‘Pretty Little Liars’ Producers: Are You Really That Surprised About Toby?

The fan reaction to the reveal of Toby (Keegan Allen) as a member of the “A” team on the midseason finale of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars was so insane that executive producer Marlene King told reporters a Mom even called the EP’s offices asking to speak to the head of television. But, fellow executive producer Oliver Goldstick says fans shouldn’t have been that surprised by the character’s evil turn.

“His darkness isn’t coming out of nowhere,” Goldstick said during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena Thursday morning. “This is not a betrayal of his character. It’s actually a reminder of where we started, coming fill circle.”

If you can recall, Toby was an outcast when the show first started after he returned from reform school. Even the Liars thought he killed Alison (Sasha Pieterse) at the time.

Goldstick and King, along with Allen and cast members Troian Bellisario (Spencer) and Shay Mitchell (Emily)  were all on hand at TCA to dish on what’s to come on Season 3B,  just how long the show can last and the “A” of it all.

Of course the biggest storyline fans will see on this half of the third season will be the reveal of Toby as an “A” team member to the Liars, specifically Spencer. King told reporters, “It’s a mind-blowing storyline that we had a lot of fun with.”

She remarked that in previous seasons, “A” has really gone after Emily but with this revelation the storyline really shifts to Spencer’s direction. Bellisario noted that her storyline this year, “was truly beyond anything that [she] ever imagined that you guys would allow me to have” calling it an “amazing” and “harrowing” experience.

As for the “A” storyline in the long term, King revealed, “We always know who ‘uber-A’ is. I don’t think we could be successful doing what we’re doing if we don’t have the final answer.”

Goldstick added, “But it’s very specific as far as season to season, because we really do begin the season knowing what the end of the season is and try to work backward from that as well. There are tentpoles that we create, that we mount and then just say, ‘OK, we have to get to this.’ But as far as knowing, yes, we have a plan. But if it were that direct and straightforward, there wouldn’t be a lot of twists, and a lot of fun along the way. There are a lot of detours.”

King remarked that they try to keep fans satisfied by “giving little bits and pieces of the puzzle” while targeting “mysteries within the big mystery” noting that “part of the fun of the show is everybody trying to figure out who ‘A’ is.”

As for the longevity of the show, King noted that Sara Shepard, who writes the books the show is based upon, is now 12 or  13 books into the series showing them that they can keep the mystery going.

Goldstick also noted that the show doesn’t play as real time and joked, “They’re going to be the Golden Girls’ Liars.”

Other highlights from the panel included:

  • King told reporters that Episode 16, which she directed, is “Misery-themed” whereas the “finale pays homage to [classic Hitchock film] North by Northwest.”
  • The show’s premiere on Tuesday accounted for 52 percent of all of Tuesday’s TV Twitter activity.
  • Mitchell says getting into her Converse sneakers to play Emily “really does help” noting that in real life she is “probably the girliest” of all the actresses.
  • The girls really want one of them to be on the “A” team. “I think we’ve all been kind of begging for that,” Bellisario said. “It’s so much fun to be the villain. And especially on our show because there’s so many crazy directions that they can think up.”

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8PM on ABC Family.

What do you about the Toby and Spencer storyline? How are you hoping he will be revealed to the Liars? Give us your theories in the comments below!

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Producers: Are You Really That Surprised About Toby?

The fan reaction to the reveal of Toby (Keegan Allen) as a member of the “A” team on the midseason finale of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars was so insane that executive producer Marlene King told reporters a Mom even called the EP’s offices asking to speak to the head of television. But, fellow executive producer Oliver Goldstick says fans shouldn’t have been that surprised by the character’s evil turn.

“His darkness isn’t coming out of nowhere,” Goldstick said during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena Thursday morning. “This is not a betrayal of his character. It’s actually a reminder of where we started, coming fill circle.”

If you can recall, Toby was an outcast when the show first started after he returned from reform school. Even the Liars thought he killed Alison (Sasha Pieterse) at the time.

Goldstick and King, along with Allen and cast members Troian Bellisario (Spencer) and Shay Mitchell (Emily)  were all on hand at TCA to dish on what’s to come on Season 3B,  just how long the show can last and the “A” of it all.

Of course the biggest storyline fans will see on this half of the third season will be the reveal of Toby as an “A” team member to the Liars, specifically Spencer. King told reporters, “It’s a mind-blowing storyline that we had a lot of fun with.”

