Freeform Greenlights ‘Besties, ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Spinoff Series

Freeform will continue to build on its portfolio of scripted series targeted to millennial viewers with the production of two new series, the network announced prior to its Tuesday afternoon upfront presentation.

The network has greenlit Besties, a half-hour comedy from co-creators Kenya Barris (Freeform’s grown-ish) and Ranada Shepard that explores friendship, identity, race, and class through the relationship of lifelong best friends who use each other to get through some of the toughest challenges that they will ever face, said network officials.

In addition, the network has also placed a 10-episode order for its Pretty Little Liars spinoff series Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.Pretty Little Liars stars Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish will reprise their roles from the long running drama in the spinoff, which will follow the exploits of three college friends as they struggle with the stress of being overachievers. In the aftermath of the town’s first murder, each "Perfectionist" hides behind a secret, a lie and an alibi, according to the network.

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The network also announced that it has renewed freshman series Siren for a second season. The series, which chronicles the arrival of a mermaid to a small, coastal town, premiered earlier this year as the top new cable drama within the female 18-34 and 12-34 demos. Sirens will return with a 16-episode second season, said network officials.

“In the past year, our commitment to quality has been reflected back to us with a rousing chorus of critical and fan acclaim,” says Freeform president Tom Ascheim. “Our young adult audience is the most important and influential generation in America and we want to be right there with them every step of the way.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.