Jun12th• 2013 •

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Stars and Producers Reveal Season 4 Secrets

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Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, Ian Harding, Keegan Allen, Tyler Blackburn and Sasha Pieterse preview the “expansive” season, teasing romances and Caleb’s goodbye to unlikely team-ups and a more dangerous Rosewood.

HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COMPretty Little Liars sure knows how to start off with a bang.

Season four has been touted as “the season of answers” courtesy of executive producer Marlene King, and she reaffirmed that statement at an evening celebration for the hit ABC Family drama at the Paley Center on Monday, revealing that viewers will find out whether Alison (Sasha Pieterse) is indeed dead or alive — and what actually happened the night she disappeared.

Though the stars and executive producers, including Oliver Goldstick and Joseph Dougherty, remained tight-lipped about season four specifics, the crowd was treated to an early look at Tuesday’s opener. The opening scene — which did not include the reveal of what was in Detective Wilden’s trunk for fear of spoilers — featured Mona taking a chip that held the footage that would incriminate Hanna’s mother. The girls, along with Mona, were then seen meeting their “mini me’s,” who all had creepy dolls representing each of the Liars — all thanks to “A.”

“It’s expansive,” Troian Bellisario tells The Hollywood Reporter of the new season. “There are so many new characters and new sections of the world. Instead of picking at the same couple of questions and the same kind of mysteries, all of a sudden, there is an enormous reveal of how much bigger this season is than the girls thought.” Shay Mitchell went so far as calling this season the “darkest” one so far, which means people will be “pointing way more fingers,” she tells THR. As Ian Harding tells THR, the new “A” makes Rosewood a far more dangerous place: “This season it feels like ‘A’ can kill you and everyone you love.”

The Pretty Little Liars gang revealed intel about season four (and even Ravenswood) to THR, including Caleb’s Rosewood goodbye, the status of the show’s favorite couples and a new bromance:

Warning: Spoilers under the cut. Click HERE to read! »

A happy ending for Hanna and Caleb?: Tyler Blackburn will be heading to Ravenswood later this year, so many assumed the Hanna and Caleb romance was done. Not so, says Blackburn. “They don’t break up,” he tells THR. “They have a solid relationship, so it’s actually heartwarming and interesting how they break off. It’s hard to explain. They don’t break up, but they do part ways.” So “Haleb” fans rejoice, the door is being left open. “It does” [leave things open-ended], Blackburn says, “and it allows for things to go in multiple directions.” (King confirmed this during the Q&A portion.) The final Hanna-Caleb moment (a la Casablanca) was filmed early Friday morning and Blackburn was visibly teary. “It was a little bit sad,” he says, even though he will film a few more episodes before leaving for Ravenswood. (Filming on the season was done out of order.) “I had a moment with Ashley [Benson] where I said, ‘This is real, huh?’ ”

“A” targets Toby’s soft spot: Toby has been a major character for the past few seasons, and yet not much about him has been doled out. That changes this year. “We dive into his past in a way that we’ve never gone in anyone’s past before,” Keegan Allen tells THR of Toby’s backstory with his mother Marion. “It’s really a soft spot, and ‘A’ presses that soft soft. It’s dark, twisted, sad.” It’s also known that Toby’s past isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. “It’s dramatic and shocking,” Allen hints, “and on a level you would not expect. It really adds a whole new layer to Toby that we all didn’t anticipate.”

“Spoby’s” trust issues: Things for Spencer and Toby are complicated — as they should be. “There is a trust issue, but I think it’s remedied by the fact that he was doing it to protect her and I think it strengthens their bond throughout the season,” Allen says, adding that “Spoby” is ultimately “a love story.” With Toby going through some hard times with his past, Allen says Spencer is there for him as support. Does that mean they’ll be a strong unit? “Possibly. I don’t ever want to say that it could be 100 percent,” he says. For Bellisario, there are no doubts the two are “definitely romantic.” “‘Spoby’ is always on the rocks because they’re so passionate and intelligent and not trustworthy. I think they both have paranoid schizophrenia,” Bellisario jokes. “There is always going to be an up and down.”

