Undergrads (2001) - News Poster

(2001)

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‘The Duff’ Review

Stars: Mae Whitman, Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Bianca A. Santos, Skyler Samuels, Romany Malco, Nick Eversman, Chris Wylde, Ken Jeong, Allison Janney | Written by Josh A. Cagan | Directed by Ari Sandel

Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends. Now, despite the words of caution from her favourite teacher (Ken Jeong), she enlists the slick but charming Wesley (Robbie Amell), to help take back her ‘label’ and overthrow the school’s resident mean girl Madison (Bella Thorne) reminding everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s Duff.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If there’s one genre I have a soft spot for, even as a thirty-odd year old man, it’s the teen movie.
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Allison Janney Joins The D.U.F.F For CBS Films

The onslaught of adaptations of Young Adult fiction continues with The D.U.F.F – an upcoming movie from CBS Films, which has just added award-winning Allison Janney to its cast. Based on the debut novel of author Kody Keplinger, the film has Academy Award winner Ari Sandel (Aim High) on board to direct, from a screenplay penned by Josh A. Cagan (Undergrads).

With Mae Whitman (Arrested Development) in the lead role, the story sees a high school senior devastated as her happy world is shaken by the realization that her fellow students routinely refer to her as The D.U.F.F (Designated Ugly Fat Friend to pretty students). Incensed, she drafts in the help of a male friend (Robbie Amell from The Tomorrow People) to aid in her personal reinvention, as she moves to undermine the school’s ruthless label maker (Bella Thorne from Blended).

The cast also
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Cagan, MGM are 'Dance' partners

MGM has snapped up Josh A. Cagan's spec Gotta Dance, plunking down $300,000 against $650,000. Walter Hamada, Chris Fenton and Jonathan Hung of H2F Entertainment are attached to produce. The story, described as a broad comedic male version of Flashdance, centers on an overweight construction worker who finds out that he is the long-lost son of the greatest ballet dancer in history. He is torn between his blue-collar macho world and the life of a ballet dancer when he's called upon to save his late mother's dance company. Overseeing the project are MGM's Erik Baiers and Elizabeth Ingold. The script sale is Cagan's second spec sale in as many weeks; he sold his first feature, Will, to Revolution with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas producing. New York-based Cagan wrote for the MTV animated series Undergrads. He is repped by Paradigm, H2F and Colden, McKuin and Frankel.

'Stiller,' 4 toons join Comedy list

'Stiller,' 4 toons join Comedy list
Comedy Central has acquired five off-network series, including sketch-comedy cult favorite The Ben Stiller Show, which aired for one season on Fox in 1992-93. Stiller is the only non-animated program in the group, which includes Dilbert, Gary & Mike (both from UPN), Clerks (ABC) and Undergrads (MTV). The cartoon quartet will rotate inside a new late-night programming block starting next month. "We want to rebuild the animation block we had before," said Bill Hilary, executive vp and general manager at Comedy Central, referring to the network's past pairing of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and The Critic. "Our audience really loves this genre."

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