|Created by||Emily Silver|
|Developed by||Terri Minsky|
|Opening theme||"Vagabond" by MisterWives|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||36 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Viacom Media Networks|
|Distributor||Viacom Media Networks|
|Original release||July 8, 2014– December 15, 2015|
Finding Carter is an American television teen drama that aired on MTV for two seasons from July 8, 2014 to December 15, 2015. The series stars Kathryn Prescott as Carter Stevens, a teenage girl whose life is torn apart when she discovers that the woman she thought was her mother, Lori (Milena Govich), had in fact abducted her from her family when she was a young child. Cynthia Watros and Alexis Denisof co-star as her real parents, Elizabeth and David Wilson, along with Anna Jacoby-Heron and Zac Pullam as her siblings, Taylor and Grant Wilson. The first season focuses on Carter's return to the Wilson family and her adjustment within friendships and romances, while the second season explores the true motives behind Lori's abduction of Carter as well as focusing on Carter's struggle to belong and as the relationships between her, Taylor and their social group.
The first season, which consisted of 12 episodes, finished airing in September 2014. A month after its debut, MTV renewed Finding Carter for a second season of an additional 12 episodes, which was later extended to 24 episodes. The network later cancelled the series in January 2016.
The series follows Carter, a teenage girl who has a perfect life with her single mother Lori. After a prank lands Carter in jail, it is revealed that Lori abducted Carter as a child. Now, Carter returns to her biological family and she must navigate through her new life while (initially) vowing to be reunited with Lori. However, Carter's biological mom, Elizabeth, is determined to find Lori and punish the woman responsible for kidnapping her child thirteen years earlier. Meanwhile, Carter's father, David, is secretly writing the sequel to his hit book about Carter's initial disappearance. Along with being reunited with her biological parents, she meets her goody two-shoes twin sister, Taylor, and ignored younger brother, Grant.
- Kathryn Prescott as Carter Wilson (born Lyndon Wilson, previously Carter Stevens), who was kidnapped at age 3 and is reunited with her birth parents after being arrested. Carter is very rebellious, sneaky and fun-loving. At first she despises Elizabeth for taking her away from Lori, refusing to acknowledge her as her 'mother'. She pulls stunts and different schemes to purposely annoy Elizabeth. However, after realizing the truth of all matters, Carter comes to accept Elizabeth as her mother and learns to deal with her family's chaotic ways.
- Cynthia Watros as Elizabeth Wilson, Carter, Taylor, and Grant's mother and a detective with the Fairfax, VA police department. Elizabeth is very dedicated to finding common ground with Carter, sacrificing much time and resources (often at her family's expense). She was on the brink of divorce before reuniting with Carter, but ultimately decided she wanted her family together for once. She had slept with Kyle extensively before her family found out and forced her to come clean to David.
- Alexis Denisof as David Wilson, Carter, Taylor, and Grant's father and a writer. He is pressured by his agent to write the book 'Finding Carter'. He lies about the book at first, reassuring Carter he would not publish anything or begin writing without her permission. However, he had already completed the novel before even telling her the truth. He had an affair with Lori Stevens prior to Carter's abduction, revealing to Elizabeth that it was mostly his fault. David later takes a job as a professor at an academy.
- Anna Jacoby-Heron as Taylor Wilson, Carter's fraternal twin sister, and Max's off and on girlfriend. Taylor is extremely intelligent, thoughtful and caring. She often gives Carter advice, eventually resulting in the two becoming very close. She later becomes romantically involved with Max, Carter's ex. They break up when she can't get over Max for forgiving his former attacker.
- Zac Pullam as Grant Wilson, Carter and Taylor's younger brother. Grant sees himself as the "replacement child", describing this in a way that everyone simply looks over him. He rarely receives attention, making him very impressionable and skeptical. He has an online relationship with a girl he Skypes with regularly.
