Wednesdays (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) on The CW
HELLCATS is a coming-of-age story about Marti Perkins (Aly Michalka, “The
Roommate,” “Bandslam”), a pre-law scholarship student at Lancer University in
Memphis, Tennessee. Marti is a hip, edgy townie with working class roots, whose world
flips upside down, literally and figuratively, when her scholarship is cancelled and her
well-meaning but irresponsible mother, Wanda (Gail O’Grady, “NYPD Blue,”
“American Dreams”) neglects to inform her.
Broke and out of options, Marti realizes the only way she can stay in school is by
repurposing her dormant gymnastic skills to win a place on the Hellcats – Lancer’s
legendary cheer squad – and the scholarship that comes with it. She had been a rising
star in high school gymnastics until she abruptly quit senior year, so Marti knows she has
the moves and athleticism needed for the squad. When she rocks the tryouts and “makes
the mat,” Marti is thrust into a world of camaraderie, backstabbing, and competition that
takes place at the intersection of the Memphis music scene, backroom academia, college
town politics and big money collegiate sports – in the Deep South, football is God.
Marti’s new roommate, Savannah Monroe (Ashley Tisdale, “High School
Musical”), is a petite, peppy Texan and captain of the Hellcats. Savannah has led a
sheltered life up to this point. She was home-schooled by her strictly religious parents,
but recently had a falling out with them over her newfound secular lifestyle, co-ed living
arrangements and racy Hellcats outfits. Savannah’s faith is still important to her, but
she’s also a fierce competitor, and loves her role as captain of the squad.
The fact that Savannah was chosen to be captain is a sore spot with squad member
Alice Verdura (Heather Hemmens, “CSI: Miami”), who was on track to become captain
until Savannah transferred in and snapped up the position, displacing Alice as the
Hellcats’ top flyer. Alice has a complicated past with Lewis Flynn (Robbie Jones, (“One
Tree Hill”), an architecture student who gave up football at Lancer when he was
disillusioned by corruption in the football program. Although he has only been
cheerleading for a year, Lewis has found it to be every bit as challenging and competitive
as his former sport. He has also moved on from his relationship with Alice, despite her
still-strong feelings for him, and he’s more than a little interested in the newest star on the
squad, Marti. As if her recent injury wasn’t enough, Alice sees the budding friendship
between Lewis and Marti as a new cause for alarm.
“Hellcats” – Page 2
Surrounded by all these new people, Marti feels lucky she can turn to one familiar
face: Dan Patch (Matt Barr, “Harper’s Island”), a townie who has been her best friend
since first grade. Dan still lives with his large, working class family and works the docks
as a machinist. Even though he’s never felt the need to go to college, Dan is a budding
documentary filmmaker and is never without his camera.
Overseeing all the practices and personal drama is former Hellcats star and
current coach Vanessa Lodge (Sharon Leal, “Dreamgirls,” “Private Practice”). Vanessa
has a history with Red Raymond (Jeff Hephner, “The O.C.”), the school’s football coach,
a history which creates conflict between Vanessa and her fiancé, the Hellcats team
doctor, Derek (D.B. Woodside, “24”). Vanessa’s job is on the line unless the squad wins
the upcoming nationals. Just like Marti, Vanessa’s future is riding on the Hellcats
ascending to the very top of the fiercely competitive cheerleading world.
HELLCATS is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Tom Welling
Productions, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive
producers Kevin Murphy (“Desperate Housewives,” “Reefer Madness”), Tom Welling
(“Smallville”) and Allan Arkush (“Heroes,” “Crossing Jordan”).
CREDITS FOR “HELLCATS” ON THE CW
Day and time: Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET
Network debut: September 8, 2010
Format: “Hellcats” is a coming-of-age story about Marti
Perkins, a young, pre-law student at Lancer
University whose world flips upside down when she
loses her scholarship, and realizes the only way she
can stay in school is by joining the Lancer's
legendary cheerleading team, The Hellcats. Marti's
new roommate, Savannah Monroe is among the
diverse cast of athletes, undergrads, family and
friends, all set on the sprawling campus of a
powerhouse college football program in the deep
Cast: Aly Michalka as Marti Perkins
Ashley Tisdale as Savannah Monroe
Heather Hemmens as Alice Verdura
Robbie Jones as Lewis Flynn
Matt Barr as Dan Patch
Sharon Leal as Vanessa Lodge
Gail O’Grady as Wanda Perkins
Executive producers: Kevin Murphy, Tom Welling, Allan Arkush
Origination: Vancouver, British Columbia
Produced by: Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Tom
Welling Productions, Warner Bros. Television and
CBS Television Studios.
