'Mortal Instruments' Drama 'Shadowhunters' Goes Straight to Series at ABC Family

Based on the book by Cassandra Clare with 'Helix's' Ed Decter set as showrunner.
 

ABC Family is getting into The Mortal Instruments business.

The youth-skewing cable network has handed out a straight-to-series order for Shadowhunters, a drama based on author Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments book series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

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Constantin Film will produce, and Ed Decter (Helix, Unforgettable, The Client List) is on board to serve as showrunner and executive producer. The drama is being eyed as a 13 episode drama with a premiere date not yet determined; casting is expected to be announced at a later date. Production will begin in May in Toronto.

Based on the six best-selling young adult fantasy book series, Shadowhunters follows 18 year old Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is, but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. When her mother Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with mysterious Shadowhunter Jace and her best friend, Simon. Now living among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.

The Mortal Instruments is the third series chronologically of a proposed five in The Shadowhunter Chronicles that includes City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and May's City of Heavenly Fire.

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The news comes months after Constantin announced that Clare's franchise will relaunch as a high-end drama series. Shadowhunters becomes the latest adaptation of the franchise; in 2013, Screen Gems produced City of Bones starring and Jamie Campbell Bower as Clary and Jace, respectively. Constantin had plans to turn the fantasy series into a feature film franchise but nixed that idea after City of Bones grossed just $31 million domestically.

"Shadowhunters is a big, epic saga that will resonate with viewers who come to ABC Family for the Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Twilight franchises," ABC Family president Tom Ascheim said. "A New York Times best-seller for 122-consecutive weeks, with over 35 million copies in print worldwide, Shadowhunters is the perfect story to share with our audience."

For ABC Family, Shadowhunters comes as the Disney-owned cable network is plotting a rebranding to target older viewers and families alike. It joins a scripted drama roster that also includes Chasing Life, The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars as well as upcoming entries Stitchers and Recovery Road.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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