearing mother on house arrest from a recent conviction.
“Cassandra French tackles the universal struggle that singles face in the modern dating world,” says Jeni Mulein, VP Scripted Development, Fullscreen.“It’s a heightened, and sometimes dark, setup for a female wish-fulfillment comedy but, at its core, is also about the strength of female friendships and the sometimes extreme lengths that we’re willing to go to for each other.”
Cassandra French’s Finishing School is produced in association with Lifeboat Productions. Jaime Burke and Amy Kim serve as Executive Producers alongside Garcia.
Audience provides Snack on Fullscreen sampling of original Fullscreen programming in weekly and daily blocks. Audience’s original series include Rogue, Kingdom, You Me Her and the newest addition, Ice.
Cassandra French’s Finishing School was previously developed for TV in 2012 by MTV, which ordered a pilot produced by Krysten Ritter and Garcia, with Garcia as writer.