ABC FAMILY ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL CASTINGS FOR ITS UPCOMING PILOTS, "MELISSA & JOEY," "UNTITLED MICHAEL JACOBS PROJECT" AND "PRETTY LITTLE LIARS"
Laura Leighton, Alexis Denisof, Lucy Hale Cast in "Pretty Little Liars"
Burbank, CA (December 7, 2009) � ABC Family has announced additional casting for its previously announced upcoming pilots, "Melissa & Joey" (formerly the "Untitled Melissa Joan Hart/Joey Lawrence Project"), a half-hour multi-cam comedy with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, both of whom executive produce and star; the "Untitled Michael Jacobs Project," a half-hour single-camera comedy written and executive-produced by Michael Jacobs (creator of "Boy Meets World," "My Two Dads" and "Charles in Charge"); and "Pretty Little Liars," a drama based on a bestselling book based on Alloy Entertainment's series of young-adult novels by Sara Shepard.
The roles of the two teens in the "Untitled Melissa Joan Hart/Joey Lawrence Project" will be played by Tracey Fairaway as Hart's niece, "Lennox," and Nick Robinson as her nephew, "Ryder." In the comedy, Hart portrays "Mel," the grown-up former wild child of a family political dynasty 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 and nephew. 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."
Leading the cast of the "Untitled Michael Jacobs Project" will be Vanessa Marano ("Dexter," "Gilmore Girls") as "Bailey" and Chloe Bridges ("Camp Rock: The Final Jam") as "Rachel," the two daughters of parents played by Stephanie Childers ("Grey's Anatomy") and Scott Cohen ("Gilmore Girls"). Valerie Tian ("Juno") has also been tapped to play one of the girls' best friends. In the comedy, a young dad recently laid off from his architecture firm begins to identify with and mentor his underdog middle daughter, while his veterinarian wife shares a closer bond with their Type-A older daughter. The two philosophies on parenting and life highlight differences within the family.
The third pilot, "Pretty Little Liars," follows four estranged best friends who are reunited three years after their best friend and queen bee of the group goes missing, only to discover they are receiving notes from an anonymous "A" who knows all their secrets. Portraying the four estranged teenagers are Lucy Hale ("Privileged") as "Aria," Troian Bellisario ("Navy NCIS") as "Spencer," Ashley Benson ("Eastwick") as "Hanna" and newcomer Shay Mitchell as "Emily." Additionally, Laura Leighton ("Melrose Place") has been cast as "Ashley" (mother to "Hanna"). Also filling parental roles are Jean Louisa Kelly ("Yes, Dear"), Nia Peeples ("The Young and the Restless") and Alexis Denisof ("How I Met Your Mother," "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer"). Additionally, Bianca Lawson ("The Vampire Diaries") has been cast in a recurring role as "Maya." Warner Horizon and Alloy Entertainment are producing "Liars"; Bob Levy, Leslie Morgenstein and Marlene King are executive-producing.
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