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ABC Family Moves Forward With Melissa And Joey And Four Pilot Orders

While Huge may not be moving forward, fans of ABC Family’s Melissa And Joey can rest assured that the series has received a back-order, which will give the show a total of thirty episodes for its first season.

So, that’s good news for Melissa and Joey. And while Huge may not have made the cut, ABC Family isn’t calling it quits on drama series. In fact, the network picked up four pilots, which are currently in development.

“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.

Sounds a bit on the angsty side but the “challenges” seem to be along the lines of realistic issues, so that’s something.

“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.

Another plus-sized venture for ABC Family? This one’s a comedy, which is a different direction from the one Huge took, so maybe it’ll do better in the ratings.

“What Would Jane Do” a one-hour scripted drama, follows 16-year-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).

Of the four series ABC Family is working on here, this one sounds like the most fun. Maybe it’s because it reminds me so much of Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead (One of my favorite ‘90’s guilty-pleasure films).

"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.

I’m not sure what to make of this one other than it sounds like a soap-opera version of The Parent Trap. We'll have to see if it goes to series and wait for the promos to see what it looks like.

Kelly West
Kelly West

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.