November 15, 2012 10:37am PT by Lesley Goldberg
MTV Greenlights New Pilot From 'Awkward' Creator, Sets Lead (Exclusive)
MTV is expanding its relationship with the creator of its critical darling Awkward.
The cable network has picked up to the pilot Hot Mess (working title), tapping Australian actress Annabelle Stephenson to star in the comedy created by Awkward showrunner Lauren Iungerich.
Hot Mess centers on Amanda Marshall (Stephenson), who is her own worst enemy when it comes to love. She emotionally spirals, impulsively texts and proactively calls. She knows the rules but can't follow them because she can't help herself, but she's trying. She's a lovable "hot mess." After a run-in with her ex, Amanda finds herself caught between two guys and, despite her best efforts, continues her streak of self-sabotage one awkward dance-off and romantically sticky situation at a time.
Stephenson's credits include the Australian TV shows H20: Just Add Water and Rescue: Special Ops.
Iungerich will executive produce alongside manager Robyn Meisinger and Kim Fleary. MTV co-head of scripted series Justin Levy, who shepherded the Ashley Rickards-starring Awkward for the network, will oversee for the cabler.
MTV renewed Awkward for a supersized third season of 20 episodes, nearly double the 12 for each of its first two runs. The series also was nominated for a People's Choice Award for favorite cable TV comedy on Thursday.
Hot Mess marks Iungerich's third effort for MTV. Her previous pilot, Dumb Girls, was passed over at the network.
For MTV, the Hot Mess pilot comes as it launches new scripted shows Underemployed and Catfish, the latter of which bowed Monday to 2.7 million total viewers with a 2.6 rating among 12-34 -- the network's top series launch since recently renewed viral video series Ridiculousness.
Iungerich is repped by WME, Mad House Entertainment's Meisinger and McKuin Frankel. Stephenson is with Mark Morrissey and Associates and Intellectual Artists Management.