[03/28/05 - 12:00 AM]
ABC Family Picks Up Its Second Original Scripted Series

[via press release from ABC Family]


13 Hours Are Ordered of "Wildfire" (Working Title)

Production from Lions Gate Television Introduces Genevieve Cortese in an Ensemble Cast Featuring Dennis Weaver

Burbank, CA (March 28, 2005) � ABC Family has picked up its second scripted series, ordering 11 one-hour episodes (plus the two-hour movie premiere) of WILDFIRE (working title), it was announced today by Paul Lee, president, ABC Family. Starring an ensemble cast featuring gifted newcomer Genevieve Cortese, the series will air this summer following the two-hour premiere. The drama, produced by Lions Gate Television in association with Piller� and The Segan Company, centers on the struggles of a teenage girl (Cortese) to turn her life around. The film also stars veteran actor Dennis Weaver ("McCloud"), Greg Serano (�Kingpin�), Nana Visitor (�Star Trek: Deep Space Nine�) and Micah Alberti ("All My Children").

"'Wildfire' was slated for us as an original movie," said Lee. "After seeing the first cut, there was no doubt that it would make a great series for us."

�We�re delighted to be moving forward with ABC Family on this series,� said Kevin Beggs, president, programming & production, Lions Gate Television. �We couldn�t have better creative partners in this venture than Michael Piller, Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan, and we believe the show will strongly appeal to ABC Family�s audience.�

WILDFIRE follows eighteen-year-old Kris Furillo (Cortese) 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 (Serano), who arranges a job for her at the Ritter's 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. The Ritters are facing challenges of their own even as they reach out to help Kris. Patriarch Henry Ritter (Weaver) and his daughter Jean (Visitor) are in a critical stage of their battle to save the ranch from financial ruin.

WILDFIRE is produced by Lions Gate Television in association with Piller� and The Segan Company. Michael Piller (�The Dead Zone,� "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Star Trek: Voyager") and Lloyd Segan (�The Dead Zone,� "The Bachelor," "Boondock Saints," "Bones") are executive producers. The two-hour pilot, which will kick off the series, was produced by Preston Fischer ("Las Vegas," "Living With The Dead") and directed by Steve Miner ("North Shore," "Smallville") from a teleplay by Michael Piller and Shawn Piller (�The Dead Zone,� "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Star Trek: Voyager") and story by Michael Piller and Christopher Teague. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Andrew Hoeft, James Read, Ryan Sypek and Nicole Tubiola.

Lions Gate Television is the television production and distribution arm of Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF; TSX). With a total of five series on the air or scheduled to air shortly, the company is continuing its strategy of being an important supplier of content to cable and broadcast networks. Lions Gate Entertainment is the premier independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library of approximately 8000 titles is one of the largest in the entertainment industry. The Lions Gate brand name is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

Distributed in over 88 million homes, ABC Family features original movies, series and specials. Programming that is reflective of today's families � with all of their diversity, dysfunction, humor and passion. Real stories. Real families. Real heart.

  [march 2005]  


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