The Fosters (2013 TV series)

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The Fosters
The Fosters intertitle.png
GenreFamily drama
Teen drama
Created by
Starring
Theme music composerKari Kimmel
Opening theme"Where You Belong"
by Kari Kimmel
Composer(s)Alec Puro
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes32 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Christine A. Sacani
  • Paul Sciarrotta
  • David Hartle
  • Mark Benton Johnson (pilot only)
Editor(s)
  • Kristin Windell
  • Sharon Silverman
  • Debra Weinstein
  • Michael Jablow
Cinematography
  • Lowell Peterson
  • Kees Van Oostrum
  • Checco Varese (pilot only)
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television
Broadcast
Original channelABC Family
Picture format480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Original runJune 3, 2013 (2013-06-03) – present
External links
Official website
 
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The Fosters
The Fosters intertitle.png
GenreFamily drama
Teen drama
Created by
Starring
Theme music composerKari Kimmel
Opening theme"Where You Belong"
by Kari Kimmel
Composer(s)Alec Puro
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes32 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Christine A. Sacani
  • Paul Sciarrotta
  • David Hartle
  • Mark Benton Johnson (pilot only)
Editor(s)
  • Kristin Windell
  • Sharon Silverman
  • Debra Weinstein
  • Michael Jablow
Cinematography
  • Lowell Peterson
  • Kees Van Oostrum
  • Checco Varese (pilot only)
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television
Broadcast
Original channelABC Family
Picture format480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Original runJune 3, 2013 (2013-06-03) – present
External links
Official website

The Fosters is an American family drama television series that airs on the ABC Family network in the United States and ABC Spark in Canada. The series follows the lives of the titular Foster family, consisting of an interracial lesbian couple (portrayed by Teri Polo and Sherri Saum) raising a blended family of biological, adopted and foster children (portrayed by David Lambert, Maia Mitchell, Jake T. Austin, Cierra Ramirez, and Hayden Byerly).

The series was created by Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg, who also serve as executive producers alongside Jennifer Lopez for her production company Nuyorican Productions in association with ProdCo Original, Blazing Elm Entertainment and ABC Family Original Productions. The first season premiered on June 3, 2013, and concluded on March 24, 2014. The second season premiered on June 16, 2014.

In its first season, the series received generally favorable reviews from critics and has garnered particular acclaim for its portrayal of LGBTQ themes, winning the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series and earning the GLAAD Vanguard Award for executive producer Jennifer Lopez, as well as winning the Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout Television Show.

On January 13, 2015, ABC Family renewed the series for a third season.[1]

Overview

The Fosters follows the lives of Stef Foster (Teri Polo), a police officer, her life partner Lena Adams (Sherri Saum), a school administrator, and their multi-ethnic, blended family living in San Diego. Stef and Lena are the parents of Brandon (David Lambert) and the adoptive parents to twins, Jesus (Jake T. Austin) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez). In the pilot episode, the couple take in two foster children: Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Jude (Hayden Byerly) after being removed from an abusive home. Also part of their lives is Mike Foster (Danny Nucci), Stef’s patrol partner/ex-husband and Brandon’s biological father. Much of the series takes place in their quiet San Diego suburb, and Anchor Beach Community Charter School, where Lena works and the Foster children attend.

Cast and characters

Main cast and characters

Recurring cast and characters

Production

Conception

The Fosters was originally conceived by openly gay creators Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige[9] who wanted to write a drama that reflected the "modern American family". After originally considering a story about two gay fathers, the pair decided the subject of two men raising a family had already been done on television and began to instead consider a story about two women.[10] When asked about the concept of two lesbian mothers raising a blended family, Bredeweg stated, "We realized that there was a kind of a vacuum when it came to stories about women raising families. So we set off in that direction. Many of our own friends are moms raising biological kids. Some of them have fostered and adopted. Suddenly, we realized that we had a story here that hadn’t been told on television before."[10] Additionally, certain elements of the series which deal with the foster care system are said to have been inspired by a troubled childhood friend of Bredeweg, who struggled in the foster system before eventually being adopted in her senior year of high school.[10]

