EXCLUSIVE: In a major shakeup on MTV‘s comedy pilot Hot Mess, I have learned that the project’s creator/executive producer Lauren Iungerich has departed. “We mutually agreed to part ways on the Hot Mess pilot,” a rep for MTV said. The move comes as I hear Hot Mess tested very well and was heading into next week’s MTV screenings as a frontrunner for a series pickup. The pilot had already been exploring writer staffing in anticipation of a series order. I hear Iungerich recently made the difficult decision to leave the project she had worked on for several years for a combination of creative and personal reasons. She remains committed to her MTV series Awkward, which is currently filming its 20-epsode third season. Iungerich is Awkward’s creator/executive producer. Hot Mess was picked up to pilot by the previous MTV regime. The pilot was wrapping casting when Susanne Daniels in November was announced as new head of programming, replacing David Janollari. She was joined by ABC Family’s Mina Lefevre as SVP and Head of Scripted Programming at the end of January. I hear Daniels and Lefevre are high on Hot Mess, especially in light of its solid testing, but they didn’t develop or cast it, so they’ve had a different take on it. I hear that, in addition to Iungerich’s exit, MTV recently released the actress who played the lead in the pilot, Annabelle Stephenson. Hot Mess centers on Amanda Marshall (Stephenson), who is caught between her current and former boyfriend, and her close circle of friends from college. Iungerich executive produced the pilot with Robyn Meisinger and Kim Fleary who are said to still be on board.
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