NICK AT NITE HEATS UP THE SUMMER WITH STARDOM, ROMANCE AND DECEIT WITH THE PREMIERE OF NIGHTLY PRIMETIME DRAMA "HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS," MONDAY, JUNE 18, AT 9 P.M. (ET/PT)
Brand-New Hour-Long Series Stars Cody Longo, Brittany Underwood and Carlos Ponce;
Executive Produced by Six-time Emmy Award-Winner Jill Farren Phelps with
James Franco to Star in Multi-Episode Storyline
Santa Monica, Calif., May 21, 2012 - Nick at Nite adds sizzle to summer weeknights with the debut of the original primetime drama Hollywood Heights on Monday, June 18, at 9p.m. (ET/PT). Adapted for a U.S. audience from the wildly popular Mexican telenovela Alcanzar una Estrella, Hollywood Heights follows the journey of a teenage girl whose life changes drastically when she becomes a star and wins the love of her rock and roll idol, and both are tested by setbacks, heartbreak and deception. The first season of the 80-episode series, co-produced with Televisa in association with Sony Pictures Television, will air weeknights at 9p.m. through October 2012.
"Hollywood Heights, in the great tradition of telenovelas, serves up relatable characters and compelling storylines that hook you and keep you coming back to see what happens next." said Marjorie Cohn, Nickelodeon's President, Development and Original Programming. "The stories are about love, family and following your dreams and summertime offers a great window for this kind of viewing commitment."
Hollywood Heights centers on Loren Tate (Brittany Underwood, One Life to Live), a shy teen whose musical aspirations inch closer to reality when she wins a songwriting contest sponsored by Eddie Duran (Cody Longo, Fame), a rock star at the top of his game. Although Loren and Eddie's budding partnership - on-stage and off - faces obstacles, their strong family bonds inspire them to keep going. Loren finds the support system she needs in her single mom, Nora (Jama Williamson, Parks and Recreation), as Nora returns to the dating scene for the first time in years. Meanwhile Eddie's unbreakable bond with his father, Max (Carlos Ponce, Couples Retreat, telenovela actor/singer) - strengthened by family tragedy - is challenged by Eddie's budding romance with a beautiful, but manipulative model and aspiring actress, Chloe Carter (Melissa Ordway, 17 Again). As Loren begins a meteoric rise on the music scene and Eddie's star begins to fade, together they learn that the road to love and stardom often carries a heavy price tag. Justin Wilczynski (Kaya) also stars as Eddie's bitter former friend, Tyler Rorke.
Actor James Franco will star in a multi-episode arc as Osborne "Oz" Silver, an eccentric movie mogul who lives life to the fullest, often outrageously. Offbeat, seductive and ruthless when he has to be, Oz adores making movies and does whatever it takes to make the films he wants.
Cody Longo landed his first feature film role on Bring It On: Fight to the Finish. Shortly after, he starred in MGM's widely acclaimed film Fame, a popular movie remake of the popular television series. His undeniable talent on-screen led to recurring roles on Brothers and Sisters, CSI: NY and Make It or Break It. This summer, he will share the big screen with James Caan, Paul Sorvino and Jeffrey Tambor in the highly anticipated film For the Love of Money and will show audiences his comedic chops in the indie film High School (Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis). Brittany Underwood is best known for the five years she spent playing the role of Langston Wilde on the popular daytime drama, One Life to Live. She has also made appearances in Margaret with Matt Damon, The Big C and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Over the last decade, Carlos Ponce has added several American and Latin American television and movie credits to his name, including Couples Retreat, Rio, NBC's Lipstick Jungle, Just My Luck, 7th Heaven, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Chasing Papi, Dos Hogares, SoBe Real, 90210, Once and Again and Perro Amor, among many others. Ponce's first stint on television was as host of Univision's Control in 1990. Soon after, he moved to telenovelas in his hometown Miami, FL and landed his first role in a soap opera, Guadalupe. He then moved to Mexico which led to other starring soap roles, including Sentimientos Ajenos for Televisa and later segued into hosting roles on American television, hosting NBC's Hispanic Heritage Awards for several years, serving as special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight beginning in 2003 and co-hosting the world telecast 2006 Miss Universe pageant for NBC and Telemundo. In 2007, he returned to telenovelas starring in Telemundo's Dame Chocolate. Ponce will soon host the first ever Spanish version of Idol Kids show in his native town in Puerto Rico.
The series is executive produced by six-time Emmy Award-winner Jill Farren Phelps (General Hospital, One Life to Live) and co-executive produced by Hisham Abed (The Hills and The City) and Josh Griffith (Young and the Restless, As the World Turns) who also serves as head writer. Phelps has worked as an executive producer at all three major broadcast networks producing daytime dramas, for a total of five programs. She began her television career on Santa Barbara where she ultimately rose to Executive Producer and later served as Executive Producer on Guiding Light before going to Another World in the same capacity. Afterward, Phelps returned to ABC Daytime serving as Executive Producer of One Life to Live and later moved to executive produce General Hospital from 2001-2011.
Emmy Award-winning writer/producer Josh Griffith has a proven track record in writing and developing hit programming. Having served as writer/head-writer on such long-running daytime serials as One Life to Live, As the World Turns, Santa Barbara and more recently as Executive Producer of The Young & The Restless, his work garnered him four Daytime Emmy Awards and four Writer's Guild Awards. Abed has served as Director on MTV's groundbreaking docu-drama, Laguna Beach: The Real O.C. The success of the series led him to continue on with the network's subsequent hit docu-dramas, The Hills and The City, for which he received critical praise.
On May 30, NickatNite.com will launch its Hollywood Heights show site, which will include a 'Character Connection' section for viewers to get to know the new series' characters. After the series launch, the site will feature Hollywood Heights highlights with teasers for upcoming episodes, and recaps of the show's best moments. Beginning June 1, the first episode of Hollywood Heights will be available for streaming on NickatNite.com, Facebook (facebook.com/HollywoodHeightsTV), and Nick@Nite On Demand. The first episode will be available for free on iTunes beginning June 4. Additionally, the first five episodes of Hollywood Heights will be available for free download on iTunes, and streaming on Nick@Nite On Demand prior to its June 18 premiere.
Hollywood Heights follows Nickelodeon's success with the live-action serialized series, House of Anubis and Degrassi: The Next Generation. The series is an adaptation of the hit Mexican telenovela, Alcanzar una Estrella, first broadcast on Canal de las Estrellas and Univision in 1990. The success of the telenovela led to a film and sequel telenovela starring Latin American pop sensations, Ricky Martin and Sasha Sokol.
Nick at Nite is Nickelodeon's nighttime programming block that features popular hit family comedies including the Emmy Award-winning series Friends, My Wife & Kids, George Lopez, The Nanny and most recently, Yes, Dear.
Nickelodeon, now in its 33rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 17 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B).
Grupo Televisa, S.A.B., is the largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world based on its market capitalization and a major participant in the international entertainment business. It has interests in television production and broadcasting, production of pay-television networks, international distribution of television programming, direct-to-home satellite services, cable television and telecommunication services, magazine publishing and distribution, radio production and broadcasting, professional sports and live entertainment, feature-film production and distribution, the operation of a horizontal internet portal, and gaming.