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Freeform is getting into the superhero and magazine space.
Ahead of its upfront presentation Thursday, Freeform (the former ABC Family) has picked up Marvel drama Cloak and Dagger straight to series and ordered a pilot inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles.
Cloak and Dagger centers on the interracial romance between Cloak and Dagger, aka Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, two teenagers from different backgrounds who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart — but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging. The series hails from Marvel Television and ABC Studios’ lower-budget cable arm, ABC Signature.
The Marvel drama, unlike Freeform corporate sibling ABC’s entries Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, caters to adults 18-34. The live-action project, with the straight-to-series pickup, marks Marvel’s first series on Freeform and latest on cable, where the comic book powerhouse is also teaming with Fargo‘s Noah Hawley on X-Men take Legion.
Cloak and Dagger joins recently ordered Bella Thorne drama Famous in Love as Freeform continues its rebranding with a focus on what network president Tom Ascheim calls “becomers” — individuals who are experiencing “firsts,” like love and jobs, in a bid to court older viewers. The cabler recently announced that Switched at Birth would end with its upcoming fifth season and first-year comedy Kevin From Work would not return. Meanwhile, Freeform has a large slate of newcomers, including anthology Dead of Summer, Nicki, Guilt and Beyond joining recent launch Recovery Road and staples Baby Daddy, The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars, Stitchers and Shadowhunters, the latter of which was renewed this month for a second season.
On the pilot side, Freeform has picked up Issues, a drama inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Coles. Previously developed at NBC, it offers a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of those responsible for a global women’s magazine. Their struggles are about finding your identity, managing friendships and getting your heart broken, all while wearing the perfect jeans to flatter any body type.
Issues was created by Sarah Watson (Parenthood). David Bernad (Superstore), Coles and Ruben Fleischer (Superstore) executive produce. Holly Whidden co-executive produces the Universal Television and The District entry. The sale marks a key off-network pickup for Universal TV.
Additional announcements from Freeform’s upfront will be made Thursday afternoon.
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