July 26, 2013 10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
MTV Orders Pair of Comedy Pilots (Exclusive)
MTV has ordered its first scripted comedy pilots under new programming president Susanne Daniels.
Ahead of its Friday presentation at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, the network has issued pilot orders to two half-hour comedies from the creative minds behind 10 Things I Hate About You.
Faking It (working title) hails from Carter Covington (Greek, Hart of Dixie) and revolves around two best friends who will do almost anything to fit in and be popular in high school, including pretending to be something they're not.
Happyland, from Ben Epstein (Daddy's Girls), is a soapy teen comedy exploring the underbelly of one of the country's most popular theme parks and those who work there. The project centers on Lucy, a cynical teen whose mother makes a living as a fairy tale princess, and explores the realities of growing up and falling in love while living in a make-believe world. Smash's Neil Meron and Craig Zadan will executive produce.
"I worked closely with Neil and Craig on Drop Dead Diva when I was at Lifetime and am excited to be working with them again," Daniels said Friday.
The comedies join an MTV development slate that includes the drama adaptation of Kevin Williamson's Scream with an eye toward landing the project on its 2014 schedule. (Daniels also announced that Revenge and Criminal Minds duo Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie had been tapped to serve as writers on the Scream adaptation.)
Should any of the three move forward, they would join MTV's current scripted series Teen Wolf and Awkward, the latter of which is searching for a new showrunner to replace creator Lauren Iungerich.
Daniels was named president of programming at MTV in November, taking over the position previously occupied by David Janollari. Janollari has since gone back to developing at NBC, reuniting with network topper Bob Greenblatt.
Covington is repped by WME; Epstein is with CAA and Think Tank Management.