ABC Family Orders Four Additional Pilots, More ‘Melissa & Joey’

ABC Family has given the production greenlight to four more pilots and ordered additional episodes of its new hit comedy series, “Melissa & Joey,” it was announced today by Michael Riley, president, ABC Family.  The pilots are “Untitled Brenda Hampton Project,” “What Would Jane Do,” “The Lying Game” and “The Great State of Georgia.”

The network has also given a back-order to “Melissa & Joey,” starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, bringing its first season order to a total of 30 episodes. The original comedy series currently premieres on Tuesday nights at 8:00PM ET/PT.

“The addition of these four pilots to the network’s existing order, coupled with the breakout success of ‘Melissa & Joey,’ reflects the incredible momentum of ABC Family,” said Riley. “This is the most aggressive development slate in the network’s history. It shows the network’s commitment to offering viewers a great mix of brand-defining original series.”

“We’re glad to have the opportunity to collaborate with Brenda again on this new project,” said Kate Juergens, executive vice president, Original Programming & Development, ABC Family. “In addition, we couldn’t be happier to have ‘Melissa & Joey’ return with more episodes. The chemistry between the two has again proven to be a hit with our viewers.  We’re so proud of them and excited to have original comedy on ABC Family.”

“Untitled Brenda Hampton Project,” a one-hour scripted drama to be executive produced by Brenda Hampton (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “7th Heaven”), is a groundbreaking and heartfelt look at the lives and families of four ethnically-diverse teenage girls at a private school in California. The pilot follows the girls and the challenges they face at home — challenges that include a parent with terminal cancer, a brother with a behavioral disorder, and a father who parents with an unwaveringly strict hand. Casting on the project is yet to be announced.

“The Great State of Georgia is an ABC Studios’ half-hour, multi-cam comedy series about an exuberant plus-sized performer from the south and her science geek best friend who try to make headway in New York City. Pilot writers are Jennifer Weiner (author of the best-selling novels Good in Bed, and In Her Shoes (Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette starred in the feature film version by the same name) and Jeff Greenstein (“Desperate Housewives,” “Parenthood,” “Friends,” “Will & Grace”).  Casting on the project is yet to be announced.

“What Would Jane Do” a one-hour scripted drama, follows 16year-old Jane, who lands a job at a hip retail company when they mistake her for an adult. Jane soon finds herself juggling life as a regular teenager in high school and as an assistant to a high powered executive in the cutthroat world of fashion…all while trying to keep her true identity a secret.  Executive producer is Gavin Polone (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Gilmore Girls,” “My Boys”); writer is April Blair (“Lemonade Mouth,” “Major Movie Star,” “Christmas Caper”).

“The Lying Game,” a one-hour scripted drama which follows Emma, a kind-hearted foster kid who can’t catch a break. She finds out she has an identical twin sister, Sutton, who – unlike Emma – was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. After their initial meeting, Sutton talks Emma into stepping into her life for a few days while she pursues a lead on their birth mother. Initially excited to do this favor for her sister, Emma soon learns that Sutton has gone missing and could be in trouble. Now, Emma must decide whether to come clean to Sutton’s family and risk her own safety in the hope of uncovering her twin sister’s true whereabouts, along with the truth about why they were separated in the first place. Charles Pratt, Jr. (“Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives,” “All My Children,” “Melrose Place”) serves as executive producer and writer; Leslie Morgenstein (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries”) and Gina Girolamo will serve as executive producers. Produced by Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television, the series is based on the upcoming novel by Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard. Casting on the project is yet to be announced.

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