Earlier today in New York City Freeform held the network’s upfront presentation, which was opened by Iliza Shlesinger (“Truth & Iliza”). During the event the company outlined its new programming lineup, including casting, original content and upcoming projects with Marvel, ABC Studios and Disney theme parks. The network also revealed plans to capitalize on the success of its first-year digital efforts by continuing to roll out content on-demand via the Freeform app on connected TV, mobile and online – programming will be available on all Freeform platforms at launch, and select series will be available all at once.
Freeform President Tom Ascheim said, “With compelling programming and innovative viewing experiences that combine linear with on-demand, Freeform is redefining what it means to be a television network for today’s consumer.”
One of the big announcements was the new one-hour drama “Siren,” which was going by the name “The Deep”. “Siren” takes us inside Bristol Cove—a coastal town known for its legend of once being home to mermaids. When the arrival of a mysterious girl proves this folklore all too true, the battle between man and sea takes a very vicious turn as these predatory beings return to reclaim their right to the ocean. The series stars Alex Roe (“The 5th Wave”) as Ben, a bright marine biologist who finds himself drawn to Ryn, a mysterious new girl in town played by Eline Powell (“Game of Thrones”), who is a strange young woman with a deep dark secret. Fola Evans-Akingbola (“An American Exorcism”) stars as Maddie, also a marine biologist who works with Ben, and is highly suspicious of Ryn. Ian Verdun (“Life’s a Drag”) stars as Xander, a deep sea fisherman on a quest to uncover the truth; and Rena Owen (“Star Wars” Episodes II and III) as Helen, the town eccentric who seems to know more about the mermaids than she lets on. Based on a story by Eric Wald and Dean White who both serve as executive producers. Emily Whitesell (“Finding Carter”) is on board as showrunner and executive producer. Brad Luff, Nate Hopper and RD Robb are also attached as executive producers.
“Alone Together” is a half-hour, single-camera comedy starring Esther Povitsky (“Lady Dynamite,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) and Benji Aflalo (“Not Safe with Nikki Glaser”). Esther and Benji are platonic best friends who want nothing more than to be accepted by the vain and status-obsessed culture of Los Angeles. Despite their sometimes contentious relationship, when push comes to shove, they’ve got each other’s back … And they have nobody else to hang out with. “Alone Together” comes from Esther Povitsky, Benji Aflalo and Eben Russell (“Girl Boss”), who serve as writers and executive producers. Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Billy Rosenberg and Hunter Covington also serve as executive producers. Daniel Gray Longino (“Lady Dynamite,” “Portlandia”) directed the pilot.
“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging. The network has ordered 10 one-hour episodes slated to debut early 2018. “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” stars Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Andrea Roth, Gloria Reuben, Miles Mussenden, Carl Lundstedt, James Saito and J.D. Evermore. The series is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios. Joe Pokaski (“Underground,” “Heroes”) serves as showrunner and executive producer; Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s The Punisher,” “Marvel’s The Defenders”), Marvel’s head of Television, and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s The Punisher,” “Marvel’s The Defenders”) also serve as executive producers. Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”) directed the first episode.
Also coming from Marvel is “Marvel’s New Warriors,” a new comedic live-action adaptation of the popular Marvel comic featuring young adult heroes. This marks Marvel’s first foray into comedy for a television series. “Marvel’s New Warriors” is about six young people with powers living and working together. With powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers, the New Warriors want to make a difference in the world … even if the world isn’t ready. Not quite super, not yet heroes, “Marvel’s New Warriors” is about that time in your life when you first enter adulthood and feel like you can do everything and nothing at once – except in this world, bad guys can be as terrifying as bad dates. The network has ordered ten 30-minute episodes slated to debut in 2018.
“The New Warriors” were created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz when they first appeared in “The Mighty Thor” comic book series in 1989. They proved to be so popular that one year later, they were featured in their own series by Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley. Since then, “The New Warriors” and their lineup have undergone many changes including the fresh and innovative take by Zeb Wells and Skottie Young on which the television series is based.
The series is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios. Marvel’s Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s The Punisher,” “Marvel’s The Defenders”), and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s The Punisher,” “Marvel’s The Defenders”) serve as executive producers. Kevin Biegel (“Cougar Town”) serves as showrunner and executive producer.
Marvel also detailed the casting for the new series (as described by Freeform)
Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl) Superpower: “The powers of a squirrel, the powers of a girl” (is acrobatic, strong, can fight, can talk to squirrels)
Doreen is a totally empowered fangirl. She is a natural leader – confident and tough, but not innocent. Doreen is bouncy and energetic, and her greatest quality is her optimism … She has faith in others and inspires people to believe in themselves. She also takes her pet squirrel, Tippy Toe, everywhere.
Craig Hollis (Mister Immortal) Superpower: Cannot die. Ever. Maybe. So he says.
The team troublemaker and lothario … Craig is kind of like “The Most Interesting Man Alive,” except he’s more cocky than confident and, at times, charmingly grumpy. Although Craig’s superpower seems amazing, he hasn’t made use of it at all – he’s lazy and figures if he has all the time in the world to learn how to fight, what’s the rush?
