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JUN
20
2 YEARS

MTV Redeveloping, Recasting 'Awkward' Creator's 'Dumb Girls' Pilot (Exclusive)

Showrunner Lauren Iungerich tells THR she's in talks with the network to go back to the original concept for the effort, which she describes as "Awkward 2.0."

Lauren Iungerich MTV Awkward - P 2012
Lauren Iungerich

It's back to the drawing board for MTV comedy pilot Dumb Girls.

The cable network has passed on the effort from Awkward creator-showrunner Lauren Iungerich and instead will redevelop and recast the project, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

The initial concept revolved around twentysomething women who are said to be "dumb about love," with Iungerich noting that she's in talks with the network to return to the project's original concept, which she described as "Awkward 2.0."

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"The first incarnation was really good, but it was missing a vision," Iungerich tells THR. "Awkward was a special experience where I wrote a script completely unencumbered with the support of [MTV co-head of scripted series] Justin Levy, and he trusted me along the way. He's always supported my vision, and something happened along the way with Dumb Girls. We were trying to figure out what's the best way to tell a relationship story, and we all collectively had different opinions about it.

"They were all really good, but it lost the same thing that I had when I created Awkward, when I was in that bubble saying, 'This is what I think is right,' " she continues. "It was an excellent opportunity, and I feel like we came out the other side saying we think the formula of how we made Awkward was the better way to go. If we go forward, that's what will happen: It will be pure me and, together as a team, make a pure vision."

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Awkward, which launches its second season June 28, has been a critical and ratings breakout as the network continues its push into scripted series. The show is loosely based on Iungerich's high school experience growing up in Southern California and stars Ashley Rickards as Jenna Hamilton, a tortured teen navigating love and her place in the social ranking.

Iungerich notes that ongoing conversations for Dumb Girls would bring the project back to her original vision for the effort: her early 20s life. "If I'm so lucky as to make the show that we're talking about right now, it's a half-hour Bridget Jones, and we haven't seen that on TV," she says.

Talks are in the early stages, and no pilot has been ordered for a rebooted effort.

Christine Evangelista, Xosha Roquemore, Josh Kelly and Nico Evers Swindell were set to star in Dumb Girls; David Katzenberg directed the pilot.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit