At the second annual Freeform Summit today in Los Angeles themed “A Stage for Everyone,” Disney TV’s Freeform hosted a series of panel discussions focusing on authentic storytelling, inclusion and representation. The teen and young adult-targeted channel notably announced its first animated original series: Betches and Woman World.
“At Freeform, our programming is meant to inspire, empower and celebrate the possibility of youth culture — we are in service to an audience that is paving the way and fighting for a more inclusive tomorrow and we are so honored to be representing them on and off screen,” said Tom Ascheim, President, Freeform.
The summit featured leading voices at the forefront of Freeform’s 2019 programming slate, including Kenya Barris, Luka Sabbat, Maia Mitchell, Katie Stevens, Diggy Simmons, Zuri Adele, Dhruv Uday Singh, I. Marlene King, Francia Raisa, Aisha Dee, Emma Hunton, Sherry Cola, Aubrey Joseph, Sasha Pieterse, Eliot Laurence, Joanna Johnson, Josh Thomas and Kayla Cromer. Also in attendance and contributing to the conversations were key influencers, advocates and pop culture titans including Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Gigi Gorgeous, Samantha Fishbein, Hillary Kerr, EJ Johnson, Shaun Ross, Patrick Starrr, Billie Lee, Lala Milan, Nyle DiMarco, Leyna Bloom, Avie Acosta, Geena Rocero and Dexter Mayfield. The event also featured musical performances from Sofia Carson, Diggy Simmons and Trevor Jackson.
The Freeform Summit was made accessible and inclusive to people with disabilities through its collaboration with Amplify Entertainment Company, newly formed by Nyle DiMarco and Sami Housman.
Freeform is diving into animation with two female-focused series projects in development:
Based on the insanely popular multimedia brand of the same name, created by three millennial women, Betches is a half-hour, irreverent animated series that will follow three best friends and roommates as they navigate early adulthood in New York City together. The three women loudly try to figure out who they are in their careers and in love. They make almost every mistake in the book along the way, but they’re doing their best to make sure they have an anything-but-basic life. Rachel Koller (Lady Bits with Lauren Giraldo) will write the pilot and Emma Roberts (American Horror Story), Samantha Fishbein (co-founder of Betches Media), Jordana Abraham (co-founder of
Betches Media), Aleen Kuperman (co-founder of Betches Media), Carli Haney, Kesila Childers and Gil Goldschein from Bunim-Murray Productions (Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real World) are set to executive produce.
Woman World is a half-hour, comedic animated series based on Aminder Dhaliwal’s graphic novel of the same name. The pilot playfully answers the question “what would our world look like if men became extinct?” This community of women leans on each other for survival as they search for love and their identity in this ladies-only existence. The pilot is executive produced by Felicia Day (The Guild, Geek & Sundry) and written by Aminder Dhaliwal (Pinky Malinky, Close Enough).
Betches had previously been under development at Viacom’s Comedy Central.