Catskill scouted for HBO ‘Liars’ reboot

The historic Thompson Street Cemetery in Catskill. Courtesy of Jonathan Palmer

CATSKILL — HBO is scouting areas in Catskill for its reboot of teen mystery drama series “Pretty Little Liars.”

Village President Peter Grasse Jr. said the company has been scouting Main Street, the Thompson Street Cemetery and residential Cedar Street for potential filming locations.

The series, which is set in the same time and place as the original series that aired for seven seasons on Freeform beginning in 2010, is based on the series of novels written by Sara Shepard.

The series is scheduled to begin production later this summer at Upriver Studios in the Hudson Valley, according to a July 2 Warner Media press release.

The new show will air on HBOMax.

“Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, a group of disparate teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — find themselves tormented by an unknown assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades well as their own,” according to Warner Media. “In the dark, coming-of-rage, horror-tinged drama ‘Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin,’ we find ourselves miles away from Rosewood, but within the existing Pretty Little Liars universe — in a brand new town, with a new generation of Little Liars.”

The original series starred Sasha Pieterse, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell and Troian Bellisario. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, creator of “Riverdale” on the CW and “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” on Netflix, will serve as executive producer and writer, and Lindsay Calhoon Bring, writer for “Sabrina,” will be co-executive producer and writer, according to the press release.

No release date on HBOMax has been chosen. According to the release, Chandler Kinney and Maia Reficco have been cast as two of the liars. Kinney will play Tabby, an aspiring director and horror movie buff, and Reficco will play Noa, a striving, sardonic track star who’s working hard to get her life back to normal after a summer spent in juvenile detention.

Grasse said although no details have been worked out between the village and HBO — including how long filming could last — Grasse said he is “100% sure” at least some filming will take place in Catskill.

Debra Samuels, a resident of Cedar Street, said HBO has been talking with residents of the street about potential houses to film. She and other residents plan to address the village board at Wednesday’s meeting to ask questions about the potential impact of filming on residents.

“We’re trying to get ahead of things instead of being reactive,” Samuels said.

Samuels and Grasse both said filming in the village is a good thing for the area.

“It’s nice they pick our communities,” Grasse said.

HBO was seeking rates for public safety to assist with traffic control in early July, Grasse said, and he hopes HBO representatives will speak to residents at a future board meeting.

Cedar Street has homes that were built in the 1920s, and Samuels said her home was built in 1927, which could contribute to HBO’s interest in the street.

Grasse said location scouts also looked at the village’s courtroom and the school, but the school was ruled out because the set couldn’t remain set up.

Previous movies shot in Catskill include 2007 film “The Cake Eaters” starring Kristen Stewart and Bruce Dern and the 2019 zombie comedy “The Dead Don’t Die” with Bill Murray and Adam Driver.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

(1) comment


I sincerely hope as a family with a historic plot in the old Village Cemetery on Thompson Street that the cemetery will be better taken care of if this film does use the cemetery as a site. The cemetery needs some extra TLC! It's quite sad of late.

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