Freeform Orders Mermaid Drama 'The Deep'

"The Little Mermaid"
Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Ariel, like "Beauty's" Belle, remains popular with girls around the world.

Freeform is going under the sea.

The Disney-owned network formerly known as ABC Family has picked up hourlong drama The Deep to pilot, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The Deep takes place in Bristol Cove, a coastal town known for its legend of once being home to mermaids. When the arrival of a mysterious girl proves this folklore all too true, the battle between man and sea takes a very vicious turn as these predatory beings return to reclaim their right to the ocean. 

Eric Wald and Dean White will write and executive produce the pilot. Scott Stewart (Dominion) will direct. Brad Luff, Nate Hopper and RD Robb are also on board as exec producers, with Finding Carter alum Emily Whitesell set as showrunner.

"The Deep is a very different show than one would expect when they hear the word 'mermaid' — the mermaid tale has been reinvented in this pilot,” Freeform exec vp programming and development Karey Burke said Monday in a statement. "The writing is thrilling, stories complex and scary, and we are excited to explore the themes of obsession and violence through these amazing creatures."

Production will begin in September in Vancouver. Casting has not yet been announced.

For Freeform, The Deep joins recently announced pilot pickup Issues and series orders including Famous in Love and Marvel's Cloak and Dagger.