She remarked that in previous seasons, “A” has really gone after Emily but with this revelation the storyline really shifts to Spencer’s direction. Bellisario noted that her storyline this year, “was truly beyond anything that [she] ever imagined that you guys would allow me to have” calling it an “amazing” and “harrowing” experience.

As for the “A” storyline in the long term, King revealed, “We always know who ‘uber-A’ is. I don’t think we could be successful doing what we’re doing if we don’t have the final answer.”

Goldstick added, “But it’s very specific as far as season to season, because we really do begin the season knowing what the end of the season is and try to work backward from that as well. There are tentpoles that we create, that we mount and then just say, ‘OK, we have to get to this.’ But as far as knowing, yes, we have a plan. But if it were that direct and straightforward, there wouldn’t be a lot of twists, and a lot of fun along the way. There are a lot of detours.”

King remarked that they try to keep fans satisfied by “giving little bits and pieces of the puzzle” while targeting “mysteries within the big mystery” noting that “part of the fun of the show is everybody trying to figure out who ‘A’ is.”

As for the longevity of the show, King noted that Sara Shepard, who writes the books the show is based upon, is now 12 or  13 books into the series showing them that they can keep the mystery going.

Goldstick also noted that the show doesn’t play as real time and joked, “They’re going to be the Golden Girls’ Liars.”

Other highlights from the panel included:

  • King told reporters that Episode 16, which she directed, is “Misery-themed” whereas the “finale pays homage to [classic Hitchock film] North by Northwest.”
  • The show’s premiere on Tuesday accounted for 52 percent of all of Tuesday’s TV Twitter activity.
  • Mitchell says getting into her Converse sneakers to play Emily “really does help” noting that in real life she is “probably the girliest” of all the actresses.
  • The girls really want one of them to be on the “A” team. “I think we’ve all been kind of begging for that,” Bellisario said. “It’s so much fun to be the villain. And especially on our show because there’s so many crazy directions that they can think up.”

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8PM on ABC Family.

What do you about the Toby and Spencer storyline? How are you hoping he will be revealed to the Liars? Give us your theories in the comments below!

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Troian Bellisario & Shay Mitchell: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ TCA Panel

Troian Bellisario & Shay Mitchell: 'Pretty Little Liars' TCA Panel

Keegan Allen, Troian Bellisario and Shay Mitchell chat about Pretty Little Liars during the 2013 Winter TCA Tour held at Langham Hotel on Thursday morning (January 10) in Pasadena, Calif.

The trio joined executive producers I. Marlene King and Oliver Goldstick for the Q&A session with press.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Shay Mitchell

“So sorry I can’t be at TCA’s for the PLL panel today as I’m in Nashville recording – or A has me…” actress Lucy Hale tweeted to her fans.

Ashley Benson is also pictured below, leaving Katsuya in Hollywood after dinner on Wednesday night (January 9).

FYI: Shay is wearing a Marc Jacobs Collection dress with Alexandre Birman shoes. Troian is wearing a Cameo dress with Herve Leger heels.

Shay Mitchell Praises ‘Pretty Little Liars’ ‘Supportive’ Fans (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

No lies detected: Shay Mitchell has plenty of love for the PrettLittle Liars fanbase.

While making a glamorous arrival at the People’s Choice Awards on Wednesday, Mitchell expressed her gratitude for the ABC Family show’s dedicated fans also known as Little Liars, who were nominated for Favorite TV Fan Following (they ultimately lost to the SPNFamily from the Supernatural fandom).

“They’re just so supportive and it’s all around the world, so it’s great that we can now reach them through social media,” Mitchell, who donned a Georgio Armani frock, complete with Jimmy Choo heels and a Chanel clutch, told Celebuzz.

Speaking of social media, the show’s winter premiere caused a frenzy on Twitter, where 50 percent of Tuesday night’s Tweets were penned by PLL devotees.

“It’s incredible. I just found out that on Twitter last night we took over 50 percent of the tweets, which was insane. So yeah, we broke our own record from previous years and it just keeps getting better and bigger,” Mitchell added.

And some fans are willing to take their dedication to the extremes. “When I met a couple of girls, they had tattoos of quotes and my name on them. That’s always something that I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you, but wow!’” she said about her craziest fan experience.

As for Mitchell’s small screen faves, the 25-year-old actress can’t get enough of the culinary competition genre — her ultimate guilty pleasure.

“I’m a big fan of Top Chef,” she revealed. “I kind of feel that’s guilty but not because I’m still learning. I’m picking up different tricks and tips that they’re doing.”

