TCA Press Tour: Superman takes on cheerleading in the CW’s ‘Hellcats’
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So what is “Smallville” star Tom Welling doing executive producing a new CW drama about cheerleading?
No, it’s not about cute girls.
The series is based on the book “Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders” by journalist Kate Torgovnick.
“Through that book we were able to understand that there was a whole world here that hadn’t been tapped into,” Welling said. “And [executive producer Kevin Murphy] was able to go in and bring it to life and create this universe for these characters. I just think it’s a great story. I think there’s a lot of heart. I think there’s a lot of struggle for all of our characters, especially our lead and her journey and her finding her identity and what she’s going to do with her life. I just found that interesting.”
The star of the show is Aly Michalka, who plays Marti, a pre-law student who turns to cheerleading so she can secure a scholarship and continue her studies. Ashley Tisdale also stars, as the head cheerleader, Savannah, who reluctantly becomes friends with Marti.
Murphy was asked if he was trying to tap into the performing arts zeitgeist sparked by Fox’s “Glee.”
“Nobody’s going to tune in for the awesome three minutes of dancing we’re gonna provide,” Murphy said. “The show’s sweet spot is the relationship between the girls. I would never have temerity to compete with ‘Glee’ as far as razzle dazzle. They have that territory well-covered.”
The show premieres Sept. 8.
--Maria Elena Fernandez
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