Dwayne Taylor (Night Thrasher) Superpower: None
Dwayne is a local celebrity “hero” with his very own YouTube channel. Brilliant, strong, noble and maybe a bit full of himself, Dwayne is a shameless self-promoter and entrepreneur. But he also deeply believes in justice – at least his version of it. Dwayne hides the fact that he comes from a really rich family because he’s afraid he’ll lose his street cred.
Robbie Baldwin (Speedball) Superpower: Can launch kinetic balls of energy
Robbie grew up watching Quinjets take off from Avengers Tower and loves the idea of being a hero. He’s an impulsive and immature people-pleaser with a misplaced sense of confidence. Although you would think throwing kinetic balls of energy would be awesome and effective – his are completely out of control.
Zack Smith (Microbe) Superpower: Can talk to germs
Zack is a shy hypochondriac whose ability nearly makes him a telepath – the germs tell him where you’ve been, what you ate and who you hung out with. It’s impossible to keep secrets around him. He’s a big sweet guy the team takes under their wing, and they help him find and grow his own confidence.
Deborah Fields (Debrii) Superpower: Low level telekinetic; trickster
Deborah is proud, funny and quick-witted. Confidently out as a lesbian, Deborah has experienced deep loss in her personal life as a direct result of super “heroics.” She can take care of herself, or at least says she can. She’s the one who calls people on their BS and has no fear of putting her opinions out there.
“The Bold Type” reveals a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of those responsible for the global women’s magazine, “Scarlet.” The rising generation of Scarlet women leans on one another as they find their own voices in a sea of intimidating leaders. Together they explore sexuality, identity, love and fashion. “The Bold Type” will have a special two-hour premiere on TUESDAY, JULY 11, at 9:00 p.m. EDT. The series stars Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee, Meghann Fahy, Sam Page, Matt Ward and Melora Hardin as Jacqueline, editor in chief of Scarlet Magazine. The series has started production in Montreal, Canada. “The Bold Type” is executive produced by Sarah Watson, David Bernad, Ruben Fleischer, Victor Nelli Jr. and Joanna Coles. Holly Whidden and Matt McGuinness are co-executive producers. The series is a Universal Television and The District production.
Freeform has greenlit a pilot presentation for “Sticks,” an animated “Daria” crossed with “Girls” that follows the life of Sticks, a neurotic 20something with a head filled with pop culture references and a love of Chili’s. And did we mention she lives with a giant eagle? Jessica Stickles serves as writer and co-executive producer, with Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (“Broad City”), Will Gluck and Richard Schwartz also serving as executive producers. “Sticks” is produced by Olive Bridge Entertainment and animated by the award–winning team at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (“Robot Chicken,” “Buddy Thunderstruck”) in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Freeform’s Summer Fling (formerly announced as “Freeform Fest”) will be a two-day immersive celebration with performances, panels and meet and greets curated by influencers within music, comedy and pop culture, and will debut summer 2018. For those who cannot attend in person, Freeform will share the best moments on all digital and social platforms, culminating in an event-worthy broadcast special that highlights the biggest stars and best moments of the weekend. Superfly, co-creators of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, is partnering with Freeform on the event.
From the producers of the hit show “Hollywood Game Night,” comes “Hollywood Movie Night with Karlie Kloss” (working title). Each segment will include supermodel Karlie Kloss and her friends offering moment-by-moment commentary around their favorite movies. The series is executive produced by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner from Hazy Mills Productions along with Ben Nemtin and Duncan Penn from Four Peaks Media Group. Karlie Kloss (Klossy Productions) will also executive produce.
“Decorating Disney” will reveal how holiday magic is created at Disney Parks by giving viewers an inside look into how the holidays come to life at the happiest and most magical place on earth. Freeform is giving audiences an exclusive global tour as Disney transforms all 12 Disney theme parks, four cruise ships and resorts into a winter wonderland – literally overnight. Viewers will meet the dedicated team of Disney cast members and Santa’s real-life elves who, with a spoon full of sugar and a little pixie dust, will plan, design, and build life-size gingerbread houses and gorgeous Christmas trees so tall, it takes a crane to install them.
From director/producer Will Gluck of “Easy A” and “Annie” comes “Angry Angel” (working title), the story of a young woman who tries to get back to heaven after she seriously messes up. During this quest, she bumps into the love of her life and suddenly heaven doesn’t seem so great after all. Think “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the Snapchat generation. Produced by Olive Bridge Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television, Will Gluck and Richard Schwartz will serve as executive producers. “Angry Angel” (working title) is an all-new scripted two-hour movie, premiering in December 2017.
Tyra Banks will reprise her iconic role as a doll that comes to life in the sequel to the beloved Disney movie “Life-Size”; but in the sequel, everyone’s favorite doll Eve has grown up. This time, she’s magically awoken to help a young woman learn to live and love again, and along the way, Eve herself will experience the ups and downs of real life in a fun, edgy, modern Christmas movie. Tyra Banks will also serve as executive producer.