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The Perfectionists: All We Know About This Pretty Little Spinoff

Eli Brown, Sofia Carson and Sydney Park in The Perfectionists
Freeform's "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists" stars Eli Brown as Dylan, Sofia Carson as Ava, and Sydney Park as Caitlyn. (Freeform/Allyson Riggs)

By Trixie Pacis | 6th September 2018 at 1:51pm

Pretty Little Liars Spinoff The Perfectionists was confirmed earlier this year when Freeform ordered a 10-episode run of the series. Variety reports that the network (who aired PLL for seven seasons and 160episodes from 2010-2017) has been developing the spin-off since 2014.

What’s The Show About?

The Perfectionists follows three college friends who struggle with the all that comes with being the perfect overachievers they are. In the wake of their town’s first murder case, each ‘Perfectionist’ depends on a secret, a lie, and a well-crafted alibi.

Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King (credits) wrote the Pilot for The Perfectionists with Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum (credits) directing.

Like its predecessor PLL, The Perfectionists is also based on Sara Sheperd books from another series: “The Perfectionists” and “The Good Girls”.

The books follow the lives of highschoolers Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, and Julie. They have nothing in common besides striving for perfection and hating Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s managed to betray each of them before. They become prime suspects when someone murders Nolan in the way they had jokingly planned to kill him.

Though The Perfectionists diverges somewhat from its source material, the exact direction the series will be taking remains a secret.

When Does It Air?

The Perfectionists is slated to premiere on Freeform in January 2019 (exact date TBD).

Neither a UK network nor air date has been confirmed. Its forerunner Pretty Little Liars did not have a UK broadcaster at first but eventually aired weekly on Netflix.

Who are ‘The Perfectionists’?

Disney’s Descendants star Sofia Carson has been cast as the new leading lady Ava. She plays a trendsetting blogger and coder with her mind set on becoming a fashion icon.

Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford returns to the screen as another fierce matriarch—this time, Claire Hotchkiss, one of the founders of Hotkiss Industries and Beacon Heights University.

Sydney Park (The Walking Dead) joins the cast as Caitlin, a grade A student who thrives under pressure. She is the perfect daughter of two perfect mothers, one of whom is a senator.

Eli Brown (The F* It List) plays Dylan, a gifted cellist who has escaped the judgmental eyes of his small hometown. He is competitive and deeply committed, especially when it comes down to his music (and his boyfriend Andrew!)

Hayley Erin of General Hospital and NCIS is also part of the ensemble but mysteriously, details surrounding her character have not yet been revealed.

Sofia Carson will star in Pretty Little Liars Spin Off - The Perfectionists
Sofia Carson (“Descendants”) has joined the cast of the drama pilot “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.” (Hollywood Records/Disney Music Group)

What’s Different?

We won’t be heading back to Rosewood for the spin-off. Instead, The Perfectionists will take viewers to a new fictional town in the Pacific Northwest called Beacon Heights, located near Portland, Oregon. I. Marlene King told Entertainment Tonight:

PLL was shot almost entirely as a Warner Bros. backlot show, which most fans already know, but this pilot and the show is going to be shot in and outside of Portland, Oregon.”

Production in Oregon began on Monday, March 12th, 2018.

Another way in which the spin-off diverges from PLL is that some of ‘The Perfectionists’ are going to be guys right from the get-go. I. Marlene King told Digital Spy:

“I felt like just as we were getting sort of into season five and six of Pretty Little Liars, our guys became such an important part of the show. I wanted to explore the relationship between guys and girls who can be friends and not necessarily boyfriend-girlfriend.”

King also teased to TVLine:

“We’re meeting four new characters who are Perfectionists — and one of them won’t make it to the end of the pilot.”

Jannel Parish and Sasha Pieterse in Perfectionists
Jannel Parish and Sasha Pieterse. (Credit: Freeform/Allyson Riggs)


Which Pretty Little Liars are Returning?

As the first-look trailer reveals, Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish reprise their roles from Pretty Little Liars, meaning Alison DiLaurentis and Mona Vanderwaal will be back although their precise roles within the world of The Perfectionists is still unknown.

What About Eminson?

The PLL finale saw a happily ever after for Alison and her true love Emily, but with actress Shay Mitchell is tied up with a role in I. Marlene ing’s new drama The Heiresses, what’s happening with Eminson?

Sasha reveals that the one thing she does know about The Perfectionists is that Emison remains very much intact:

“I feel like in the beginning of PLL I never know what’s happening, so I. Marlene [King] has kept a lot from Janel and I, but I have read the pilot. I love it, and it’s super exciting. I know a lot of the fans are wondering about Emison, and Emison is good. We’re great. The babies are good. That stays the same.”

It seems that the reason for Emily’s appearance in Beacon Heights is part of the engine driving the mystery.

I. Marlene King reaffirms that Emily is always welcome to return should Shay Mitchell wish. She also reports that the twins will be appearing on the show in some way.

Tune into Instagram for a glimpse behind the scenes—

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