“Tonally, it’s very similar,” King told TVLine when we caught up with her earlier this week at the inaugural Freeform Summit in Los Angeles. “There is a big mystery, and there is a murder, and there are some characters who are a fractured group at the beginning of our story, and through a murder they become friends. So it’s similar in that regard, but it’s a whole new mystery, a whole new murder. We also have Alison and Mona coming from PLL to Beacon Heights, and that’ll all make sense when you see the pilot.”
Speaking of Beacon Heights, King — who’s already busy making Season 2 of Freeform’s Famous in Love, as well as developing Heiresses, her Shay Mitchell-led ABC drama pilot — told us she just spent a week in Portland, Ore. scouting locations for the spinoff, which is based on PLL author Sara Shepard’s Perfectionists books.
“The show takes place in the Pacific Northwest, and we wanted to be true to that, to Sara’s book,” King explained. “Plus, I really liked the way Rosewood became a character on Pretty Little Liars, [so I wanted to] have a new character, a new town. Portland and the Pacific Northwest are so moody and creepy to begin with. That’s going to be a lot of fun to explore.”
In addition to Alison (played by Sasha Pieterse) and Mona (played by Janel Parrish) joining the new series, King said we can expect to “eventually” see more familiar PLL faces dropping by Beacon Heights — just “not in the pilot.” And what would a conversation with King be without one last chilling twist?
“We’re meeting four new characters who are Perfectionists — and one of them won’t make it to the end of the pilot.”
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Reporting by Vlada Gelman