At Freeform’s upfront presentation opened by Iliza Shlesinger (“Truth & Iliza”) held in New York today, The Walt Disney Company’s millennial-focused television network announced a programming lineup built around top talent, premium original content and prominent Disney properties including 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.”
Here are some highlights from their presentation:
Freeform has announed that they have given Siren, formerly known as The Deep a 10-episode order for a summer 2018 debut.
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.
Freeform released the first trailer for their new comedy series Alone Together from The Lonely Island which premieres in early 2018.
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.
A little closer to release, Freeform debuted the first-look trailer for their upcoming drama series The Bold Type produced by Joanna Coles as the series kicks off production in Montreal.
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.
In addition, 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.
Freeform is partnering with Time Inc.’s People to develop multiple scripted, original movies based on stories from the leading authority on celebrity, pop culture and entertainment news. Everywhere Studios will co-produce the films, which will range from empowering and inspiring human-interest stories to celebrity biopics. It will also draw upon People’s iconic franchises including Heroes Among Us to feature the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Part of the 2017 edition of the 25 Days of Christmas, 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.
Also in December 2017 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.
And in December 2018 comes Life-Size 2. 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.