[03/09/09 - 12:54 PM]
Soapnet Announces a New Special, an Acquisition, Movie Packages and Development Slate
"Holidate," "Mother/Daughter Project," "Julia's Tango" and "Santa Monica" are among the cable channel's projects in the works.

[via press release from SOAPnet]


Production Unit of Daytime Division, ABC Media Productions, Produces Many of the SOAPnet Projects, as Network Ramps Up Original Series Production

Burbank, CA � Committed to growing the original program offerings and broadening SOAPnet's reach, Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney ABC Television Group today announced a new reality special, "Holidate," the acquisition of Warner Bros. Television's acclaimed one-hour series, "Gilmore Girls," movie packages from Disney ABC Domestic Television and Twentieth Television, and unveiled a portion of SOAPnet's development slate. All of the new programming consists of shows that are inspiring to women with soapy elements that complement the serialized drama currently found on the network.

"SOAPnet is significantly increasing the scope of programming the network offers,� said Frons. "In speaking to our viewers, we have learned that they are on a path of self discovery, and our new programming offers emotional connections along that journey. The strong female leads in our new series are reminiscent of the heroines found in soaps and we know they will resonate with our viewers."

ABC Media Productions is a coordinated business unit under the Daytime Division which focuses on creating and producing strong reality and alternative programming franchises for primetime, syndication and cable outlets both within and outside The Walt Disney Company. ABC Media Productions will produce many of the alternative series in development for SOAPnet, including the new special, "Holidate," which is also under consideration as a series.

"Holidate" is a reality special that takes two women who are looking for love but having no luck with the suitors in their individual cities and transports them into each other�s lives. The women will temporarily trade homes, spend time in each other's cities and date the men in each other's lives. They�ll be able to communicate with each other throughout the journey. "Holidate" begins production in March and will premiere this Fall.

SOAPnet has also acquired all seven seasons of "Gilmore Girls" from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. This acquisition is shared with sister network ABC Family. "Gilmore Girls" will begin airing on Saturday, April 4, at 9PM and 10PM. The series will also air on Sundays from 6-8PM. "Gilmore Girls" revolves around single mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter, and best friend in the world, "Rory" (Alexis Bledel). Set in a storybook Connecticut town populated with an eclectic mix of everyday folks and lovable lunatics, "Gilmore Girls" is a humorous multigenerational series about friendship, family and the ties that bind. The series was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino.

The theatrical titles the network has acquired from Twentieth Television are "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," "Brokedown Palace," "Object of My Affection" and "The Fabulous Baker Boys." The titles from Disney ABC Domestic Television include "While You Were Sleeping," "Tuck Everlasting," "Bounce," "Three Men and a Baby," "Three Men and a Little Lady," "Miami Rhapsody" and "Adventures in Babysitting." The movies will begin airing in March. Descriptions of each movie can be found at the end of this release.

SOAPnet's development slate consists of reality and scripted series. In addition to "Holidate," the other reality series in development from ABC Media Productions is "Mother/Daughter Project" (working title). In the series, celebrity mother-daughter pairs with huge relationship issues are brought together to work out their problems under the guidance of a renowned therapist. The format is from Outline Television and will be produced in association with ABC Media Productions.

The scripted series in development are "Julia's Tango" and "Santa Monica." "Julia's Tango" is a one hour scripted series set in Buenos Aires. Despite her great job and devoted boyfriend, Julia feels stifled by a life of endless routine. On an impromptu trip to her hometown of Buenos Aires, she abandons it all to turn her family home into a bed & breakfast. With the help of her girlfriends, Julia embarks on an unpredictable detour she didn't know she needed. The format of the series is from Endemol. SOAPnet will produce the series in conjunction with Endemol.

"Santa Monica" is a one-hour dramedy about four twenty-something best friends living together and embarking on adulthood. The series follows their journeys as they cope with obstacles in love lives, family lives and careers. Whether they're dealing with a broken heart or a career setback, they take comfort in the fact that they always have each other.

The Movie descriptions are below:

From Twentieth Television

"How Stella Got Her Groove Back" stars Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina King and James Pickens Jr. From Terry McMillan's acclaimed novel comes the story of corporate single mother who reassesses her life after meeting a younger man while on vacation in Jamaica.

"The Truth About Cats and Dogs" stars Uma Thurman, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Chaplin and Jamie Foxx. Abby is a successful pet-advice radio host with low self-esteem. When one of her callers asks her out on date over the air, she panics and begs her neighbor Noelle, a model, to step in and pose as Abby. A fun twist on the Cyrano de Bergerac tale.

"Brokedown Palace" stars Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Pullman and Lou Diamond Phillips. Two high school friends head to Bangkok as a graduation gift, but soon find themselves caught up in a drug smuggling scheme. Innocent, their only hope for avoiding prison is a lawyer who comes with a heavy price.

"Object of My Affection" stars Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Hayden Panettiere, Alan Alda, Allison Janney, Tim Daly, Steve Zahn and Daniel Cosgrove. A woman falls in love with her gay best friend.

"The Fabulous Baker Boys" stars Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer, Beau Bridges and Jennifer Tilly. Two brothers decide to add a female singer to their musical act, but tensions brew when their feelings for her turn from professional to romantic.

From Disney ABC Domestic Television

"While You Were Sleeping" stars Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle, Jack Warden and Ally Walker. A woman poses as the fianc�e of a comatose man.

"Tuck Everlasting" stars Alexis Bledel, William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Jonathan Jackson, Ben Kingsley, Amy Irving, Victor Garber and Elisabeth Shue. A young girl must decide her fate when she falls in love with a boy who is part of a family of immortals.

"Bounce" stars Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natasha Henstridge, Jennifer Grey and Tony Goldwyn. Buddy meets Greg at the airport and agrees to switch airline tickets with him, only to have the plane crash, killing Greg. Guilt-ridden, Buddy seeks out Greg's widow, Abby, in an attempt to soothe his own conscience. But he doesn't expect to fall in love with her.

"Three Men and a Baby" stars Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, Nancy Travis, Margaret Colin, Dave Foley and Paul Guilfoyle. Bachelors (and roommates) Peter, Michael and Jack find themselves suddenly raising Jack's baby daughter who they never knew existed.

"Three Men and a Little Lady" stars Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson and Nancy Travis. Peter, Michael and Jack must fight to get Mary back after Sylvia takes her to England.

"Miami Rhapsody" stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Gil Bellows, Antonio Banderas, Mia Farrow, Paul Mazursky, Kevin Pollak, Carla Gugino, Naomi Campbell, Jeremy Piven, Ben Stein and Donal Logue. A woman struggles with accepting her boyfriend's proposal after seeing her own family's marriages fall apart.

Adventures in Babysitting" stars Elisabeth Shue, Keith Coogan, Vincent D'Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller, George Newbern and Bradley Whitford. A babysitter must take her charges with her when she goes to rescue a friend from the seedy part of town.

From daytime and primetime dramas, to reality shows and movies, SOAPnet owns the world of character-driven soapy drama. The network features same-day episodes of popular daytime dramas including "All My Children," "Days of our Lives," "One Life to Live," "General Hospital," and "The Young and the Restless"; favorite primetime series "The O.C.," "One Tree Hill" and "Beverly Hills 90210"; and original programs including "Greg Behrendt's Wake Up Call," "Being Erica," "MVP" and "General Hospital: Night Shift." Wrapped in a 24-hour environment, SOAPnet is the one destination for stories focused on real emotions and revealing truths about intriguing yet flawed characters.

  [march 2009]  


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