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Austin-filmed 'The Lying Game' gets second season

Gary Dinges, Static

Staff Writer
Austin 360
The cast of ABC Family's 'The Lying Game'

It's no lie: ABC Family's "The Lying Game," filmed in Austin, will be back for a second season.

Hooray!

Viewership for the fast-paced, addictive drama steadily grew during its first year — especially among young women, a group advertisers crave — helping persuade network execs to order more episodes.

Production will restart in a few weeks, and fresh episodes should hit the air this winter. Shooting happens at the Austin Studios complex on East 51st Street.

"A second season is always great, but the joy in any project is the people you get to work with, and Austin and Texas have the greatest people," executive producer Charles Pratt Jr. told me. "It may be a little hot, but that's probably why you find so many warm hearts down there in Texas."

"The Lying Game" follows separated-at-birth twins Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer, who have reunited to find their birth mother. Predictably, there are plenty of misadventures along the way.

So what's in store? The network sent me a teaser promising "more surprises, reveals and secrets as the twins' saga continues." There'll be a juicy love triangle and "a huge twist" as the investigation into a Season 1 murder continues.

"I am so excited to be back in Austin," Pratt said. "Bags are all packed. We're ready to go. Can't wait."

Texas firm wins ‘The Pitch'

Think of it as a real-life "Mad Men."

AMC's "The Pitch" pits two ad agencies against each other every week — and a Texas firm came out on top in a recent episode.

FKM was picked to handle local and national advertising for Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Mister Sparky Electric and One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, all divisions of Clockwork Home Services.

The agency had just undergone a radical reorganization when Scott Brown, its chief creative officer, heard about "The Pitch." He phoned the producers and was able to talk his way onto the show.

"I told them, ‘I've got a David and Goliath proposition for you,' " Brown said. "‘Put us up against anyone and we'll knock it out of the park.'"

And that's what FKM, which has offices in Austin, Dallas and Houston, did.

Since winning, Brown said, the company's website, fkmagency.com, has been getting a "crazy amount of hits," and he expects all that exposure on one of cable's most-watched networks will lead to more new accounts.

"We think FKM should be a national player," Brown said, "and the expectation is that this will help make that happen."

It's a boy

There's a new addition to the Fox 7 news team. Loriana Hernandez, the station's 5 and 9 p.m. anchor, gave birth to a baby boy April 27. Gabriel Cesar weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, and was 20 inches long. He's Hernandez's first child. Hernandez will take some time off but should return this summer.

Texans on KVUE

Houston Texans fans will be able to watch three preseason games on KVUE.

Austin's ABC affiliate has signed a two-year deal with the NFL team allowing it to air the matchups.

An Aug. 11 game against the Carolina Panthers and one versus the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 18 can be seen on KVUE's main channel, 24.1.

A matchup with the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 30 will be broadcast on Channel 24.3, home to round-the-clock weather and traffic updates.

The Texans were previously seen on KBVO and KEYE.

Channel surfing ...

Badges for the first ATX Television Festival (June 1-3) are on sale, starting at $120. More info at atxfestival.com. ... Read my blog at austin360.com/tvblog or follow @gdinges on Twitter for updates on TV and radio.

Contact Gary Dinges at gdinges @statesman.com or 912-5987