Executive producer Jennifer Lopez

Development

When developing the concept, Bredeweg and Paige were initially met with some resistance from Hollywood, with Bredeweg recounting, "[T]here were some people around us, some people in town who said, 'You know, it is just not going to happen. You are never going to sell this show.'” After completing the first draft of the pilot script, the team was introduced to Jennifer Lopez through a friend who worked at her production company Nuyorican Productions, which was looking to branch out into scripted television. When describing their initial pitch to Lopez, Bredeweg stated, "When we met with Jennifer, she really fell in love with it. The moment we had her, we knew that we had a force behind us."[10]

Jennifer Lopez's decision to become involved in the project is said to have been largely inspired by her late Aunt Marisa, Lopez's mother's gay elder sister who had faced discrimination during her lifetime due to her sexual orientation and was unable to have a family of her own.[11][12][13] When discussing the show's concept, Lopez stated, "Although [the script] was about a non-traditional family and had some newer themes, it had some really basic themes as well about family and love and what's really important. And life can be complicated and messy sometimes and not simple. It gives a really good depiction of family in this day and age."[13]

With Lopez on board, the team took the concept to several networks, including ABC Family, with Bredeweg recalling, "ABC Family was really receptive from the very beginning. Strangely, it felt a little like a match made in heaven. I mean, their slogan is 'A new kind of family.' We had a new kind of modern family, and it took off from there."[10] On July 6, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter, among other sources, reported that Jennifer Lopez and her production company, Nuyorican Productions, were developing the yet-to-be-titled hour-long drama for ABC Family, with Lopez set to executive produce alongside Simon Fields and Greg Gugliotta, as well as co-creators/writers Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg.[14][15]

Finally, the first televised promo appeared on ABC Family on April 19, 2013.[16]

Casting

On August 23, 2012, sources reported that ABC Family had ordered a pilot for The Fosters, a series which would tell the story of a lesbian couple raising a "21st-century" multi-ethnic mix of foster and biological children.[17][18][19] On September 24, 2012, it was reported that Teri Polo and Sherri Saum had been cast to star in the pilot as the two leads, Stef Adams Foster and Lena Adams Foster respectively.[20]

On February 6, 2013, it was reported that ABC Family had picked up the show, with production set to begin that spring for a summer 2013 premiere. The rest of the principal cast was also announced at that time, including Danny Nucci as Stef's ex-husband Mike Foster, David Lambert as their biological son Brandon Foster, Jake T. Austin and Cierra Ramirez as Stef and Lena's adopted twins Jesus and Mariana Foster, and Maia Mitchell and Hayden Byerly as their foster children Callie and Jude Jacob.[21]

When recounting the casting process, Bredeweg explained, "[W]e spent tireless hours trying to find the right person for each role. Then they all began to line up -- it was like dominos -- the moment we found our Lena, the moment we found our Callie, the moment we found our Stef, it sort of all started to line up perfectly for us."[10] On April 11, 2013, TV Guide unveiled the first official cast photo of The Fosters.[22]

Broadcast

The Fosters premiered on June 3, 2013 and ran for ten episodes. On July 30, 2013, the series was picked up for a full season[23] and an additional eleven episodes were produced,[24] with the season returning on January 13, 2014. On October 11, 2013, ABC Family renewed The Fosters for a second season[25][26][27] that premiered on June 16, 2014. The summer finale premiered on August 18, 2014. In July, ABC Family announced a Christmas special to premiere in December with the second half of season 2 to premiere in January 2015.