A new bromance surfaces: While it’s not of the romantic variety, there is a new pairing that will pop up this season. “Toby and Caleb team up,” Allen teases. “We’ve never had two guys on the show partner up without their girlfriends. It’s a very bro-y moment.” Blackburn called their scenes “the most fun.” Surprisingly, Allen and Blackburn never had a true arc together — until now. “We refer to it as the Hardy Boys. They hack together, they eat lots of junk food together; it’s fun,” Blackburn shares.

Tension for “Ezria”: “It’s rough, but good ultimately,” Ian Harding tells THR of where Ezra and Aria are at the start of the new season. “I’m hoping for a sweet payoff. I maybe haven’t seen one yet but the tension is just so thick. Both of them are trying to move on with varying degrees of success. It’s going to be wild.” Who is more successful in moving on? “Oh god, I don’t think either one,” Harding says. “Maybe Aria is going at another guy or throwing herself into a project, such as finding ‘A,’ or Ezra is trying to figure out how to raise his son or teach at this school where my love is in school.” Ezra will serve as a mentor to the other girls as they navigate their college plans, and Harding says, the high school teacher never “makes it about him” — at least not yet. “It’s never like, ‘So what does Aria say?’ He never stoops that low.” (Interestingly, there is a college nearby in Ravenswood, King says.)

“A” goes after the Liars’ parents: After failing to split up the girls, “A” will instead target the parental figures in their lives. “It felt like a great strategy for ‘A,’ ” King tells THR. “The divide and conquer [strategy] and hopefully picking them off one by one, that didn’t work. They just became closer and closer than ever. ‘Now that we can’t separate you, in this way, we’re going to separate you by picking apart your parents one by one.’ “As King reveals, the parents are in danger “in every way” (emotionally, physically and mentally).

Fate of Emily and Paige: “She starts out in a typical romantic place with Paige and their story is a coming-of-age story,” King says. “What are two people who are in love to do as they’re in senior year starting to think about college and where they’re going to go from here — and can they go to the same place or not?” Mitchell hints that “A” will have a major role in Emily’s romantic life. “Whenever ‘A’ senses smooth waters, he or she or whatever likes to mess it up and cause some waves,” Mitchell tells THR. “She definitely does that for Emily and Paige. She ruins something that affects Emily’s relationship with Paige as well.” Bellisario chimed in, hinting at the magnitude at which “A” affects Emily: “I haven’t realized how deep that thing has gone and now it’s really affecting Emily’s life. Now as episodes have unfolded, I’m really upset for Emily — so you have that to look for.”

All-flashback episode?: King expressed interest in doing an all-flashback episode on Pretty Little Liars during the Q&A, saying that she’s “excited about” the prospect.

“Everyone is connected”: According to Pieterse, who was only 12 (!) when the Pretty Little Liars pilot was filmed, shared an intriguing nugget with THR: “I learned in Rosewood that everyone is connected. Everyone.”

Pretty Little Liars premieres season four at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ABC Family.

Jun11th• 2013 •

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Hairstylist Explains ‘Softer, Yet Vulnerable’ Season 4 Look

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HUFFINGTONPOST.COM – It’s pretty hard being a teenager, especially when your boyfriend is keeping secrets, you feel insurmountable pressure from your parents and you’re being tormented by the “ghost” of your late BFF. But that’s completely normal for the characters of “Pretty Little Liars.”

Over the past three seasons, we’ve been enthralled by the teenage drama of Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, Emily Fields and Aria Montgomery. But it was a serious case of hair envy that had us tuning back in to “PLL” this time around.

Celebrity stylist Kim Ferry, who spent the last nine years working on “The Office” before landing on the set of the ABC Family show, gave the four leading ladies hair makeovers. Read on for the scoop behind their “softer, yet vulnerable” Season 4 look.

“I noticed that the hairstyles for the ‘Pretty Little Liars’ ladies have been a variety of youthful, playful styles,” said Ferry. “Their wardrobe and makeup have created excitement and inspiration for the fans, so when I joined the show this season, I aimed to do the same in the hair department.”

She explained, “The girl characters have been through a lot in Season 4 — ‘A’ is really wearing them all down so we are trying to keep that in mind, reflecting that in the ‘on camera’ hairstyles.”

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Jun11th• 2013 •

The true sign of ‘Liars’ success is in social media

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USATODAY.COM – Let the tweeting begin.

ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars comes back for its fourth-season premiere Tuesday (8 p.m. ET/PT) as a social-media phenomenon that’s struck a chord with its young audience.

The network hopes that appeal extends to five new shows it is premiering this summer, part of its biggest slate of original series to date.

As it follows the mysterious goings-on in Rosewood, Pa. —where a group of teenage girls is haunted by the disappearance of their leader and threats from a shadowy figure — Liars has storytelling techniques that encourage social interaction and an audience demographic that embraces such communication.

“It has a lot of unique elements that set it up for success in the social-media space: an ongoing mystery, plot twists and turns, cliffhangers and what we call OMG moments,” says marketing vice president Danielle Mullin, who oversees social-media outreach for ABC Family.

The spring finale, which ended on a cliffhanger when the girls found something in a car trunk, was the first episode of a TV series to generate more than 1 million tweets in the hour it was broadcast, according to SocialGuide, which analyzes Twitter conversations related to television programs.

That kind of interactivity has helped make Liars ABC Family’s most-popular series ever (3.8 million viewers during its spring run), up 39% compared with the previous spring (and up 43% in its core audience of females ages 12-34).

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Jun10th• 2013 •

Pretty Little Liars Boss: This Is the Season of Answers

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TVGUIDE.COM – What’s in the trunk? Pretty Little Liars fans will find out almost immediately in the Season 4 premiere.

“Within 30 seconds you’ll know what’s in the trunk,” executive producer Marlene King tells TVGuide.com. “We usually have these big reveals in finales, but this is one of the first time we’ve had had a premiere with lots of answers.”

When the ABC Family series wrapped up its third season, viewers watched as Hanna (Ashley Benson), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Aria (Lucy Hale) and nemesis Mona (Janel Parrish) were pulled out of a burning house by a shadowy figure that a few of the girls — and the audience — recognized as the dead former Queen Bee Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse). Is she really alive? And is she the omniscient Red Coat directing the “A” Team all along? Plus: What did the girls discover in the final moment of the winter finale that had them gasping? King gives us a preview of what’s to come below.

How much will be revealed in this premiere?
Marlene King: This whole season is the season of answers. We decided let’s not wait until the last season of the show to give all of these answers. We have so many questions we’ve asked and fans have been really patient, so this is the entire season of answers and the premiere sets the tone for that.

Is what’s in the trunk really that horrifying?
King: It’s something I personally look away from every time I see that scene.

Mona is now working with the girls to uncover red coat. How does that change the dynamic?
King: It changes it up in a really fun and dynamic way. Mona has [a lot of] answers and now she needs the PLLs as much as they need her, so now she uses her knowledge as a bargaining chip to ingratiate herself back with them.

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Jun9th• 2013 •

Inside A Makeup Trailer: Pretty Little Liars

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Jun7th• 2013 •

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Boss on Season 4: ‘Time to Start Delivering Some Answers’

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Executive producer Marlene King promises that loyal viewers will be rewarded with major reveals in the coming season, telling THR that it’s “time to let the audience in on what we’ve been doing.”

HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM – Big questions are at play when Pretty Little Liars kicks off season four.

The fiery finale left Aria (Lucy Hale), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) nearly dead and led to the possible reveal of Red Coat’s identity — Alison (Sasha Pieterse), looking as alive as ever — only to drum up even more questions for the unlucky Rosewood residents. Is Mona (Janel Parrish) back on the Liars’ side for good? Will “Ezria” ever come back together? What was in Detective Wilden’s (Bryce Johnson) trunk?

Pretty Little Liars boss Marlene King — and keeper of secrets — promises that loyal viewers of the buzzy series will be rewarded in spades. “It felt like it was time to start delivering some answers,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve been hiding Easter eggs since season one and the pilot, and it felt like it was time to let the audience in on what we’ve been doing.”

Though the drama is known for embarking on circuitous routes in answering the series-long mysteries of Alison’s killer and the identity of the enigmatic “A,” King declares season four “the season of answers — and it starts right away with the premiere.” She adds: “The beauty of season four is [we’re] going deeper with these characters than we’ve ever gone.”

King previews the new season in an in-depth chat with THR, with topics ranging from the aftermath of the surprising Red Coat reveal and Mona joining the Liars to the introduction of a “mystery character” and challenges facing beloved couples “Ezria” and “Spoby.”

