11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Everything's Gonna Be Okay,' 'Motherland' Renewed at Freeform
Freeform is solidifying the rest of 2020 and the first part of next year.
The Disney-owned, younger-skewing cable network has handed out second-season renewals to the Josh Thomas comedy Everything's Gonna Be Okay and the genre drama Motherland: Fort Salem.
“We couldn’t be happier to bring both Everything’s Gonna Be Okay and Motherland: Fort Salem back for second seasons,” Freeform head of originals Lauren Corrao said Tuesday in a statement. “Each show’s originality, characters and themes struck a chord with our audience, and we’re excited to share the ambitious stories the writers have planned for season two. We have a strong slate ahead, and with our young-adult audience coming of age in a time that will forever impact their lives, we owe it to them to tell bold, authentic stories that reflect who they are and where they are going.”
Meanwhile, as production continues to be shut down amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Freeform has moved the second half of Grown-ish’s third season and the next cycle of Good Trouble to 2021. Both shows will be joined on next year's schedule by the Jessica Biel-produced thriller Cruel Summer, which this week tapped Cloak and Dagger grad Olivia Holt to replace Mika Abdalla. The series had been expected to air in 2020.
The remainder of Freeform’s 2020 schedule will see The Bold Type return for its fourth season on June 11 and the limited series Love in the Time of Corona bow in August, followed by Halloween and Christmas programming blocks in the fourth quarter. The Valentine’s Day-themed fare will return again in the spring, with a new Summer Singalong programming block featuring movies with music — including the network premiere of Disney’s live-action Aladdin — also joining the schedule.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay has been a critical darling out of the gate for Freeform. The series — starring, executive produced and created by Thomas — follows a twenty-something who is forced to raises his two teenage half sisters after the death of their father. The show is produced by Avalon.
“This is great news, not just because it means I have a group of writers that have to hang out on my screen with me all day and I don’t have to be alone anymore getting weird,” Thomas said, “but because I love this show and I love these characters and I love our cast and crew, and making another season is just going to be so nice.”
Motherland: Fort Salem is set in an alternate present-day America where witches ended their persecution more than 300 years ago. The supernatural drama was created by Eliot Laurence and counts Will Ferrell and Adam McKay among its exec producers. While reviews for the show have not been kind, the ratings have ticked up week after week for the basic cable network, which also produces the series alongside Gary Sanchez Productions.
“I could not be more grateful for the chance to keep exploring the world of Motherland: Fort Salem,” Laurence said. “Freeform has been such a fabulous home for us through the development process, production, post and marketing. I’m also blown away by the love we’ve gotten from our fans, whose excitement and passion played a massive part in this renewal. Thank you, witches!”
Everything's Gonna Be Okay and Motherland: Fort Salem were both developed by former Freeform head of originals turned ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke under network president Tom Ascheim. The renewals arrive as Ascheim is poised to leave Freeform this summer for a top job at WarnerMedia, where he will oversee brands including Cartoon Network. A search is underway to find his successor.
Whoever takes over Freeform will inherit a scripted slate that includes Grown-ish, The Bold Type, Siren, Good Trouble, Everything's Gonna Be Okay, Motherland: Fort Salem and Cruel Summer. The cabler recently canceled its Party of Five reboot after one season.