ABC Family finalizes summer plans for trio

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Sailing into upfront season on a wave of ratings growth, ABC Family will continue to place a premium on original programming, network president Paul Lee told media buyers Tuesday during a luncheon in Manhattan.

ABC Family announced summer premiere dates for its three new series: the drama "Make It or Break It" and comedies "10 Things I Hate About You" and "Ruby & the Rockits."

"Make It" (formerly "Perfect 10"), set against a backdrop of competitive gymnastics, will bow at 9 p.m. June 22, after the season premiere of ABC Family's flagship drama "The Secret Life of the American Teenager."

Based on the 1999 feature film, "10 Things" premieres at 8 p.m. July 7. The half-hour musical comedy "Ruby," starring former Partridge Family frontman David Cassidy, will lead out of "10 Things" in the 8:30 p.m. Tuesday slot, starting July 21.

On Aug. 1, ABC Family will unspool a 10-day "Campus Crush" event, airing scholastic-themed movies including "Legally Blondes," an identical-twins take on the Reese Witherspoon-toplined movie franchise.

"We're looking to build this into the perfect back-to-school tentpole for millennial viewers (persons 12-24) and adults," Lee said.

The network also hopes to get a lift from the July 19 debut of its film "Labor Pains," starring Lindsay Lohan as a publishing assistant who feigns pregnancy to keep her job.

ABC Family's development is building on the strength of another prenatal project, "Secret Life," which last month closed its freshman season as the network's most-watched series ever.

" 'Secret Life' literally transformed the network," Lee said. " 'American Idol' is the only show on TV that brings in more millennials."

Also returning to ABC Family in the summer are drama series "Lincoln Heights" (Aug. 4) and "Greek" (Sept. 14).

Anthony Crupi is a senior editor at Mediaweek.
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