Media contact: Suzanne Gomez, (818) 977-4115
Marti Perkins in “Hellcats”
Aly Michalka stars as Marti Perkins, an ambitious pre-law student who joins
the Hellcats cheer squad to keep her scholarship on The CW’s new drama “Hellcats.”
At age 21, Michalka is an accomplished musician, songwriter, actress and martial
artist. She is a star on the rise with several exciting projects on the horizon.
Michalka also starred in Summit Entertainment’s “Bandslam,” opposite
Vanessa Hudgens and Gaelen Connell. She recently wrapped production on the
Screen Gems thriller “The Roommate,” starring alongside Leighton Meester and
Minka Kelly, as well as the Screen Gems comedy, “Easy A,” opposite Emma Stone.
In addition to her many film roles, she is also a platinum selling recording artist. She
is half of what used to be known as “Aly & AJ,” now known as “78violet.”
Michalka began her acting career with a starring role on The Disney Channel’s
“Phil of the Future” about a family from the future trying to live in the modern world.
She next starred in two Disney Channel films, “Now You See It” and “Cow Belles,”
as well as the Disney pilot “Haversham Hall.” She also starred in the MTV original
movie “Super Sweet Sixteen: The Movie.”
Michalka is perhaps best known for her musical talents. In addition to singing
and songwriting, she also plays guitar, piano and percussion. As part of the rock/pop
duo “Aly &AJ,” Michalka and her younger sister AJ became platinum-selling
recording artists at a very young age. In 2006, Aly & AJ were nominated for an
American Music Award. They have also written or co-written all of the songs on their
two hit records, and their holiday release “Acoustic Hearts of Winter” was one of the
best-selling Christmas albums of 2006. Their hit single, “Potential Breakup Song,”
was noted in Time magazine as one of the Top 10 Songs of the Year for 2007, and the
video has received over 30 million hits on You Tube.
In 2006 and 2007, Aly & AJ had two consecutive sold-out tours, headlining
amphitheaters and arenas across the United States, as well as international success in
Japan and the UK. The duo has also contributed to the soundtracks for the films “The
Game Plan,” “Herbie Fully Loaded,” “Ice Princess,” and most recently “Bandslam,” in
which Michalka also stars. In addition to her music and acting, Michalka has an
abundance of other activities keeping her busy. She penned a deal with Penguin
Books, who published a 4-book series entitled, Aly & AJ's Rock 'n Roll Mysteries, for
which she is the credited illustrator. She and her sister have also partnered with
Performance Designed Products (PDP) to launch a line of video game accessories
Aly Michalka Bio – Page 2
targeted at female gamers. Michalka is also very involved with philanthropic
activities. She supports the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation and Race to
Erase MS. Previously, she was a co-chair of the AmberWatch Foundation, an
organization that promotes child safety and awareness.
Michalka currently resides in Los Angeles.
Savannah Monroe in “Hellcats”
Ashley Tisdale plays captain Savannah Monroe, a petite, preppy Texan, who
takes new roommate Marti (Aly Michalka) under her wing in The CW’s new drama
Nurturing an impressive body of work that encompasses film and television,
Tisdale is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young talents as her career continues
to evolve with exciting and challenging projects. Tisdale won the coveted the MTV
Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance Female (2009) and has been nominated
for multiple Teen Choice Awards.
Tisdale quickly garnered attention and became one of the breakout stars of the
Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel world-wide phenomenon “High School
Musical.” Tisdale reprised her role as Sharpay Evans, the high school drama queen, in
“High School Musical 2,” which broke cable TV records as it garnered 17.5 million
viewers. With the success of HSM, Disney decided to release the third installment of
the extremely successful “High School Musical” franchise as a feature film. “High
School Musical 3: Senior Year,” set a box office record as the highest-grossing
opening weekend total for a musical. Tisdale recently wrapped production on the
Disney Channel original film “Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure,” in which her
extremely popular character travels to New York to pursue a Broadway career, but it's
her dog that lands an acting gig first.
Tisdale’s other credits include the feature film “Aliens in the Attic,” voicing
the character of Candace Flynn in the Emmy Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated
animated series, “Phineas and Ferb” on Disney XD and Disney Channel. She also
captured attention for her role as Maddie in Disney Channel's hit series, “The Suite
Life of Zack & Cody.” She had recurring roles on many primetime comedies
including “George Lopez,” “Still Standing” and “The Hughleys,” as well as guest
starring roles on “Grounded for Life,” “Strong Medicine,” “Boston Public” and “7th
A Warner Bros. Records recording artist, her solo album, “Headstrong,”
debuted in February 2007 and entered the Billboard Top 200 Chart at #5. Tisdale
released her second solo album entitled “Guilty Pleasure” in June 2009.
