5:12pm PT by Philiana Ng
'A.N.T. Farm,' 'Lab Rats' Stars to Topline Disney Channel TV Movie
A.N.T. Farm star China Anne McClain has landed a starring role in a new Disney Channel original movie.
The actress, along with Lab Rats regular Kelli Berglund, will topline How to Build a Better Boy, which recently began production in Toronto and is slated for a 2014 premiere on Disney Channel.
Joining McClain and Berglund in the cast are Noah Centineo (Austin & Ally), Ashley Argota (True Jackson, VP), Marshall Williams (Canada's Got Talent), Matt Shively (True Jackson, VP) and Roger Bart (Revenge).
Written by Jason Mayland (Space Chimps) and directed by Paul Hoen (Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam), the Washington, D.C.-set How to Build a Better Boy follows high school sophomores Mae (Berglund) and Gabby (McClain), two tech-savvy best friends who devise a plan to create the perfect boyfriend with just a few strokes of the keyboard and a wireless connection. What Gabby and Mae don't realize is that the computer they use is set up to generate a robotic super soldier, which they have inadvertently activated in the form of Albert (Williams), a macho yet sensitive super-cute boy.
Robin Schorr (Food, Inc.) and Dan Seligmann will serve as executive producers on the TV movie.
Production is expected to wrap at the end of August.
Disney Channel will make the official announcement Thursday.
The news comes as Disney Channel wraps up veteran comedies Shake It Up and Good Luck Charlie, and preps its new slate, which includes Boy Meets World offshoot Girl Meets World, I Didn't Do It and Liv & Maddie. The network's most recent original telepic, Teen Beach Movie, scored big with 8.4 million viewers tuning in to the July 19 debut.