[03/28/05 - 12:00 AM]
ABC Family Announces Original Programming Including a New Reality Series 'Untitled Project' Featuring Venus and Serena Williams

[via press release from ABC Family]


Reality Series "Untitled School Project" To Premiere In August

First Scripted Drama "Wildfire" To Premiere In June

Casting Is Locked For Scripted Series "Beautiful People" Premiering In August

New Original Movie "Campus Confidential" Premieres In August

Burbank, CA (March 28, 2005) � ABC Family is launching an ambitious slate of summer programming with two new reality series, two scripted dramas and two original movies.

"Our summer programming lineup is reflective of today's families and focuses on real stories, real families, real heart," said Paul Lee, President, ABC Family. "We just finished 1Q with double digit increases and had our best total day deliveries in key demos for January, February and March. We look forward to maintaining this momentum through the summer."

ABC Family is starting production on a new reality series UNTITLED PROJECT Featuring Venus and Serena. The series will take an in-depth and off-court look at the fascinating, successful lives of professional tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, focusing on their other passions outside of tennis and time spent with family and friends.

ABC Family recently started production on UNTITLED SCHOOL PROJECT, a show that will seriously cramp four college students style when their parents move into the dorm, attend their classes and hang out with their friends.

ABC Family will launch the channel's first scripted drama series WILDFIRE (working title) in June. WILDFIRE will premiere with a two-hour original movie followed by 11 one-hour episodes. The drama, produced by Lions Gate Television in association with Piller� and The Segan Company, centers on the struggles of a teenage girl to turn her life around. The series stars gifted newcomer Genevieve Cortese, veteran actor Dennis Weaver ("McCloud"), Greg Serano (�Kingpin�), Nana Visitor (�Star Trek: Deep Space Nine�) and Micah Alberti ("All My Children").

Casting has been locked for ABC Family's scripted drama BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (working title), adding newcomers Torrey DeVitto, Sarah Foret, Ricky Mabe and Jordan Madley, who will join veteran actress Daphne Zuniga. The eight one-hour episodes produced by Sony Pictures Television will premiere in August.

The original movie CAMPUS CONFIDENTIAL (working title) about an ambitious young reporter and her desire to bring equality to her school, begins production in April in New Orleans for an August premiere with director Melanie Mayron ("thirtysomething").

The originals joining ABC Family's lineup include:

Primetime Scripted Series:

WILDFIRE (working title) (June 2005)

WILDFIRE follows eighteen-year-old Kris Furillo, who after serving time at a teen detention center, is given the opportunity to start a new life. Her talent with horses is recognized by a volunteer and local trainer, who arranges a job for her at the Ritter family run ranch. Thrown into a completely new environment, Kris must learn to deal with the challenges of fitting in, while trying not to disappoint the one family willing to give her a chance. That family is facing challenges of their own as they battle to save the ranch from financial ruin. The 13 hours are produced by Lions Gate Television in association with Piller� and The Segan Company. Michael Piller and Lloyd Segan are executive producers. Preston Fischer is producer. Steve Miner directs from a teleplay by Michael Piller and Shawn Piller. Cast includes Genevieve Cortese, Micah Alberti, Andrew Hoeft, James Read, Greg Serano, Ryan Sypek, Nicole Tubiola, Nana Visitor and Dennis Weaver.

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (working title) (August 2005)

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE is the fictional story of the Kerr family - three dynamic women in transitional periods of their lives. When Sophie receives a scholarship to attend a prestigious private school in New York, the girls convince their mother that they should all move to the city from their quiet hometown in New Mexico. They find the city full of challenges, but with each other's support, all three women venture on a journey of self discovery. Starring Daphne Zuniga, Sarah Foret, Torrey DeVitto, Ricky Mabe and Jordan Madley. Eight one-hour episodes are being produced by Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers are Michael Rauch, who wrote the pilot, and Paul Stupin ("Dawson's Creek").

Primetime Reality Series:

UNTITLED PROJECT Featuring Venus and Serena (July 2005)

What is it like to lead the lifestyle of tennis pros and also deal with the glamour of being celebrities? Find out in this reality series featuring sisters Venus and Serena Williams. The six episodes follow these two young women coming of age, as they find their place in the world outside of tennis. You'll see them interacting with their family and friends, find out what they do for fun, and also see them at their best on the court. Executive produced by Fernando Hernandez ("'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen + Dave") and Robert Pura.


Four college kids at Philadelphia�s Drexel University are enjoying it all�partying, friends, and the freedom that comes from living away from home, but their style is about to get seriously cramped when one of their parents moves in! The parents have never had the full college experience, and they'll not only be living with their kid, but going with them to classes, parties or to their part-time job. Both family members are sure to be confronted with truths about each other that they didn't know. The eight half-hour episodes are from Endemol and executive produced by Tom Forman.

Original Movies:

PIZZA MY HEART (July 2005)

A modern day Romeo and Juliet set in the town of Verona, New Jersey. Because of a family feud dating back to the old country, the Prestolanis and the Montebellos have taken to extremes their fight over who truly has the best pizza. The situation is about to come to a head when Joe Prestolani meets Gina Montebello and they begin a secret romance. Will the families be able to survive this union or will their pizza empires flop? Starring Michael Badalucco and Shiri Appleby, directed by Andy Wolk and executive produced by Jane Goldenring.

CAMPUS CONFIDENTIAL (working title) (August 2005)

Violet is in for the shock of her life when she goes from urban to suburban and finds a drastic difference between schools. Not only is there a popular crowd, but even the teachers' show blatant favoritism. With her acerbic wit and acute sense of social justice, Violet decides to take matters into her own hands and use her first amendment right to start a school tabloid that exposes the embarrassing secrets of the popular kids that rule the school. She soon finds out that the pen is mightier than the sword and must now try to heal the deep wounds she has cast. Produced by Julie Yorn, Marc Gordon and Paul Frank. Teleplay by David Kukoff and Matt Roshkow. Director Melanie Mayron ("thirtysomething").

  [march 2005]  


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