January 3, 2012 – The Television Series Jane By Design Premieres on ABC Family
“And this is me, Jane Quimby. Career girl in high fashion, or dateless high school zero: you be the judge.”
On January 3, 2012, the live-action comedy-drama series Jane By Design premiered on ABC Family. The plot follows the life of Jane Quimby, who scores her dream job of being a personal assistant to famous designer Gray Chandler Murray, but Jane must hide the fact that she is still in high school. The series was panned by critics, and only lasted for one season, ending on July 31, 2012 after eighteen episodes. It was created by April Blair, and stars Erica Dasher as Jane Quimby, Andie MacDowell as Gray Chandler Murray, India de Beaufort as India Jourdain, Rowly Dennis as Jeremy Jones, David Clayton Rogers as Ben Quimby, and Nick Roux as Billy Nutter.
The pilot episode begins with Jane heading to school in her beat up car with her best friend Billy, although Jane doesn’t want to get out of the car. They finally head to school, with Jane revealing a crush on one of the popular boys. Popular girl Lulu wastes no time in mocking Jane’s fashion sense. Later, Jane asks Billy if he ever wonders what it would be like to be popular. Later that night, Jane arrives home to her brother and legal guardian, Ben, who is having a hard time finding a job. Ben had to drop out of college to take care of the two of them after their father died. Worried about the job search, Jane decides to apply for a job at Donovan Decker as a fashion intern. When Jane arrives, she sits at a table full of other intern hopefuls, and soon is taken to Gray Chandler Murray’s office, where she waits for a while before Gray appears on the screen. Gray is rather flippant and careless, and automatically gives Jane the job, although she doesn’t think Jane will last longer than two days. Jane realizes that she’s accidentally applied for the position of Gray’s executive assistant, but accepts the job when she is given a nice salary with an expense account.
Birdie, the director of human resources, shows Jane around Donovan Decker, and Jane looks a little overwhelmed, although she thinks that Jeremy Jones, the new designer, is rather adorable. Jeremy has an argument with co-worker India, who is nothing short of a diva. He then finds Jane wandering around and starts talking with her, and offers to give her advice about working at Donovan Decker. Birdie then finds Jane and hands her a stack of paperwork to fill out, and Jane realizes once again that she may be way over her head, as she’s still only a high school student. Nevertheless, she takes the paperwork home to work on. At home, the financial troubles are much worse than Jane thought, but realizes that this job will help them both. She enlists Billy’s help to work on the paperwork and forge the documents, and wants to keep it a secret from Ben. Billy agrees to help, with one condition: Jane goes with him to a popular student’s party. What Jane doesn’t know is that Billy and Lulu are in a secret relationship. Billy questions why they have to keep it a secret, but it continues nonetheless. When Billy catches up to Jane again, she wonders why there’s lipstick on Billy’s face, but is interrupted when Lulu pushes her into a pool.
The next time Jane is at school, she impatiently waits for the time to change, and she quickly heads to work as Gray’s assistant. Although Jane struggles with some of Gray’s tasks, she manages to do a good job in keeping her eyes on India, as India is after Gray’s job. India comes over and acts sweetly to Jane, except she is only using her to keep an eye on Gray’s calendar in her attempt to take Gray’s job. Meanwhile, Ben heads to Jane’s school to apply for the position of assistant athletic director, and meets former classmate turned guidance counselor Rita Shaw. She reveals to Ben that Jane got an internship, and wants to know if she’s doing it for all the right reasons. What he doesn’t know is that late that night, Jane is out at a bar with co-workers, when Jeremy steals her away to talk. She finally manages to sneak away from the bar, only to be greeted by Ben, who reveals that he knows about the internship. She convinces him that this is something she badly wants, and he lets her continue with the job.
Gray sends Jane to her house to check on a very important shipment, and Jane is overwhelmed by the beauty and size of it all. Jane manages to check the shipment, and assures Gray that it is all there. Billy then calls her to let her know that her midterm is that day, at the same time as an important meeting at work. Jane rushes to the school to take the midterm using Gray’s rather nice convertible, then heads straight to the meeting to find India sabotaging Gray’s work. Jane manages to save Gray’s presentation with some pieces from the shipment, making an enemy of India. Jane reports to Gray that she saved the presentation, although Gray is less than thrilled with the results. As Jane leaves the office, she wants to talk to Jeremy, only to find that he’s having an intimate moment with India. Believing she’s been fired, she gets a call from Gray, only to find that Gray wants to keep her on.