But when it comes to her real-life cooking skills, Mitchell keeps it simple, saying, “I’m not going to say I can cook a 10-course meal, but I can definitely whip up a couple of dishes.”

Pretty Little Liars airs on ABC Family on Tuesdays at 8 PM.

What did you think of the season premiere of PLL? Speak out in the comments!

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‘PLL’ Recap: Which Girl Had it the Hardest on Last Night’s Ep?

SO much to discuss after the third season’s winter premiere episode of Pretty Little Liars, entitled “She’s Better Now.” It was just, like, shock after surprise after WTF incident after… you get the point. As per usual, we’re going to tell you the biggest moments that happened to each of the girls, along with some other must-know events, then we want you to tell us which of the Little Liars had it the hardest in the comments or on our Pretty Little Liars message board.

1. What happened with Spencer? Even with all of the shirtless Toby action, there’s still no getting around the fact that he’s part of the “A” team. So while it could’ve been a steamy Spoby sesh in the hot tub, we just couldn’t get the creepiness factor out of our heads. And someone was watching them through the trees? Perv.

ABC Family

ABC Family

2. What happened with Emily? Good question, because from what we remember, not too much. Basically, her dad has her on house arrest because he’s afraid that she’ll die if she goes outside. Though we do understand his concern — it is Rosewood after all — setting up alarms in your house so that people can’t get in is one thing; preventing your daughter from going out is another.

ABC Family

ABC Family

3. What happened with Hanna? This is where things start to get juicy. Mona appears in Hanna’s bedroom in the middle of the night after being released from the psych ward. For some reason, Hanna doesn’t kick her to the curb despite all of her crazy, and instead decides that it’s best to back her up when she attends school again. Meanwhile, Hanna’s other old friend, Lucas, comes to school with a limp after he hurt it while “skateboarding.” Could be a lie… or he could be the skateboarder Toby ran off the road at the start of the show.

ABC Family

ABC Family

4. What happened with Aria? You would think that after nearly dying on Halloween, the drama would slow down for Aria. But no, this is PLL. Instead, she’s still keeping Ezra’s baby a secret from him — for what purpose, we don’t know — Meredith, Byron’s former mistress, is filling in for one of her teachers, and her dad is now a total creepster and may somehow be involved in Ali’s murder.

ABC Family

ABC Family

As for the other must-know events, after first period, Mona finds a brain in her locker with a note that reads, “‘Takes one mad cow to know another.” So it’s a cow’s brain. In her locker. WHO COMES UP WITH THESE THINGS?!

ABC Family

ABC Family

Remember this guy? He was the owner of the Lost Woods Resort (a.k.a. the location of the “A” headquarters). Now, he’s playing janitor at Rose High. Interesting…

ABC Family

ABC Family

Lastly, Mona and Jason are getting cozy; cozy enough for her to help the wound on his side… which seems to be in the shape of a screwdriver stabbing. [Flashback to Aria’s near-death experience.]

ABC Family

ABC Family

Quiz: Which PLL Character Are You?

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Winter Premiere Recap: Mona Returns With a Fiery Start and a New Friend

It’s a new year and there’s a new Mona (Janel Parrish) on the loose on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars.

But the first episode of Season 3B didn’t only feature the former Radley patient back to torment our girls at Rosewood High, fans were also treated to some sketchy background info on Mr. Montgomery (Chad Lowe) and clues as to possible new “A” team members.

Before we dish on the episode though, let’s talk about how good Parrish and Keegan Allen (Toby) are at playing creepy? The actors playing the currently outed “A” team members freak me out every time they’re on screen. They are fantastic. And if Mona showed up in my bedroom in the middle of the night like that you can bet I’d be sleeping with a crowbar too — just like Aria (Lucy Hale) said she would.

Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Tuesday’s winter premiere, “She’s Better Now.”

The winter premiere opened with Mona’s aforementioned late night visit to Hanna (Ashley Benson) and a creepy Toby knocking down a black hoodied skateboarder with his car. Meanwhile, Emily’s (Shay Mitchell) parents have gone all Defcon 1 and installed a new security system in their house to protect their daughter from anymore crazy incidents ala last summer’s midseason finale.

As expected, Mona doesn’t get the warmest reception upon her return to Rosewood High. But things come to ahead when she opens her locker to find a cow brain tacked to the door with a knife. Every smartphone on campus, of course, documents the incident as Mona throws the brain and the knife out, whispering to Lucas (Brendan Robinson) before walking away. Shortly thereafter, she was also seen talking to the janitor who the Liars remember as Harold (Travis Richey) from the Lost Woods Resort, the place where Mona had her crazy “A” lair.

