ABC Family has given ‘Shadowhunters,’ a show based on ‘The Mortal Instruments’ book series, a straight to series order.
The feature film sequel to the 2013 feature film ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ seemed to have stopped dead in its tracks after reports of a poor box office showing and the departure of the film’s director. However, back in October there was a glimmer of hope that the franchise was continuing when it was reported that Ed Decter (‘Helix’) was developing an adaptation of the YA fantasy franchise for the small screen alongside Constantin Films (who owns the rights of the property). They have now finally found a home for their project with ABC Family. The network has given the show a 13 episode straight to series order meaning it will bypass the somewhat agonizing process of having a pilot made, shown to the network execs and then wait for them to decide to air that pilot and/or greenlight the series.
In a press release, Tom Ascheim, President, ABC Family, stated:
“’Shadowhunters’ is a big epic saga that will resonate with viewers who come to ABC Family for the ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Hunger Games,’ and ‘Twilight’ franchises. A New York Times bestseller for 122-consecutive weeks, with over 35 million copies in print worldwide, ‘Shadowhunters’ is the perfect story to share with our audience.”
From the released synopsis, it doesn’t seem like the series will stray too far from the books, but they have aged Clary by a couple years:
‘Shadowhunters’ will follow 18-year-old Clary Fray who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters – human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. When her mother Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with mysterious Shadowhunter Jace and her best friend, Simon. Now living among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.
Kathy Burke, Executive Vice President, Programming and Development for ABC Family, explained why the network thought the series would be a good fit for them and hints to more than just this season saying:
“Clary is a strong, dynamic and captivating character that our audience will immediately identify with. They will want her to succeed and will root for her on her journey to become who she was always meant to be. The series has a passionate fan base and an expansive universe that can sustain multiple seasons to come.”
No word yet as to how involved the books’ author, Cassandra Clare, will be with ‘Shadowhunters,’ but the move does have her blessing:
“I’m excited to see ABC Family bring the world of the Shadowhunters to life. As a huge fan of long-form television drama, I can’t wait to see the story unfold and for the fans to have more time with the world and the characters.”
The press release didn’t have any names as to who will be in the series, but since filming is slated to go into production in May, casting announcements will be made soon. Keep checking back here and we’ll let you know once we know!