‘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: People’s Choice Awards 2013

Shay Mitchell: People's Choice Awards 2013

Shay Mitchell steps out in style at the 2013 People’s Choice Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Wednesday (January 9) in Los Angeles.

The 25-year-old actress wore a cute Giorgio Armani dress with Jimmy Choo shoes, Effy jewelry and a Chanel clutch.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Shay Mitchell

“So much fun at the #PeoplesChoiceAwards tonight! Thank you guys for being the best fans ever!” Shay wrote on Twitter.

WHAT DO YOU THINK of Shay’s look?

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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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‘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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‘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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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Lindsey Shaw Talks ‘Pailey,’ an ‘Interesting’ Alliance for Paige (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Paige (Lindsey Shaw) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) are in for some much needed romance on the upcoming second half of the third season of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars.

During Season 3A, the couple was put through the wringer as Paige was considered a suspect by the Liars for much of the season and was then kidnapped by Maya’s “fake” cousin, Nate (Sterling Suleman).

“Obviously there’s a lot of trauma that she’s dealing with from that at the beginning of the winter premiere,” Shaw told Celebuzz when she stopped by our Hollywood studio. “We kind of see her very secluded and isolated. She’s very fearful and traumatized and we get to see Emily kind of come to her rescue, which is great. You get to see Emily take care of her in this really loving way so in the midst of all the chaos there’s a lot of good romantic Pailey scenes. ”

But Paige won’t just be sitting around experiencing post-traumatic stress all season.

“A little ways through Paige gets her fight back and she kind of teams up with someone very interesting to sort of continue the battle against the ‘A’ team,” the actress revealed. Though she wouldn’t dish as to which character Paige teams up with, she did say the duo will be working together to gather “some dirt on the ‘A’ team.”

Shaw, 23, also divulged that we can expect to “see her and Emily in some intense situations where the audience sort of knows Toby [Keegan Allen] is there but they don’t.”

As for Toby’s big reveal as a member of the “A” team to the Liars, she said, “It sends intense ripples through Rosewood.”

“It’s the coolest way that they reveal Spencer [Troian Bellisario] finding out,” she explained. “You can expect Spencer to sort of find out a little bit sooner than everybody else. It’s very, very cool, the way that it happens. I can’t say anymore than that.”

Watch Shaw’s entire interview above.

The winter premiere of Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesday at 8 PM on ABC Family following a marathon of the last season beginning at 11 AM.

Who do you think Paige teams up with? Give us your theories in the comments below!

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Shay Mitchell & Jessica Gomes: Movie Mates

Shay Mitchell & Jessica Gomes: Movie Mates

Shay Mitchell and Australian model Jessica Gomes head out to a movie at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood on Thursday night (January 3).

The 25-year-old Pretty Little Liars actress joked on Twitter with Jessica after catching a show.

“I’m still laughing about tonight, ‘twin’ ! Lol…great hanging with you, see you soooooon @iamjessicagomes xo,” she wrote.

Jessica replied, “Lol I know!! 🙂 we can play fun games now! Ha. See you soon my sister. Kisses Goodnight. Xo”

DO YOU THINK Shay and Jessica look like twins?

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It’s Mona-Mania on ‘Pretty Little Liars’

It's Mona-Mania on 'Pretty Little Liars'

Ashley Benson isn’t all too happy with Janel Parrish in this new still from Pretty Little Liars.

In the upcoming episode “Mona-Mania!” after the shocking events at the school marathon, Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) are sure now more than ever that Mona is up to her old tricks. Hanna (Benson), still holding out hope for her former friend, is not so sure.

With Mona seemingly popping up everywhere, it sure seems like she has a plan. But with no real evidence to prove Mona is back to her evil ways, how can the Liars prove what they believe to be true?

Meanwhile, Aria’s fears about her father grow stronger when something vital that is hidden in her room goes missing.

“Mona-Mania!” airs Tuesday, January 15th @ 8PM ET/PT on ABC Family. 10+ pics inside…

It’s Mona-Mania on ‘Pretty Little Liars’

It's Mona-Mania on 'Pretty Little Liars'

Ashley Benson isn’t all too happy with Janel Parrish in this new still from Pretty Little Liars.

In the upcoming episode “Mona-Mania!” after the shocking events at the school marathon, Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) are sure now more than ever that Mona is up to her old tricks. Hanna (Benson), still holding out hope for her former friend, is not so sure.

With Mona seemingly popping up everywhere, it sure seems like she has a plan. But with no real evidence to prove Mona is back to her evil ways, how can the Liars prove what they believe to be true?

Meanwhile, Aria’s fears about her father grow stronger when something vital that is hidden in her room goes missing.

“Mona-Mania!” airs Tuesday, January 15th @ 8PM ET/PT on ABC Family. 10+ pics inside…