When Lucas heads to Hanna’s for no other reason than to further the story, he lets her know that Mona had been sneaking out of Radley long before she had permission to. He also credits his new limp to a skateboarding accident, which gets the wheels in my head turning. (More on that below.)

Now, it appears that Rosewood High’s new janitor has a whole lot of Mona’s things in his office, including one of Allison’s (Sasha Pieterse) old journals. When the girls ditch a charity 10K to go through the stuff, they find Ali’s diary containing an entry highlighting Aria’s dad, Byron. From what we were shown in the flashback, it’s clear she was blackmailing Mr. Montgomery over his affair with Meredith (Amanda Schull) and asking for a pretty penny to keep quiet.

After Aria and the girls had a small incident with Meredith in her class, “A” had exactly what she needed to frame the girls. Meredith, in the wrong place at the wrong time thanks to a note from “A,” gets injured in a fire at the finish line. Later, Byron confronts Aria about the incident, questioning whether or not she and her friends did this, as he knows what they’re capable of. But what is Byron capable of? His accusations, tone of voice and creepy stares while listening to his daughter’s call with Spencer — which mentions “A” — indicate there is a lot more to learn about the Montgomery patriarch.

The note marks the second time Aria was “A’s” main target in the episode, after she received an “It’s a boy” basket outside Ezra’s (Ian Harding) apartment.

We also NEED to discuss Mona and her new friend Jason (Drew Van Acker). Now, without a doubt, the best line uttered in the one-hour episode had to be Spencer (Troian Bellisario) telling Toby, “he [Jason] is basically hugging a hand grenade.” But what exactly is this partnership between Spence’s half-brother and Mona? I really have no idea and that’s the writers’ point. Of course, Spence does her best to convince Jason that Mona can’t be trusted but by episodes end, we see the duo together on his steps as she cleans his wound. But where could he have gotten hurt?

With Jason’s cut and Lucas’ limp, it seems to me that we have at least two possible new candidates for the “A” team. My theory, based on what executive producer Oliver Goldstick told us about Lucas revealing too much, makes me think he was the one Toby was chasing down. Perhaps he doesn’t want part of the “A” team anymore? While maybe Jason was hurt by Aria on the “A” train (I hope not!) or the culprit who set the fire?

As with most PLL premieres, there were little answers provided but a whole lot of questions ensuring a VERY interesting season to come.

Buzz Moments:
OMG: While there weren’t any moments that made me gasp during the episode, I was SUPER creeped out when Mona showed up in Hanna’s room to plead her case. Seriously, not ok.

Thank you, TV gods.: That PLL is back! I missed this show while it was gone!

Awk-ward: Every single moment that Spencer and Toby are together (For the audience at least).

Hotness: Toby was looking all sorts of HOT and kind of creepy after he and Spencer went for a run!

Fab-u-lous: All of the PLLs were looking cute on the premiere. I particularly loved Hanna’s blue polkadot dress, which thanks to wornontv.net I found out is from Anthropolgie. Spencer’s cami/skirt combo was also one of my faves and Possessionista has all the details on where to get it!

Can. Not. Wait.: To find out what the deal is between Jason and Mona? Also, to see how Toby is revealed to the girls as a member of the “A” team! As with any and every premiere of PLL there are so many new questions to be answered!

Celebuzz (1-10): 8. An overall great episode that set up this season’s mysteries quite nicely.

Do you think Lucas was being chased by Toby? Is Jason working with the “A” team? Are you just as creeped out by Mona and Toby as I am? Sound off with your theories and observations about the winter premiere below!

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‘PLL’ Preview: Join the “She’s Better Now” Winter Premiere Episode Convo!

ABC Family

ABC Family

In just a half hour, Pretty Little Liars will be back in our lives (on the East Coast, anyway; West Coast-ers, give it a few hours)! Around Halloween, it was a ‘dark ride’ when Aria was almost killed during an All Hallow’s Eve costume party. Instead, Garrett’s the one who suffered the biggest blow — and was offed by the “A” team! What can we expect from tonight’s winter premiere episode return?

To sum it up in one word: Mona. Hanna’s former BFF’s released from Radley Sanitarium with a clean bill of health. Wha-?! And, from the looks of it, Spencer may be taking it the hardest.

To see how it all plays out, watch Pretty Little Liars‘ “She’s All Better Now” episode at 8pm ET. Make sure to tell us your opinions by clicking the link below. We’ll make sure to tell you ours tomorrow morning in our recap!

