This comes after the Disney-owned network piloted the project, which is written by Easy A’s Bert V. Royal, last year.
The announcement was made by Tom Ascheim, president, Freeform at the Winter TCA press tour.
The show comes from eOne and exec producers Biel and Michelle Purple from Iron Ocean Productions and Royal. Jungeland’s Max Winkler directed and exec produced the pilot, which was filmed in Texas.
The series stars Chiara Aurelia (Tell Me Your Secret), Mika Abdalla (Project Mc2), Michael Landes (The Liberator), Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf), Harley Quinn Smith (Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood), Allius Barnes (Unbelievable), Blake Lee (Fam), Nathaniel Ashton (Mr. Mercedes) and Brooklyn Sudano (Taken).
Last Summer is an unconventional thriller that takes place over three summers — 1993-95 — in a small Texas town when a beautiful popular teen, Kate (Abdalla), is abducted and, seemingly unrelated, a girl, Jeanette (Aurelia), goes from being a sweet, awkward outlier to the most popular girl in town and, by ’95, the most despised person in America. Each episode is told from the POV of one of the two main girls, which will have the viewers’ loyalties constantly shifting as more information is revealed.
Aurelia stars as Jeanette, a sweet high schooler who has a zest for life, but an almost obsessive need to be loved, Abdalla plays Kate, the embodiment of teenage perfection. Her life is one to be envied until she mysteriously disappears. Landes will play Greg, Jeanette’s father, the kind of dad who his kids’ friends love, and who thinks the world of his daughter. Though he may present like he has it all together, there are cracks in his otherwise perfect façade. Gutierrez has been cast as Jamie, the kind of guy everyone loves. He starts as Jeannette’s secret crush, who ends up as her boyfriend the following year. Quinn Smith will star as Mallory, a quirky outsider who feels left behind when Jeannette becomes the popular girl. Her anger masks her genuine hurt by her once best friend. Barnes will portray Vince, Jeannette and Mallory’s other best friend. He’s loyal to his core and continues to stand by Jeannette, even when no one else will. Lee plays Martin, the kind of teacher every student loves. He genuinely cares about his students, maybe even a little too much. Ashton portrays Ben, Jamie’s best friend, the kind of guy who tries to see everyone’s point of view, which frequently leaves him stuck in the middle. Sudano rounds out the cast as Angela, a bartender at the local dive bar who becomes a sympathetic ear, and has no issue standing up for herself.
Freeform’s other recent pilot Close Up, a suspense drama from How to Get Away With Murder creator Peter Nowalk, Mary Rohlich (Atypical) and ABC Signature, is still in the works.