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Jun6th• 2013 •

Ashley Benson Previews ‘Upsetting’ ‘PLL’ Premiere

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ETONLINE.COM – One week from tonight, Pretty Little Liars returns for its hotly-anticipated fourth season — a year that will, by all accounts, be the show’s darkest yet!

To find out what else lies in wait for fans, I hit up the set and sat down with the stars to talk cliffhangers, trunks, missing moms and disappearing castmembers. First up is my chat with Ashley Benson!

ETonline: Last season ended on the mysterious trunk reveal. What was your reaction to finding out what was inside?
Ashley Benson: I was at the table read, like, “Nooooo!” I was really upset, but I saw how it made sense with where this season is going. I just didn’t want it to happen.

ETonline: The finale also featured Hanna seemingly seeing Ali — when we pick up, does she think Ali’s alive?
Benson: Yes, Hanna believes she saw Ali. All the girls are nervous and scared about the possibility, but Hanna firmly believes that Alison is alive. So now it’s about figuring out how they can prove she’s alive because we’ve all seen her too many times.

ETonline: Mona is a full-fledged member of The PLLs this season. How does Hanna feel about that?
Benson: Hanna wants to trust her, but it’s tough. Mona was her best friend, but she put Hanna through hell. She tries to tell the other girls good things about Mona and how she can help, but at the same time Hanna herself is doubting it. So, she’ll be nice to Mona because she needs to get information out of her, but, at the end of the day, Hanna doesn’t want her in the group.

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Jun6th• 2013 •

Ashley Benson Reveals Why She’s Excited for ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Season 4

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RYANSEACREST.COM – The highly anticipated return of Pretty Little Liars is drawing near and star Ashley Benson has revealed it’ll be darker than ever!

The actress reveals season four, which kicks off next Tuesday on ABC Family, makes her happy because they get to go to darker places than ever before as their viewers age.

“Fans who were 13 when the show started are now 17…and as they grow up… we can go to these darker places. That makes me happy…The darker the better, to be honest.”

Ashley who plays Hanna on the hit series also shared she’s particularly excited about this season because: “We have a lot of new characters, crazy storylines for them and more people keep joining The “A” Team.”

Adding, “like, people that you’d never expect. Characters the girls thought were on their side and were so close to are turning their backs on them because it turns out their agenda this whole time has been to ruin their lives!

We can’t wait!

Pretty Little Liars season four premieres June 11 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.

Jun5th• 2013 •

‘Entourage’ Pic, ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Among California Film Tax Credit Selections

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VARIETY.COM – A total of 31 productions have been selected to receive California’s Film and Television Tax Credit — 14 features, 14 basic cable TV series and three movies of the week — including the “Entourage” movie and “Pretty Little Liars.”

Notable feature selections in the lottery conducted by the California Film Commission include Lava Bear Film’s “Intrusion,″ “Purge 2″ and Lionsgate’s “The Wash.” Significant TV selections include “Bunheads,” “Dirty Laundry,” “Franklin and Bash,” “Justified,” “Major Crimes,” “Murder in the First,” “Perception,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and “Switched at Birth.”

The credit was also awarded to a pair of relocated series — “Teen Wolf,” which has shifted from Georgia; and TNT’s “King & Maxwell,” which has been shooting in Vancouver but will move to California. Vancouver has seen a sharp drop in productions recently.

California producers submitted 380 applications for the state’s latest round of California’s Film and Television Tax Credit — up 18% from last year’s 327 submissions.

“The record number of applications this year serves as affirmation that the production industry wants to stay at home in California,” said exec director Amy Lemisch. “But tax credits now drive much of the decision making process, and sadly many projects that weren’t selected to receive California credits will be shot elsewhere.”

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May31st• 2013 •

How Much Do Stars Get Paid to Tweet?

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HUFFINGTONPOST.COM – Not all tweets are created equal. Some companies cough up big bucks for big names to send out 140-character quips on their behalf, in an effort to publicize their brand and attract a celebrity’s fan base. It’s been proven so effective, in fact, the stars with mass following and influence get paid five figures for a single, sponsored tweet. See the breakdown below:

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