HBO Max has handed a straight-to-series order to Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, a darker, present-day iteration of the popular 2010-17 series, from Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; Lindsay Calhoon Bring (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina); Alloy Entertainment; and Warner Bros. TV, where Aguirre-Sacasa is under a deal. Watch a teaser below.
Written by Aguirre-Sacasa and Calhoon Bring, the reboot based on the bestselling books by Sara Shepard will feature a new story and new characters under the tagline: New town. New secrets. New Little Liars.
Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, a group of disparate teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — finds themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago, as well as their own. In the dark, coming-of-rage, horror-tinged drama Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, we find ourselves miles away from Rosewood, but within the existing Pretty Little Liars universe — in a brand-new town, with a new generation of Little Liars.
Aguirre will executive produce via his Muckle Man Productions, with Alloy’s Leslie Morganstein and Gina Girolamo. Calhoon Bring will co-executive produce. Muckle Man Productions and Alloy Entertainment produce in association with Warner Bros. Television. Jimmy Gibbons is overseeing the project for Muckle Man.
A pop culture phenomenon, the original Pretty Little Liars series, developed/exec produced by I. Marlene King, produced by Warner Horizon, debuted in June 2010 on ABC Family/Freeform and ran for seven seasons.
“We’re such huge fans of what I. Marlene King and her iconic cast created, we knew that we had to treat the original series as #canon and do something different,” said Aguirre-Sacasa and Calhoon Bring. “So we’re leaning into the suspense and horror in this reboot, which hopefully will honor what the fans loved about the hit series, while weaving in new, unexpected elements.”
WBTV sibling HBO Max had been the project’s expected destination from the get-go. The streamer also is rebooting another signature WBTV YA series, Gossip Girl, with new characters.
“Roberto and Lindsay are expanding the Pretty Little Liars universe with more murder, mysteries and scandal, and we can’t wait,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max.
During its seven-year run, Pretty Little Liars ranked as the No. 1 scripted series on all of cable television in the teen girl demographic, and it ranks as the No. 1 series ever on Freeform/ABC Family. In its final season, the show amassed 62.5 million social engagements through the night of its June 2017 series finale telecast — significantly higher engagement than the other biggest shows of that year, America’s Got Talent and Game of Thrones. Season 6 of PLL was the No. 1 most social scripted TV series, with more than 270 million total social engagements across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.
The mothership series launched a franchise that included two spinoffs – Pretty Little Liars: Ravenswood and Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, both of which aired for one season.
The Pretty Little Liars book series comprises 16 books and three companion novels. It was on The New York Times Best Sellers list for more than 80 weeks. To date, 9 million copies of the book have been sold in the U.S. alone, and it has been sold in 33 foreign markets and languages.
Aguirre-Sacasa is the developer/executive producer behind Riverdale, which is heading into its fifth season on the CW, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which will wrap with its fourth season later this year on Netflix. He also was co-developer/executive producer on the Riverdale spinoff pilot Katy Keene, which aired for one season on the CW.
Calhoon Bring was a writer on Aguirre-Sacasa’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in her first staff writer job.