When I first saw a preview clip of The Nine Lives of Chloe King, which premieres June 14 on ABC Family, I was intrigued. It features a kick-ass teenage girl with unusual powers and some ancient lineage. Sound familiar? I wasn’t overly concerned that it will be shown on ABC Family. They did Kyle XY with enough of a sci-fi mystery to make the teen angst bearable. But in looking through the variety of clips that ABC Family has now released for this show, it’s becoming harder to tell what it will be closer to – Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I am of course hoping for the former.
Check out these two promos and see the difference:
Even in their story summary the network looks to be straddling the fence:
The new one-hour scripted action drama follows Chloe King, who is looking forward to celebrating her 16th birthday with her friends and single mother — just like every other year – that is until she starts developing heightened abilities and discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure. Chloe soon learns she’s part of an ancient race called the Mai, which has been hunted by human assassins for millennia – and that she may ultimately be their only hope for survival.
The story of the Mai is the background mythology for the ABC Family series. The supposed offspring of the Egyptian goddess Bastet, the Mai are considered to be both gods and humans. From the very beginning, the Mai have had a symbiotic relationship with humans and have been frequently referred to as their protectors.
Series star Skyler Samuels (The Gates) was available for media questions last week, so I asked her if she’d seen any of the completed episodes, and if she felt the show leaned more towards the supernatural, or a teen drama.
I’ve seen the first episode; the pilot, which is very cool. But I’ve seen little bits and pieces and I work all the time. But, we just started episode eight this week, and it’s amazing to me, because looking back at what the pilot is, it’s like a completely different show. I mean, the pilot is exciting, and it’s both thrill and adventure. But when I look at where we’ve come now—I mean this season has just taken the most incredible twists and turns. I think our audience is going to be really pleased with how this season ends…
Well, when I first saw the pilot I cried. I was so excited at what I saw. I mean, making it, I had the most incredible time, and to see it all put together, it was better than I could have hoped for. It was absolutely magnificent. It had everything that I dreamt and thought it would. It was filled with real emotion and realistic relationships between my friends, my mom and I, all the people on the show. It’s a very grounded show, and there’s a lot of heart. The action was incredible, and I was like Chloe King is officially the coolest girl I know. There’s just no contest. So I think it totally encompasses everything you’d want in an hour of television.
Yes, she was adorable, and I was pleased to hear that there would be twists. But here’s the quote that I found the most encouraging:
I feel like the ABC Family audience, while they’ve gotten a lot of really great shows like Pretty Little Liars and now Switched at Birth, they’ve never had a genre show before. They’ve never had action in the way that Chloe King has action, and excitement, and thrills.
I love that she called it “genre.” I don’t blame ABC Family for marketing to the teen angst and the action/sci-fi communities; look at the success of The Vampire Diaries. It just means that I’ll be approaching this one with an extra touch of trepidation, but a balancing amount of hope that they can find a middle ground and satisfy fans of both genres.
The Nine Lives of Chloe King starring Skyler Samuels (The Gates), Amy Pietz (The Office), Grey Damon (True Blood, Friday Night Lights), newcomer Grace Phipps, Benjamin Stone (10 Things I Hate About You), Alyssa Diaz (Southland), and Ki Hong Lee (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) will premiere on ABC Family this Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 9/8C.