Freeform went to series The watchful eye (fka The nanny) drama with Mariel Molino (Promised land) set to direct the ensemble cast. The watchful eye (fka The nanny), who was ordered to pilot last year, hails from Julie Durk (Grace and Frankie), Ryan Seacrest Productions and ABC Signature.
Created by Durk, also a consultant, The watchful eye is described as a Hitchcockian contemporary thriller that follows a young woman as she is immersed in a world of old money and deadly secrets. It follows Elena Santos, played by Molino, a young woman with a complicated past, who finds her way to work as a live-in nanny for a wealthy Manhattan family. She quickly learns that everyone in the mysterious building has deadly secrets and ulterior motives. What they don’t know, however, is that Elena has her own shocking secrets.
Elena de Molino is a bright and shrewd young woman hired as the live-in nanny of a wealthy widower and his young son. When Elena moves into The Greybourne, an iconic Manhattan building, she quickly discovers the complex politics of its wealthy residents and a history fraught with mystery and tragedy. Fortunately, Elena is more than equipped to handle anything that comes her way on her own terms. Previously announced Warren Christie (The village) plays Matthew, a self-taught architect struggling with grief and confusion over the death of his wife and its impact on his young son. Kelly Bishop (Gilmore Girls) portrays Mrs. Ivey, a longtime resident of The Greybourne who rules the roost and is accustomed to fighting her way through a potent combination of wealth, power and willpower.
Molino is reprising the role of Andrea Londos, who played Elena in the pilot.
“I’m incredibly excited about this series as it presents a contemporary spin on the classic mystery and thriller genre,” said Jamila Hunter, EVP Programming and Development, Freeform. “Julie, Emily and everyone on the team have created a surprising world of haves and have-nots, perfect for Freeform audiences.”
Additional cast includes Amy Acker (the gifted) as Tory, a woman who instantly dislikes the fresh-faced, enthusiastic young nanny hired by her brother-in-law, Matthew. Jon Ecker (path of the fireflies) stars as Scott, Elena’s quick-witted and cunning boyfriend who helped secure Elena a work-at-home job at The Greybourne. Lex Lumpkin (All that) portrays Elliott, a precocious teenager who lives in The Greybourne and strikes up an instant friendship with Elena. Henri-Joseph Samiri (Love glory and beauty) as Jasper, Matthew’s son, a smart but withdrawn child still reeling from the recent death of his mother. Royal Aliyah (The Walking Dead: World Beyond) completes the cast as Ginny, who works alongside Elena as a nanny and is one of the few people who can overcome her new friend’s tough outer shell.
Emilie Renard (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) serves as showrunner and executive producer. Ryan Seacrest of Ryan Seacrest Productions, Nina Wass, Andrea Shay and Jeffrey Reiner are executive producers of Reiner (dirty jeans) directing the pilot. The series is produced by ABC Signature.
“We are excited to work with our partners at Freeform and ABC Signature on watchful eye, an updated take on a classic Hitchcock thriller starring a powerful female lead who has an ax to grind,” say Fox, Wass and Shay. “An elegant apartment building in New York called The Greybourne provides a backdrop where nothing is as it seems and where the intrigue of the palace has an undercurrent of dread. Elena Santos is truly a force with which it’s to be reckoned with, and the powerhouse Manhattan players who underestimate it might soon find they’ve met their match. These days, who doesn’t secretly yearn to eat the rich?”
Molino recently starred as Carmen Sandoval in Promised land, which aired for one season on ABC. On the cinema side, we will then see her in Eric Nazarian Die like a man. Molino is replaced by Ellis Talent Group, EKG Talent Group and attorney Matt Rosen of GGSSC.