Exclusive

Bunheads Exclusive: Sibling Dancers to Diversify Season 1 Ensemble

Bunheads New CharactersTwo more Bunheads soon will join Madame Fanny and her crew… assuming one can call a male dancer a “bunhead.” And what the new additions represent may be just as important as who they are.

The ABC Family dramedy is bringing on Jack and Maggie, sibling dancers of color who are incredibly close, TVLine has learned exclusively. The new characters will recur in the second half of Season 1, slated to return in early 2013.

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Maggie is described as a bright, quirky 15- to 17-year-old who has an “indie Winona Ryder” vibe about her. Jack is around the same age and also is an individualist; both characters do their own thing and spend a lot of time in each other’s company. Though there’s no word yet on whether they will practice their pliés at the Paradise Dance Academy, the show is looking for actors with ballet experience.

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Interesting to note: The fact that Bunheads wants to fill the parts with actors of color may be in response to observations – made most notably by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes via Twitter – that the predominantly white cast needed some diversifying. At the time, the always frank Bunheads creator and executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino said, “I don’t do message shows. I don’t give a s—t who you learn your life from.”

There’s no word yet from ABC Family regarding the casting.

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18 Comments
  1. mia says:

    Excellent. Its a great show and I’m glad to see they (and the network) are working to make it a more inclusive show. ABC Family/Spark is really distinguishing themselves from other networks in this regard. Switched At Birth is a brilliant example of diversity of all kinds on tv.
    .
    Keep it up ABC

  2. Stormy says:

    I’m all for the diversity, but what Bunheads needs is a life away from the shadow of Gilmore Girls. Enough with the GG alumni and the failed attempts at snappy pop culture banter. It’s not working. Also, stop making Fanny so easy. Whirlwind marriage, slip into the sack with the director, flirting with rich, long driveway guy and making out with the bartender in front of the whole town when her husband just died? C’mon!

    • AB says:

      Fanny hasn’t done any of those things. Care to try again?

    • B says:

      Thats part of her character. And I think I may be missing something, because I only remember seeing 2 people that were on Gilmore Girls. Am I missing someone? I’m sure this appeals to a lot of the same people as Gilmore Girls, so I don’t really see a problem with that either.

  3. Sheila says:

    I’m all for diversity, but this feels like caving to pressure.

  4. Elyse says:

    this show is NOT better than Jane By Design… and the main character is annoying.

  5. Amanda says:

    I thought the most interesting thing about this article is that the show is seeking actors with ballet experience. Given how the show was promoted, I was said that dancing wasn’t more of a feature in the storyline. Michelle is so annoying when she’s just cluelessly stumbling through life. Let’s focus more on young characters who want to dance and the struggles they face. I’m hoping this can be more like Make it Or Break It, but with dance instead of gymnastics obviously.

  6. Ally Oop says:

    I have been really trying to like Bunheads but though I like a lot of the show, I am finding Sutton Foster’s character incredibly annoying. All the banter seems like the writer is trying too hard to be clever and witty and it is not working. Sutton Foster just isn’t able to convey lines the way Lauren Graham did. I don’t think Sutton was miscast for the role but I think the character of Michelle needs to be better developed and made to be more realistic–she doesn’t seem like a real person. There were few scenes throughout the first half of the season to show Michelle has any substance. The only scene in which Michelle seemed real was the one in which she was sitting on the bleachers with Sasha talking about their in-common hardluck times growing up. The show needs more scenes like that.

    • Stormy says:

      Thank you! Not only does SF have the worst posture I’ve ever seen on a dancer [more like an al dente noodle], but she’s no Lauren Graham in the witty banter delivery. And Kelly Bishop is just playing Emily part 2. Also, the show suffers without any significant male presence. I don’t mean a guy for Michelle, just some balance for the overwhelming estrogen.

      • S says:

        So what you are saying is that they are missing a “Luke”?

        • Stormy says:

          God forbid that Scott Patterson stoops to do a cameo on this platter of leftovers. I guess a Christopher is out of the question. How about a Richard? Michelle must have a father or a brother somewhere.

    • Capwellian says:

      The dialogue is why I watch. I hope the show continues pretty much just as it has.

      • Sandra Burger says:

        I agree that the show should go on with the characters it has with the exception of possibly adding a “Luke”. I continue to watch Gilmore Girl reruns because I love the dialogue as I do with Bunheads. Please keep politics out of it!

  7. Jenn G. says:

    I agree with the previous comments. I want to like this show, but Bunheads needs to find its own place and stop trying to be another Gilmore Girls. Please–no more Gilmore Girls alumni, and please stop trying to make Sutton Foster another Lorelai. Fanny needs to be more whimsical (as described when Bunheads premiered) instead of Emily Gilmore with long skirts. Kelly Bishop is a great actress and could do much more with the character if given more opportunities to flesh out a different character. At first, I was concerned about the acting of the four girls (they struggle delivering a believable quick-delivery banter like Lorelai and Rory), but that seems to be improving over time. I have mixed feelings about Sutton Foster and love the previous suggestion to focus more on her core and authenticity. I think the reason this show is still on is because of the Gilmore Girls fans, but Bunheads needs to step up its game or the show is going to lose this viewer.

  8. Robin says:

    And lose the surfer owners of the shop. That guy was good on GG, but is awful on this show. Makes me cringe. It’s SO over the top fake.
    Overall I was surprised to like the show. But would be nice if Michelle had more substance. And had not already jumped into bed with some random guy.
    And LESS GG alumni, I totally agree.

  9. Julia says:

    I love this show, and I think Sutton Foster is an amazing surprise! She has a very peculiar comedic style, which is more physical and about expressions rather than sarcastic and joke-based like Lorelai. I find it an interesting change and I like her character, a semi-adult still so lost and “on working”. I agree with the necessity to bring more important male roles on the screen, to balance the story. What I prefer to GG is the darker tone of the show, always suspended between comedy and drama in a very coherent way, which is an epic mission. Can’t wait for season 2 :)

  10. Debbie says:

    I stumbled upon this show one night and I am hooked.

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