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
121June 3, 2013 (2013-06-03)March 24, 2014 (2014-03-24)
2TBAJune 16, 2014 (2014-06-16)TBA

Webisodes

On January 27, 2014, it was confirmed that ABC Family green-lighted a spin-off digital series of The Fosters, named The Fosters: Girls United. The five-part web series follows the residents of the Girls United group home. Maia Mitchell, Daffany Clark, Cherinda Kincherlow, Annamarie Kenoyer, Alicia Sixtos, Hayley Kiyoko, and Angela Gibbs star in the series.[28]

Reception

Critical reception

The Fosters received a Metacritic score of 70 out of 100 in its first season, based on reviews by eleven critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[29] While acknowledging its network was somewhat beholden to the "soapy" format its target demographic had become accustomed to, critics praised the series for its ability to appeal to adults and younger viewers alike, with Boston Herald critic Mark A. Perigard writing, "The show cannily plays to teen hopes and dreams [...] but there’s story for the adults as well."[30] And St. Louis Post-Dispatch critic Gail Pennington echoed the sentiment, writing "Intelligent enough for adults, accessible enough for younger viewers and entertaining enough for both."[31]

Series stars Sherri Saum and Teri Polo

The series has garnered critical acclaim for its innovative portrayal of LGBT characters and themes. Entertainment Weekly critic, Sarah Caldwell wrote that "[s]eeing a lesbian, biracial couple on a family TV show is a big deal. [I]f you look at the demographics of most TV shows, it's easy to realize how important, and deliberate, this choice was."[32] Philadelphia Daily News critic Ellen Gray wrote, "Stef and Lena [are] the kind of parents I've met more in real life than on television. I hope they'll be as welcome there as they seem to be welcoming."[33] And TV Guide critic Matt Rousch felt similarly, writing, "there's something refreshing about its unforced approach to redefining what a family looks like."[34] In addition to its adult characters, the series garnered praise for its handling of 13-year-old Jude's questioning of his sexual orientation, with Hollywood.com citing Byerly's "heartwarming" portrayal when naming Jude to its list of "Favorite LGBTQ Characters on TV" in 2014.[7] The LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD and gay-interest media outlet TheBacklot.com also commended the show's decision to introduce the character of transgender teenager Cole, portrayed by transgender actor Tom Phelan, in the second half of its first season.[9][35]

In his review of the pilot episode, Variety's Brian Lowry criticized what he felt were formulaic elements, writing that what was distinctive about the series appeared to have been "extracted during the pitch meeting, indicating a show either built by committee or incorporating too many notes." Although acknowledging that Polo and Saum were competent actresses and that the show "had its heart in the right place", Lowry described the series as an "utterly by-the-numbers affair."[36] PopMatters critic Maysa Hattab detected some of the same problems, writing "[T]he Fosters feel less like a family than a careful assembly of machine-tooled parts, as if the show were engineered for a focus group approved 'family drama' category.", while conceding that the lead characters, Stef and Lena were "a likeable pair."[37]

Controversy

On October 8, 2012, more than seven months prior to the series debut, the socially conservative One Million Moms organization, a division of the American Family Association, which has been classified as a hate and extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center,[38] condemned Lopez and the show, encouraging audiences to boycott it.[39][40] The group, which has routinely advocated against the depiction of same-sex couples in the media, stated: "While foster care and adoption is a wonderful thing and the Bible does teach us to help orphans, this program is attempting to redefine marriage and family by having two moms raise these children together."[41][42] They issued the following statement:

"Obviously, ABC has lost their minds. They haven’t let up so neither will we. ABC’s Family Channel has several anti-family programs, and they are planning on adding to that growing list. ABC Family has approved a series pilot from Jennifer Lopez’s production company, Nuyorican, about a lesbian couple and their diverse family".[40][43][44]

In response, ABC defended the television show, with ABC Family President Michael Riley countering that The Fosters merges perfectly with the network’s "groundbreaking storytelling and iconic characters" and will feature “the same depth, heart, close relationships and authenticity that our viewers have come to expect".[45] Other sources have also defended the show. Josh Middleton, a writer from Philadelphia magazine, called One Million Moms' statement "silliness" as well as "ridiculous" and said, "They obviously missed the boat on shows like Modern Family and The New Normal, which have been on air — and killing it in the ratings game — for a while now".[16]

