Freeform Unveils First-Look At Jessica Biel-Produced Series ‘Cruel Summer’ – TCA

Freeform has released a first look at the upcoming series, Cruel Summer, which is set to debut on April 20.

It takes place over three years in 90s and follows two young women: Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy wannabe who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. All signs point to Jeanette’s guilt, but is Kate really who she seems to be? Set over three summers and told through shifting points of view, the series challenges perception and follows how one girl can go from being a sweet outlier to the most despised person in America.

Jessica Biel serves as an executive producer on the show. “This is a project that I would have wanted to do if I was their age,” said Biel during today’s TCA presentation. “I would have loved to play one of these characters.”

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She added that “to be able to create something for young women…is really exciting.”

“To sit in a space with the younger generation and really give them this platform to really talk about some intense, hard things that these young people are going through is really exciting for me. And it’s something we want to do for all people, but especially for women and for girls.”

The former 7th Heaven star talked about how her history on the teen drama made “this project was such an exciting, creative thing for Michelle [Purple] and I.”

“The experiences that I’ve had have culminated in this moment to step behind the camera and really be a support system and a support team, and really be much more part of the development and then hand it off to these very capable young women,” said Biel who was joined by fellow EPs Tia Napolitano and Michelle Purple as well as leads Chiara Aurelia and Olivia Holt Cast.

“Each year represents a different element of all of our lives. The darkness, the sadness, the youthfulness,” Aurelia previewed.

“It really shines a light on the complex part of being a teenager and trying to figure out who you are and the midst of a million things that are going on,” said Holt.

Michael Landes, Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Allius Barnes, Blake Lee, and Brooklyn Sudano co-star in the series, while Grey’s Anatomy alum Sarah Drew will appear in a recurring capacity.

Check out the video below.

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