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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: January 28, 2010

Today's mailbag column is here. Topics include "Lie to Me," "The Amazing Race," an old John Denver recording and more.

Watched last night's "American Idol" and am still waiting for a contestant to knock my socks, well, at least below my ankles. This was another night where the major entertainment involved judge-watching. Neil Patrick Harris was far more interesting, and focused, than Joe Jonas. Even more amusing was the way the Fox-based "American Idol" kept throwing out "Doogie Howser" references with NPH. It's not just corporate envy (that is, Fox not touting competitor CBS by showcasing "How I Met Your Mother"). "Doogie" may have aired on CBS but it was made by 20th Century -- wait for it -- Fox.

From the e-mail, a couple of series announcements by ABC Family:

Paul Lee, president, ABC Family, today announced the pick-up of two one-hour dramas: “Huge” and “Pretty Little Liars.” Each series has been given a 10-episode order and are scheduled to premiere in 2010. ...

"Huge,” based on author Sasha Paley’s book of the same name, is being developed by Winnie Holzman (“Wicked,” “My So-Called Life,” “Once & Again”) and daughter Savannah Dooley. Holzman will be executive producer on the premiere episode, and will serve as consultant for the remainder of the episodes. Dooley will serve as producer on the series. Alloy Entertainment’s Bob Levy and Leslie Morgenstein will serve as executive producers; Robin Schiff (“Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion” and ABC Family’s “10 Things I Hate About You”) will serve as a consulting producer. Funny, heartbreaking and provocative, “Huge” follows the lives of six teens and the staff at a weight-loss camp, as they look beneath the surface to discover their true selves, and the truth about each other.

“Pretty Little Liars” follows four estranged best friends who are reunited one year after their best friend and queen bee of the group, Alison, goes missing – only to discover they are receiving messages from an anonymous "A" who knows all their secrets. The drama stars Lucy Hale (“Privileged”) as Aria, Troian Bellisario (“Navy NCIS”) as Spencer, Ashley Benson (“Eastwick”) as Hanna, and Shay Mitchell as Emily. Also starring are Laura Leighton (“Melrose Place”) and Nia Peeples (“The Young and the Restless”). Additionally, Bianca Lawson (“The Vampire Diaries”) has been cast in a recurring role as Maya. Warner Horizon and Alloy Entertainment are producing; Bob Levy, Leslie Morgenstein and Marlene King are executive-producing.

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