11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Starring Sasha Pieterse, Janel Parrish a Go at Freeform
Freeform is going back to Pretty Little Liars.
The Disney-owned cable network has handed out a pilot order to Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, with Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish set to star and reprise their roles from the flagship show.
The Perfectionists is based on the Sara Shepard book and is being adapted by Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King. The project was first put into development at Freeform in November 2014, with King and Shepard, the author of the original Pretty Little Liars book, opting to connect it with the original hit.
"At Freeform, we are committed to delivering shows that push boundaries and become a part of our viewers' lives. Pretty Little Liars was a cultural phenomenon so it's no wonder fans wanted more," said Karey Burke, executive vp programming and development at Freeform. "We can't wait to continue Marlene King's rich and revolutionary storytelling with a new crop of leading ladies from Beacon Heights who will hold just as many secrets and lies as Rosewood did."
Here's how Freeform describes Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists: "Everything about the town of Beacon Heights seems perfect, from their top-tier college to their overachieving residents. But nothing in Beacon Heights is as it appears to be. The stress of needing to be perfect leads to the town’s first murder. Behind every Perfectionist is a secret, a lie and a needed alibi."
Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists is being produced by Alloy Entertainment and Long Lake Media in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. King, who also has Famous in Love at Freeform, penned the pilot and serves as executive producer with Alloy's Leslie Morgenstein (Pretty Little Liars) and Gina Girolamo (The 100).
Pieterse and Parrish will reprise their respective roles of Alison DiLaurentis, the former queen bee whose mysterious disappearance rocked the small town of Rosewood, and Mona Vanderwaal, Hanna Marin's best friend who was unmasked as the mysterious tormentor "A" at the end of the show’s second season and ultimately beat uber-villain A.D. at her own game.
"I’m beyond excited to continue my collaboration with Sara Shepard, Alloy, Freeform and Warner Horizon,” said King, who renewed her deal with Warner Bros. TV in October. "I can’t wait to introduce our fans — and Sasha and Janel — to a new world of thrills and chills in Beacon Heights."
The Perfectionists comes three months after Pretty Little Liars wrapped its seven-season run on Freeform. The series became a signature hit for Freeform and ranked as cable's No. 1 drama among viewers 18-34 and 12-34 during its final season. That Freeform would connect The Perfectionists to the Pretty Little Liars brand is a savvy move that will automatically bring in an established audience and help cut through the cluttered landscape. This is the second spinoff to come out of Pretty Little Liars. The first, Ravenswood, was canceled after one season.
King hinted that The Perfectionists could tie into Pretty Little Liars during a June interview with The Hollywood Reporter: "You know there might be some truth to that, but my hands are tied and I'm not allowed to talk about it just yet. So hopefully we will get to share some news soon!"
The Perfectionists comes as Freeform has been ramping up higher-profile development in a push for more ownership. The Tom Ascheim-led cable network's slate includes a pair of Marvel shows in Cloak and Dagger and comedy New Warriors, as well as Black-ish spinoff Grown-ish, King's Famous in Love, veteran The Fosters, Alone Together, Beyond, Shadowhunters and The Bold Type, the latter of which is awaiting a season-two pickup.