It’s no secret that a lot of teen shows have large adult followings, and now Lifetime is taking advantage of that fact by casting Pretty Little Liar‘s Shay Mitchell alongside Gossip Girl‘s Penn Badgley in a show that seems reminiscent of both those teen drama classics, but is actually aimed at adults. Notably, the series was first planned for Showtime before finding its way to Lifetime.
Like both the stars’ previous shows, their new project, You, has literary roots, having been based on author Caroline Kepnes’ 2014 thriller of the same name. It also involves a mysterious plot that relies on technology and texts to push the action forward, but it’s a bit darker than either of the actors’ former YA-inspired stomping grounds. Entertainment Weekly has previously described the plot as “a 21st-century love story about an obsessive, yet brilliant bookstore manager named Joe Goldberg who uses the hyper-connectivity of today’s technology to make the woman of his dreams, an aspiring writer named Beck fall in love with him.”
As previously announced, Badgley will play that bookstore manager Joe, while Elizabeth Lail, formerly of Once Upon a Time, will play Back the object of his obsession.
Mitchell enters the picture as a character named “Peach Salinger.” If you are guessing that the name “Peach Salinger” in a thriller novel could only belong to a socialite, well, you are correct. Variety reports that, “with vast resources and family money, Peach is the controlling queen bee of Beck’s inner circle of privileged friends.” Though Badgley will once again play the literary type, Mitchell gets a nice change of pace. She played the “sporty one” on Pretty Little Liars and now she’s more in the world of Blair Waldorf.
For Mitchell, the role is her first under a just-signed overall deal with Warner Bros. Television Group. Along with the role, Mitchell’s production company, Amore & Vita Productions, will also pitch scripted and unscripted series ideas.
As for Lifetime, this is just the latest move in their aggressive push into scripted series TV. The network is already home to critically-acclaimed shows like Mary Kills People and UnREAL. It also recently announced that it has ordered Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan’s next series, American Princess, straight to series.
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