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Freeform will not be going back to summer camp.
From the creators of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis ABC Studios drama took place in the late ‘80s and followed counselors at a Midwestern summer camp. Once grads Elizabeth Mitchell and Elizabeth Lail starred alongside Mark Indelicato and Zelda Williams. Ian Goldberg served as co-showruner on the show, which insiders say was eyeing a creative reboot ahead of a planned second season.
The straight-to-series drama debuted in June to poor reviews (THR‘s Daniel Fienberg called it “a cruel, cruel Summer, indeed”) and only 630,000 total viewers. The series wrapped its 10-episode run Aug. 30 to 410,000 total viewers. However, the show was a solid player on the Disney-owned network’s digital platforms, where Freeform originals typically add a third of its overall viewership among its core adults 18-34 demographic.
Dead of Summer marks the latest swing and miss for Freeform president Tom Ascheim. It joins fellow one-and-done shows including Guilt, Recovery Road and Kevin From Work. Freeform next has Tim Kring drama Beyond, which will debut its entire series the night of its linear premiere in a bid to take advantage of its Stranger Things-like premise. With flagship Pretty Little Liars and Switched at Birth both ending their runs in 2017, the pressure is on Freeform to find a new hit. Ascheim will use Pretty Little Liars to launch showrunner Marlene King’s new drama, Famous in Love, in April.
The cabler’s pilots include Cosmo magazine drama Issues, mermaid drama The Deep, multicamera comedy Brown Girls and single-camera entry Alone Together.
Kitsis and Horowitz, meanwhile, still have the sixth season of Disney-themed Once Upon a Time, which remains a valuable asset for both Disney and ABC. Dead of Summer marks the duo’s latest one-and-out series, joining Once spinoff Wonderland.
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