In fall 2006, Tisdale starred in “High School Musical: The Concert,” a sold-
out 42-date arena concert tour throughout North America which, after a break to film
the sequel to the movie, carried on through spring 2007 in Latin America, playing
sold-out soccer stadiums in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico.
Ashley Tisdale Bio – Page 2
Born July 2 in Monmouth County, New Jersey, Tisdale was discovered at the
age of 3 in her hometown mall by a talent manager who continues to represent her
today. After landing a job from her very first audition, she went on to star in more
than 100 national network commercials. At age 8 she booked the leading role in the
international tour of the musical “Les Misérables,” and toured internationally with the
production of “Annie.” She also had the privilege of singing at the White House at the
age of 12.
She resides in Los Angeles with her dogs, Blondie and Maui.
Alice Verdura in “Hellcats”
Newcomer Heather Hemmens is making a strong entrance to the scene starring
as Alice Verdura on The CW’s new drama “Hellcats.” Alice is one of the main
cheerleaders on the squad who is sidelined due to a wrist injury and is not keen on the
idea of Marti (Michalka) replacing her; she will come back to the squad seeking
revenge on some of the other cheerleaders.
Coming from a small town, Hemmens started her career on the stage which
then carried her on to a full scholarship at a prestigious arts high school. Upon
graduating, she went straight to Los Angeles to pursue her career and dreams.
On the small screen, Hemmens has been seen on “CSI: Miami” and “Without a
Trace.” She has also recently directed two short films, and can now be heard as a
regular voice on Joss Whedon's new “Buffy: Season Eight Animated Series.”
Hemmens practices martial arts and enjoys painting in her spare time. She
currently resides in Los Angeles.
Lewis Flynn in “Hellcats”
Robbie Jones stars as Lewis Flynn in The CW’s new series, “Hellcats.” Jones
plays a fellow Hellcats cheerleader who takes an immediate interest in his newest
teammate (Aly Michalka), despite his previous relationship with co-captain Alice
Jones’ additional television credits include the role of Quintin on The CW’s
“One Tree Hill” plus guest appearances on “Southland,” “Dark Blue” and “ER.” On
the big screen, Jones starred in “Hurricane Season,” with Forest Whitaker and Isaiah
Jones is from Sacramento and attended UC Berkeley on a basketball
scholarship. His father was his coach growing up. Jones also plays basketball in The
Entertainment League (E League) along side Ice Cube, Don Cheadle, Justin
Timberlake, Jamie Foxx, Taye Diggs and Brian McKnight.
Jones currently resides in Los Angeles.
Dan Patch in “Hellcats”
Familiar to audiences from his role on “One Tree Hill,” Matt Barr can next be
seen as Dan Patch, an aspiring filmmaker and Marti’s (Aly Michalka) best friend on
The CW’s new fall drama “Hellcats.”
Born in Texas, Matt Barr moved to Los Angeles and immediately caught the
eye of many in the industry. Some of Barr's well-known roles include playing
Christopher Sullivan in “Harper’s Island,” Ian Banks, Peyton Sawyer’s (Hilarie
Burton) stalker, on “One Tree Hill,” and Mike Fleming in “Commander in Chief.”
Barr also had guest and recurring roles on such popular television series as “Friday
Night Lights,” “Trauma,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “ER,” “Bones” and “The O.C.”
In addition, Barr recently had roles in the Toronto Film Festival’s “Pedro” and
in the film “House Bunny” with Anna Faris. His other film credits include “Protecting
the King,” “Ten Inch Hero,” “American Pie Presents Band Camp” and “Levelland.”
Vanessa Hodge in “Hellcats”
Sharon Leal stars as Vanessa Hodge, coach of the squad and a former Hellcat
herself, in The CW’s new drama “Hellcats.”
Named one of 2007’s “Breakout Stars” by Entertainment Weekly, Sharon Leal
is seen was most recently seen starring in Tyler Perry’s feature film “Why Did I Get
Married Too?,” reprising the role of Diane, which she originated in the highly
successful “Why Did I Get Married?” Prior to that, she starred opposite Samuel L.
Jackson and Bernie Mac in the comedy, “Soul Men,” as well as “This Christmas,”
opposite Regina King and Mekhi Phifer. Her performance in the latter project won
her the 2008 Asian Excellence Award for outstanding Film Actress.