Join the Convo on Our PLL Message Board!

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Returns TONIGHT

'Pretty Little Liars' Returns TONIGHT

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Returns TONIGHT

'Pretty Little Liars' Returns TONIGHT

From Our BFFs: Unlock a Secret ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Video Tonight via Mona!

Pretty Little Liars Mona

ABC Family

Pretty Little Liars is back tonight! And, for once, Mona’s gonna be a big help. [ClevverTV]

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are making their love official by buying an $11 million… (No, not rings.) [PopCrush]

Mariah Carey‘s accusing Nicki Minaj of what? The feud continues… [Crushable]

Love lessons from Taylor Swift. That’s ironic. [HuffPost Teen]

The real reason behind Taylor and Harry Styles‘ break-up… [Gurl]

We really dislike Zac Efron‘s new co-star. She has the best job in the world! [Just Jared Jr.]

Seems like everyone has an opinion on Les Miserables… [HelloGiggles]

‘Pretty Little Liars’ EP Talks Mona’s Return, Toby’s Reveal and ‘Provocative Revelations’ About Alison

She’s back!!!!

Fans of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars are in for a treat when the addictive drama returns for the second half of Season 3 as Mona (Janel Parrish) is back in action and out of Radley Sanitarium.

But the real question of this half the season is: Is it Mona or someone else who is REALLY in charge of the “A” team?

“Mona’s back, Toby’s [Keegan Allen] in black and Byron [Chad Lowe] may be whacked is sort of how we started the season,” Pretty Little Liars executive producer Oliver Goldstick told Celebuzz about the upcoming episodes. “We really wanted this question … because Toby is a huge question mark. And with Mona’s return, does this precipitate Toby really starting to act out?”

Note: Mild spoilers ahead for Season 3B.

Season 3B’s opener, appropriately titled “She’s Better Now,” not only sees the duplicitous Mona back to wreak havoc at Rosewood High but you’ll also see Hanna’s (Ashely Benson) former BFF develop a new relationship with someone fans wouldn’t expect –  Spencer’s (Troian Bellisario) half-brother, Jason (Drew Van Acker).

“Our Pretty Little Liars are on terror alert because they know this girl and what she’s capable of. But, people like Jason — it seems like he doesn’t know,” he explained. “The fact is Jason is still dealing with his late sister’s missing remains. He’s got a quest as well that may be different than the Pretty Little Liars to solve. Maybe his relationship with Mona – who knows, if that’s something he wants answers to or is he part of it [all]?”

And while we know from talking to the cast of PLL at the premiere of the show’s Halloween episode that Toby’s involvement on the “A” team will be revealed to the Liars at some point this season, when exactly can we expect this to happen?

“It’s a midway point,” said Goldstick. “They’re going to start finding things that are just highly suspect of somebody who they love and trust. Toby has earned quite a place in their hearts, all of them, obviously Spencer [Troian Bellisario] and Emily [Shay Mitchell], so no one is going to jump to this place right away. And then evidence starts to mount that [his loyalty] is questionable.”

The EP also revealed Season 3B will provide “much more insight to what happened that summer” with Allison (Sasha Pieterse).

“We are going to be revealing things that our girls were not privy to,” he teased. “As well as [the Liars] thought they knew Allison, there’s even more very provocative revelations about what happened that summer with her. You’ll know a great deal more about Allison in 3B.”

These revelations will not only deal with her connection to Aria’s (Lucy Hale) dad, Byron, but also her secret BFF, Cece (Vanessa Ray).

As for that scoop Brendan Robinson, who plays Lucas on the show divulged to us, about being gone for a good chunk of 3B, Goldstick elaborated, “He sort of has to go away because of the way events are unfolding. He reveals a little too much possibly in 3B that forces him to disappear for a bit.” When we asked him if we should be nervous about this disappearance, the EP simply said, “Yes.”

We’ll also learn more about that suspicious N.A.T. club that has been brought up now and then on the show. Look for a mention of the creepy club on the winter premiere and more information to be divulged over the course of the season.

Of the club, Goldstick said, “Even Allison’s connection to it will be hinted at in this season and you’ll understand maybe even stronger motivations for why someone may have put her underground.”

Pretty Little Liars returns Tuesday at 8PM on ABC Family following a marathon of Season 3A beginning at 11AM.

What are you most looking forward to on Season 3B of PLL? What are you expecting when the girls find out about Toby? Sound off in the comments below!

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