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[01/27/11 - 11:45 AM]
Disney Channel Casts Comedy Pilot "Austin & Ally"
Ross Lynch, Laura Marano and Raini Rodriguez will star in the project, about the unlikely partnership between two polar opposites and their two best friends.

[via press release from Disney Channel]

DISNEY CHANNEL CASTS COMEDY PILOT "AUSTIN & ALLY"

After a nationwide search, three talented teens -- Ross Lynch, Laura Marano and Raini Rodriguez -- have been cast in the comedy pilot "Austin & Ally," to begin production next month in Hollywood. The pilot, in consideration for a Disney Channel series to premiere later this year, was created and executive-produced by Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert, whose credits include "Good Burger," "Keenan & Kel," Disney Channel's "Sonny With A Chance" and "JONAS."

The multi-camera comedy follows the unlikely partnership between two polar opposites -- Austin, an extroverted musician/singer and Ally, a brilliant but shy songwriter -- and their two best friends, Trish and Dex. Unbeknownst to Ally, Austin and Dex "appropriate" one of her songs, record it, create a video and posts it on the internet, after which it and Austin become a local sensation. When Trish convinces Ally to tell the world she wrote the song, Austin begs her to write another hit for him. Instead, the two combine their talents to create a true musical tour-de-force.

14-year-old singer, dancer and actor Ross Lynch was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, and has been seen in several national commercials, music videos and Disney XD's short-form series, "Moises Rules." He and his four siblings are members of the musical group R5. The part of Austin in "Austin & Ally" marks his first leading role.

15-year-old Laura Marano has the lead role of Ally. A singer and actress, the native Angeleno has been acting since she was age five, appearing in numerous commercials and series including "Without a Trace," "Back to You" and "The Sarah Silverman Program," and the animated features "Finding Nemo" and "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

Raini Rodriguez, 17, is set to play Ally's best friend, Trish. A native of Bryan, Texas, Rodriguez had a recurring role on Disney XD's comedy "I'm in the Band" and a guest starring role on Disney Channel's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody." Her feature film credits include "Paul Blart Mall Cop" and Disney Studio's upcoming "Prom." Her brother Rico stars in ABC-TV's "Modern Family."

The role of Dex is yet to be cast.

Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in over 99 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney/ABC Television Group.





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· BACK TO YOU (FOX)
· I'M IN THE BAND (DISNEY XD)
· JONAS LA (DISNEY)
· SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM, THE (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· SONNY WITH A CHANCE (DISNEY)
· SUITE LIFE ON DECK (DISNEY)
· WITHOUT A TRACE (CBS)





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