Leal received international attention in the Golden Globe Award-winning
blockbuster film, “Dreamgirls,” starring opposite Beyoncé Knowles and Jamie Foxx.
She portrayed Michelle Morris, the singer who replaced Effie White (played by
Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson) in the female trio, The Dreams. In
“Dreamgirls,” she showcased her remarkable vocal skills and was heard on the
popular movie soundtrack.
Born in Tucson, Arizona, and raised in Fresno, California, Leal began singing
at an early age and eventually discovered her passion for acting while attending
performing arts high school. Her professional career began on stage in regional
productions of “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Into the Woods” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Soon thereafter, she moved to New York and landed major roles on Broadway in
“Miss Saigon” and “Rent.” She starred in the original musical, “Bright Lights, Big
City” at the New York Theater Workshop, and was also featured on the production’s
soundtrack. While in New York, she staged cabarets and continued to hone her skills
when she workshopped an original production at the Manhattan Theatre Club,
“Stormy Weather,” in which she starred as the legendary Lena Horne.
From the New York stage, Sharon easily made the transition into television
and film. Her TV work includes four seasons as a series regular on David E. Kelley’s
hit series, “Boston Public.” Guest starring roles include episodes of “Las Vegas,”
“LAX” and “CSI: Miami.” Film roles include the independent features, “Face the
Music,” “Motives 2,” “Linewatch,” and the short film, “What Are the Odds,” for
which she won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the New York Independent Film
Sharon resides in Los Angeles with young son, Kai.
Wanda Perkins in “Hellcats”
Multiple Emmy-nominee Gail O’Grady has starred in every genre of
entertainment, including feature films, television movies, miniseries and series
television. O’Grady will next star in “Hellcats,” The CW’s new fall series, as Wanda
Perkins, mother and life long embarrassment to Marti (Aly Michalka).
Recently, O’Grady starred in a recurring role on “Desperate Housewives” as a
married woman having an affair with the teenaged son of Felicity Huffman’s
character. On “Boston Legal,” her multi-episode arc as the sexy and beautiful Judge
Gloria Weldon, James Spader’s love interest and sometime nemesis, garnered much
Starring series roles include the series “Hidden Palms,” which starred O'Grady
as Karen Miller, a woman tormented by guilt over her first husband's suicide and her
son’s subsequent turn to alcohol. O’Grady also starred as Ava in the comedy “Hot
Properties.” Prior to that, she starred as Helen Pryor in the critically acclaimed series
“American Dreams.” But O’Grady will always be remembered as the warm-hearted
secretary Donna Abandando on the series “NYPD Blue,” for which she received three
Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series.
O’Grady has made guest appearances on some of television’s most acclaimed
series, including “Cheers,” “Designing Women,” “Ally McBeal” and “China Beach.”
She has also appeared in numerous television movies and miniseries. Most recently,
she starred in Hallmark Channel’s “All I Want for Christmas” and Lifetime’s “While
Children Sleep” and “Sex and the Single Mom,” which was so highly rated that it
spawned a sequel in which she also starred. Other television credits include “The
Mentalist,” “Vegas,” “CSI,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Monk,” “Two of Hearts,”
“Nothing Lasts Forever” and “Billionaire Boys Club.”
In the feature film arena, O’Grady has worked with some of the industry’s
most respected directors, including John Landis, John Hughes and Carl Reiner, and
has starred with several acting legends. She appeared in “Walking Across Egypt”
with Ellen Burstyn, “That Old Feeling” with Bette Midler, “She’s Having a Baby”
with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern, and “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo”
opposite Rob Schneider.
Born in Detroit, O’Grady now resides in Los Angeles.
Executive Producer of “Hellcats”
Kevin Murphy has been a writer/producer of television and theatre since
graduating from Drew University in 1989. He is executive producer, creator and
show-runner of The CW series, “Hellcats,” starring Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale.
Murphy was the executive producer and showrunner of the critically
acclaimed series “Caprica,” a prequel to the Peabody Award-winning “Battlestar
Galactica.” He also spent three years as co-executive producer on “Desperate
Housewives,” two as head writer. He shares an Emmy nomination for his work on
that seminal first season. Murphy is two-time Writers Guild Award nominee for his
“Desperate Housewives” scripts “Next” and “It Takes Two.” Other writer/producer
credits include: “Reaper,” “Ed,” “Get Real,” “Jack & Jill” and “Weird Science.”