Awards and accolades

YearAssociationCategoryRecipient(s)ResultReference
2013Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV Breakout ShowThe FostersWon[46]
Choice Summer TV ShowThe FostersNominated[47]
Choice Summer TV Star: MaleJake T. AustinNominated
Choice Summer TV Star: FemaleMaia MitchellNominated
2014NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Directing in a Drama SeriesMillicent Shelton
(Episode: "Clean")
Nominated[48]
GLAAD Media AwardsOutstanding Drama SeriesThe FostersWon[49]
GLAAD Vanguard AwardJennifer Lopez
(Executive producer)
Awarded[11]
TCA AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Youth ProgrammingThe FostersWon
Teen Choice AwardsDrama ShowThe FostersNominated[50]
Drama: ActorJake T. AustinNominated
Drama: ActressMaia MitchellNominated
Choice summer TV Star: MaleDavid LambertNominated
Choice summer TV Star: FemaleCierra RamirezNominated

References

  1. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 13, 2015). "ABC Family's 'The Fosters' Renewed for Third Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  2. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 24, 2012). "ABC Family Casts Teri Polo and Sherri Saum in Drama Series Pilot 'The Fosters' Produced by Jennifer Lopez". Zap2It. (Tribune Media Services). Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "The Fosters — Meet the Cast". ABC Family. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ Bowe, Jillian (September 25, 2012). "Jennifer Lopez Soap Alum Sherri Saum Cast as Lesbian Mom in Jennifer Lopez's New ABC Family Drama". Zap2It. (Tribune Media Services). Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f 2 WKS (April 5, 2013). "ABC Family's 'The Fosters' Adds Bianca Santos". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ Lee Hernandez (24 March 2014). "‘The Fosters’ Season Finale Recap". Hollywood Life. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Christian Clinton (14 March 2014). "Our Favorite LGBTQ Characters on TV". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 29, 2013). "Gabourey Sidibe Joins ‘American Horror Story’, Alex Saxon Added To ‘The Fosters’". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Jim Halterman (February 17, 2014). "'The Fosters' Interview: Tom Phelan On Playing Trans Teen Cole". TheBacklot.com. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Rich Valenza (January 10, 2014). "Bradley Bredeweg, Executive Producer, Discusses ABC Family's 'The Fosters'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Ashley Lee (March 24, 2014). "Jennifer Lopez to Be Honored at GLAAD Media Awards". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ Esther Lee (April 13, 2014). "Jennifer Lopez Opens Up About Gay Aunt Marisa at GLAAD Awards: "She Would Be So Proud of Me"". Us Weekly. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Deluco, Concetta (April 23, 2013). "Is J.Lo Planning A Movie About the Boston Bombing?". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  14. ^ Philiana Ng (July 6, 2012). "Jennifer Lopez Developing Drama Project for ABC Family". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  15. ^ Patten, Dominic (July 6, 2012). "Jennifer Lopez Developing Series For ABC Family". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "The Trailer for Jennifer Lopez's New TV Show About Lesbian Mom's, The Fosters | G Philly". Blogs.phillymag.com. April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ Philiana Ng (August 23, 2012). "ABC Family Orders Pilots From Jennifer Lopez and Gavin Polone". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  18. ^ Daniels, Colin (August 25, 2012). "Jennifer Lopez drama pilot ordered by ABC". Digital Spy. (Lagardère Group). Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  19. ^ August 24, 2012 10:30AM by The Associated Press (August 24, 2012). "Jennifer Lopez, TV Show About Lesbian Couple Gets Green Light From ABC — AOL Music Blog". Blog.music.aol.com. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  20. ^ Nellie Andreeva (September 24, 2012). "Teri Polo & Sherri Saum To Star In Jennifer Lopez’s ABC Family Pilot ‘The Fosters’". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  21. ^ Jolie Lash (February 6, 2013). "Jennifer Lopez-Produced Show - The Fosters - Picked Up By ABC Family". Access Hollywood. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Keck's Exclusives: First Family Photo of ABC Family's The Fosters — Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  23. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 30, 2013). "'Switched at Birth' Renewed by ABC Family for Third Season + 'The Fosters' & 'Twisted' Get Back Order Pick-Ups". TV by the Numbers. 
