ABC Family Renews ‘Melissa & Joey,’ ‘Baby Daddy,’ ‘Switched at Birth;’ More ‘Bunheads’ on Order

ABC Family, the Millennial-skewing network, continues its forward momentum as it greenlights additional seasons of its hit series. The network has ordered a third season of “Melissa & Joey,” a second season for both “Baby Daddy” and “Switched at Birth,” and has given a back-order pick-up to “Bunheads,” Michael Riley, President of ABC Family, has announced. The original dramas will premiere in Winter, with the hit comedies returning in Spring 2013.

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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.

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Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence Premiere in ABC Original Comedy Series ‘Melissa & Joey’ August 17

In the new ABC Family original comedy series, “Melissa & Joey,” Melissa Joan Hart portrays Mel, the grown-up former wild child of a political family who is now a local politician herself. When her sister ends up in prison and brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece, Lennox, and adolescent nephew, Ryder. Spread too thin to manage by herself, help comes in the unlikely form of Joe (Lawrence) who, desperate for a job, moves in and becomes the family’s “manny.” “Melissa & Joey” debuts on ABC Family on Tuesday, August 17 with back-to-back original episodes, at 8:00PM & 8:30PM ET/PT. The half-hour series will air regularly on Tuesday nights at 8:00PM ET/PT.

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ABC Family Announces Summer Schedule Featuring New Series, Original Movies and More

Paul Lee, president, ABC Family, today announced the network’s summer 2010 schedule. The network’s programming slate includes three new original series, returning hits, original movies and blockbuster theatrical acquisitions. The network finished 2009 as its best year on record.

“ABC Family has truly become a factory for great Millennial storytelling,” said Lee. “We’re so proud of our three summer launches, ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ ‘Huge’ and ‘Melissa & Joey,’ and we think they’ll make the perfect complement to our returning hits ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ and ‘Make It or Break’.”

“Pretty Little Liars” follows four estranged best friends who are reunited one year after their best friend and queen bee of the group, Alison, goes missing – only to discover they’re receiving messages from an anonymous “A” who knows all their secrets. The drama stars Lucy Hale (“Privileged”) as Aria, Troian Bellisario (“Navy NCIS”) as Spencer, Ashley Benson (“Eastwick”) as Hanna, Shay Mitchell as Emily and Sasha Pieterse (“Heroes”) as Alison. Also starring are Laura Leighton (“Melrose Place”), Bianca Lawson (“The Vampire Diaries”) and Ian Harding (“NCIS: Los Angeles”). Produced by Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television.

I. Marlene King (“If These Walls Could Talk”), Oliver Goldstick (“Lipstick Jungle,” “Desperate Housewives”), and Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy (“Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries”) are executive-producing.  The series is based on Alloy Entertainment’s popular young adult book series written by Sara Shepard. “Pretty Little Liars” premieres on Tuesday, June 8 at 8:00PM ET/PT.

“Huge” is being developed by Winnie Holzman (“Wicked,” “My So-Called Life,” “Once & Again”) and daughter Savannah Dooley. Funny, heartbreaking and provocative, “Huge” follows the lives of seven teens and the staff at a weight-loss camp, as they look beneath the surface to discover their true selves and the truth about each other. The series stars Nikki Blonsky (“Hairspray”), Andrew Caldwell, Zander Eckhouse, Harvey Guillen, Ari Stidham, Ashley Holliday and Hayley Hasselhoff. Holzman will be executive producer on the premiere episode, and will serve as consultant for the remainder of the episodes. Dooley will serve as producer on the series. Kim Rozenfeld (“American High”), and Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy (“Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries”), will serve as executive producers; Robin Schiff (“Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion” and ABC Family’s “10 Things I Hate About You”) will serve as a consulting producer. The series is based on the Alloy Entertainment book written by Sasha Paley. “Huge” premieres Monday, June 28 at 9:00PM ET/PT.

“Melissa & Joey,” a half-hour multi-cam comedy with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence executive producing and starring, finds Hart portraying Mel, the grown-up former wild child of a political family who is now a local politician herself. When her sister ends up in prison and her brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece, Lennox, and pre-adolescent nephew, Ryder. With Mel spread too thin to manage by herself, help comes in the unlikely form of Joe (Lawrence) who, desperate for a job, moves in and becomes the family’s “manny.” David Kendall & Bob Young are executive producers and writers. Paula Hart also serves as executive producer. “Melissa & Joey” will premiere in August 2010 (Date TBA).

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Disney Consumer Products Welcomes Tiana to the Disney Princess Family in Unprecedented Ceremony

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Disney's Hollywood Studios Disney Consumer Products offered an unprecedented event earlier today that had even the skies opening up and pouring tears of joy on the otherwise gloomy streets of New York City. The event, which had celebrities from television, film and theatre mingling with Disney royalty, had Princesses Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan officially welcome Tiana from The Princess and the Frog to the Disney Princess family.

Held quite appropriately at the New York Palace luxury hotel, celebrities and their families such as Tina Fey (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live), Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Nine Dead, Melissa & Joey), Kelly Bensimon, Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl), Audra McDonald (Private Practice), Nigel Barker (America’s Next Top Model), Matt Walton (One Life to Live), Amy Landecker, Miss Teen USA Stormi Bree Henley with Miss USA Kristen Dalton and more strolled down the purple carpet for the event. Also in attendance from the film, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday were directors John Musker and Ron Clements along with voice talents Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Jennifer Cody (Charlotte), Michael-Leon Wooley (Louis) and Jennifer Lewis (Mama Odie).

Day Dreamer Long Sleeve Top with Lace Gloves Manufacturer: Jaya MSRP: $16.99 After the purple carpet was cleared and the honored guests had made their way indoors to the ballroom, a horse-drawn carriage rolled down Madison Avenue, stopped directly in front of the Palace and Princess Tiana took to the purple carpet herself, escorted by a live jazz band and dozens of her adoring fans.

The event itself began with Anika Noni Rose who addressed the gathered group of families consisting mostly of little girls dressed as Disney princesses. Rose said that the first dream she ever recalls having as a child was that she would grow up to be the voice of a Disney character and how her dream came true. She spoke of Tiana and offered her own advice to the princess’ fans: meeting Prince Charming is a great thing, but they should never lose sight of their dreams and who they are.

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Whoa! Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence Return to Sitcoms in ABC Family’s ‘Melissa & Joey’

Lee, president, ABC Family, yesterday announced the pick-up of “Melissa & Joey.” The series has been given a 10-episode order and is scheduled to premiere in 2010.

“We love Melissa and Joey,” said Lee. “Melissa has a long history on the network, and she and Joey recently starred in the network’s original movie, ‘My Fake Fiancé,” which broke records for the network last year. They have fantastic chemistry and are just so relatable to our viewers. We knew we wanted to get them together again, and developed this comedy specifically with them in mind.”

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