Murphy also created and ran the series “Valentine,” as well as the syndicated series
“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” He also has also penned the pilot “Velvet Hammer” for
USA network with producing partner Anthony Edwards.
Murphy won a Primetime Emmy Award for providing the song lyrics for
Showtime’s “Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical,” starring Alan Cumming, Neve
Campbell and Kristen Bell. Along with partner Dan Studney, Murphy also executive
produced and co-wrote the screenplay, adapted from their stage musical, for which
Murphy produced, co-wrote the book and wrote the lyrics. “Reefer Madness: The
Movie Musical” has been produced in many cities, including New York (off-
Broadway), Seattle, London, LA, Toronto and DC. The show swept the Los Angeles
Ovation, Garland and Drama Critics Circle Awards and won a Helen Hayes Award in
Washington DC for Outstanding Resident Musical. Murphy’s lyrics were also
nominated for a Drama Desk Award. The film adaptation premiered at Sundance and
won the Premiere Jury Award at the Festival of American Cinema in Deauville,
Stage projects currently in development include a musical adaptation of the
beloved comic strip “Dennis the Menace” (recently workshopped at Seattle’s Village
Theatre under direction of Andy Fickman). Murphy is also partnering with
Christopher Ashley’s La Jolla Playhouse on an adaptation of the black comedy
“Heathers” in collaboration with Tony nominee Laurence O’Keefe and director
Executive Producer of “Hellcats”
One of today’s biggest TV stars, Tom Welling is best known for his award-
winning portrayal of Clark Kent on The CW’s hit show “Smallville.” Wrapping its
10th and final season, Welling is not only starring as the heroic Clark Kent, he is also
working as an executive producer and director on the series. In addition, Welling is
currently serving as executive producer on The CW’s “Hellcats.”
He made his feature film debut opposite Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in the
2003 comedy “Cheaper by the Dozen.” He was also seen in the 2005 film “The Fog,”
and in “Cheaper by the Dozen 2,” which hit theaters in 2006.
A native of Michigan, Welling moved to Los Angeles shortly after high school
and received his first break on the drama “Judging Amy.” Shortly after, Welling was
cast in the lead role on The WB’s “Smallville.” In his first season, Welling was
named one of People magazine’s “Breakthrough Stars of 2001.” Welling has also
received various awards and nominations including four Saturn Award nominations
for “Best Actor in a Television Series,” and three Teen Choice Award nominations.
He won his first Teen Choice Award in 2001 and returned as the fan favorite this past
year for Choice TV Male Breakout Star.
Executive Producer of “Hellcats”
Allan Arkush, the only director to have directed both Frank Sinatra and Joey
Ramone, is executive producer and director of “Hellcats,” the new series from The
Arkush was also the executive producer and director of “Heroes,” the Emmy
Award-nominated epic saga that chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover
they possess extraordinary abilities. In addition, he served as executive producer of
the popular series “Crossing Jordan,” which recently concluded its sixth and final
season. Other television production credits include “Shannon’s Deal,” “Central Park
West,” “Moon Over Miami” and “Parenthood.”
Arkush has extensive experience as a director. He began directing episodic
television in 1984 with the popular series “Fame.” In addition to directing the pilot
and several episodes of “Crossing Jordan,” he has directed episodes of “L.A. Law,”
“St. Elsewhere,” “Moonlighting,” “I'll Fly Away,” “Dawson's Creek,” “The Practice”
and “Ally McBeal.”
Arkush won an Emmy Award and received a Director’s Guild of America
Award nomination for directing the television movie “The Temptations.” He also
received Emmy nominations for his work on “Ally McBeal,” including the infamous
dancing baby episode, and “Moonlighting.”
Arkush began his career in the entertainment industry by working with famed
film producer Roger Corman in the mid-1970s. He directed cult favorites such as
“Hollywood Boulevard” and the Ramones’ rock-music classic “Rock n’ Roll High
School.” Rolling Stone magazine named this one of the Top-10 Rock n’ Roll DVDs
of all time.
Although Arkush has an extensive career in television, his true love is music.
He has directed music videos for such notable artists as Elvis Costello, Bette Midler
with Mick Jagger, and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac. In addition, Arkush
directed rock-music television movies such as “Elvis Meets Nixon,” “Shake, Rattle
and Rock!,” “XXX's & OOO’s” and “Young at Heart,” in which Frank Sinatra
appeared, making him the only director to have directed both Sinatra and Ramone.
Arkush's first job in music was at the Fillmore East in New York, where he
handled the psychedelic lighting for such legendary bands as the Who and the Grateful
Arkush resides in Los Angeles.