  24. ^ Nellie, Andreeva (July 30, 2013). "ABC Family’s ‘The Fosters’ & ‘Twisted’ Get Back Orders, ‘Switched At Birth’ Renewed". Deadline Hollywood. 
  25. ^ Ausiello, Michael (October 11, 2013). "ABC Family Renews The Fosters for Season 2". TV Line. 
  26. ^ Marechal, AJ (October 11, 2013). "‘The Fosters’ Renewed by ABC Family for Season Two". Variety. 
  27. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 21, 2013). "ABC Family Announces Premiere Dates for 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Twisted', 'Switched at Birth' and 'The Fosters'". TV by the Numbers (Press release). 
  28. ^ 1 month (January 27, 2014). "ABC Family's 'The Fosters' Gets Web Series (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  29. ^ "'The Fosters' - Season 1 Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  30. ^ Mark A. Perigard (June 3, 2013). "Lopez’s new show breath of fresh air". Boston Herald. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  31. ^ Gail Pennington (June 3, 2013). "TV review: 'The Fosters' is solid family drama". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  32. ^ Sarah Caldwell (June 4, 2013). "The Fosters Review - TV Reviews and News - Summer Must See List". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  33. ^ "ABC remake of BBC's 'Mistresses' makes adultery look dull". Philadelphia Daily News. June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  34. ^ Matt Roush (June 3, 2013). "The Monday Playlist: Fosters, Mistresses, Teen Wolf, Revolution Finale". TV Guide. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  35. ^ Matt Kane (February 3, 2014). "'The Fosters' actor Tom Phelan talks to GLAAD about playing one of TV's new trans characters". GLAAD. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  36. ^ Brian Lowry (May 31, 2013). "'Fosters' Review: J Lo-produced show an utterly by-the-numbers affair". Variety. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  37. ^ Maysa Hattab (June 3, 2013). "'The Fosters' Are an Earnest, Sort of New, Normal Family". PopMatters. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  38. ^ "SPLC Extremist Files". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  39. ^ Hillary Busis (October 8, 2012). "Anti-gay group preemptively protests Jennifer Lopez's new TV show". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  40. ^ a b "Jennifer Lopez's New Lesbian-Themed TV Show Targeted by One Million Moms | E! Online". Au.eonline.com. October 8, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Jennifer Lopez's Lesbian-Themed Show Blasted by One Million Moms for Promoting Sin". Christianpost.com. October 9, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Jennifer Lopez's New Show 'The Fosters' Stirs Up Controversy Over Same-Sex Couple Raising Family : Entertainment". Latinos Post. April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Jennifer Lopez Show "The Fosters" Protested by One Million Moms". Gossip Cop. October 8, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  44. ^ "The Fosters". Onemillionmoms.com. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Jennifer Lopez producing controversial family TV series 'The Fosters'". Voxxi.com. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  46. ^ August 11, 2013, 8:30 p.m. (August 11, 2013). "Complete list of Teen Choice 2013 Awards winners". Latimes.com. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  47. ^ "'Man of Steel,' 'The Heat' Lead Third Wave of Teen Choice Awards Nominations". Thewrap.com. July 16, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  48. ^ Aaron Couch; Arlene Washington (February 22, 2014). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  49. ^ Lesley Goldberg (April 12, 2014). "GLAAD Names ABC Family's 'The Fosters' Best Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  50. ^ Malec, Brett (June 17, 2014). "Teen Choice 2014 Nominees: Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars Lead, Catching Fire Comes in Second". E! News. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 

External links