This coming-of-age story centers on Marti Perkins (Aly Michalka - upcoming The Roommate, Bandslam), a pre-law scholarship student at Lancer University in Memphis, Tennessee. Marti is hip and edgy, a "townie" with working class roots, whose world flips upside down - literally and figuratively - when her scholarship is cancelled. Never did she think the cheerleaders she once jeered at might be her ticket to staying in school, but winning a coveted spot on competitive cheerleading squad the Hellcats might be her only shot at staying in school. Featuring an inspired ensemble cast and set amongst a diverse world of athletes, undergrads, family and friends on a sprawling Southern college campus that is more than a little bit focused on its powerhouse football program, HELLCATS is an upbeat and fast-paced dramedy that will make you cheer.
In addition to Michalka, Hellcats stars Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical), Heather Hemmens (CSI: Miami), Robbie Jones (One Tree Hill), Matt Barr (Harper's Island), with Sharon Leal (Dreamgirls, Private Practice) and Gail O'Grady (NYPD Blue). From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Five and Dime Productions, Inc., Tom Welling Productions, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, the series airs Wednesdays (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on The CW Network.
After Marti discovers that her well-meaning but irresponsible mother, Wanda (O'Grady), has neglected to inform her that her scholarship has been terminated, Marti realizes that, broke and out of options, 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.
A rising star in high school gymnastics until she abruptly quit senior year, 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 king.
Marti's new roommate, Savannah Monroe (Tisdale), is captain of the Hellcats. A petite, peppy Texan, Savannah has led a sheltered life up to this point. She was home-schooled by her strictly religious parents, but they recently had a falling out 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 of the Hellcats is a sore spot with squad member Alice Verdura (Hemmens), 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 (Jones), an architecture student and former football player at Lancer, who left the sport after becoming 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 football. 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. Alice sees the budding friendship between Lewis and Marti as a new threat, and, adding insult, Alice gets physically hurt and must sit out from the team until her injury heals.
Surrounded by all these new people, Marti feels lucky she can turn to one familiar face: Dan Patch (Barr), a fellow 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. 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 (Leal). Vanessa has a history with Red Raymond (recurring guest star Jeff Hephner - The O.C., Tigerland), the school's football coach, a history which creates conflict between Vanessa and her fiancÚ, Derek (recurring guest star D.B. Woodside - 24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who is also the Hellcats team doctor. Plus, 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 climb to the very top of the fiercely competitive cheerleading world.
Based on the book Cheer! Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by Kate Torgovnick, Hellcats is executive produced by Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Reefer Madness), Tom Welling (Smallville) and Allan Arkush (Heroes, Crossing Jordan).
Last modified on Tuesday, 12-Apr-2011 20:57:30 CDT.