- Alex Saxon as Max Wagner (season 2; recurring, season 1), Taylor's boyfriend and Carter's best friend that she met while living with Lori. Max is compassionate and understanding, often the one his friends turn to for advice. He had a friends with benefits relationship with Carter before meeting Taylor, later becoming her boyfriend. He had a rather traumatic childhood, witnessing his mother being stabbed by his father when he was young. As a result of this, he does not let hatred build up inside of him; Max forgives Crash for almost taking his life because he wants to spare himself from any additional pain.
- Milena Govich as Lori Stevens, who kidnapped Lyndon when she was three and raised her as Carter Stevens. It is revealed in the first episode of season 2 that she was an egg donor for Elizabeth and David, and is Carter and Taylor's biological mother. She is delusional and deeply convinced that she has all parental rights to Carter and Taylor. Lori is deemed insane and sent to a mental institution, later becoming suicidal.
- Vanessa Morgan as Beatrix "Bird" Castro, Carter's best friend. In "Now You See Me" she reveals to Carter she was assaulted by a guy in a mask. Bird's parents are very well-off, and leave her for the most part to raise herself. After her parents skip town, their home is foreclosed on and she is forced to deal with the repercussions. She has a brief relationship with Madison before dating a guy named Seth. After he overdoses and dies, Bird finds out she is pregnant and ends up aborting the baby.
- Jesse Henderson as Gabe Medeiros, Carter's friend and Taylor's best friend/former crush. He is the son of Elizabeth's partner, Kyle. Gabe has a one-sided interest in Carter, which she refuses because she thinks Taylor likes him. He lost his mother to brain cancer at a young age; Gabe firmly believes his father loved Elizabeth.
- Jesse Carere as Ofe, Carter's friend and Taylor's former love interest. He was known for selling drugs that Crash supplies. He is crafty and quick-witted, considering himself a ladies' man by his own standards. He was Taylor's love interest, but decides to break up with Taylor in fear that she will break his heart. He leaves for a rehab program soon after.
- Caleb Ruminer as Cameron "Crash" Mason, an ex-juvenile delinquent who was a drug dealer. He is Carter's boyfriend. He was hated by Carter's family initially, giving the wrong impressions when he shot Max in season 1 and eventually ruining his relationship with her. When the two make up later on, and after becoming friends with Max, proving he is reformed, he gets into trouble with his Uncle Shay, causing him out of fear to leave town and enlist in the army.
- Eddie Matos as Kyle Medeiros, Gabe's father and Elizabeth's partner with whom she had an affair before and briefly after Carter was found. Kyle secretly hopes that Elizabeth will choose him over David and holds out hope almost relentlessly. In season 2, episode 11, he is shot by Crash's uncle, and dies from his injuries.
- Meredith Baxter as Grandma Joan, Elizabeth's mother and the kids' grandmother. She is a wealthy, respected woman around town. Joan disapproves of her daughter's decision to marry David for his uncertain career and financial instability.
- Robert Pine as Grandpa Buddy, Elizabeth's father, Joan's husband and the kids' grandfather. He is supportive of his daughter and caring when it comes to his grandchildren.
- Stephen Guarino as Toby, literary agent of the father.
- Molly Kunz as Madison, one of Carter's old "friends" from when she lived with Lori. She visited Carter after getting kicked out by her parents, who despise her for being a lesbian. Madison later tells Bird that she came because Lori sent her, feeling as if she was used to lure Carter away from the Wilsons'. She is Bird's love interest.
- Erin Chambers as Hillary, David's assistant and love interest. She is upset when she finds out David goes back to Elizabeth.
- Mason Dye as Damon
- Elizabeth Hunter as Reagan, Grant's internet friend and love interest.
- Ben Winchell as Benjamin Wallace, Lori and David's biological son. He is introduced in the midseason finale of Season 2.
- Madison McLaughlin as Olivia, Ben's foster sister who Carter initially thinks is his girlfriend. Lori helps her get into rehab.
- Jackson Rathbone as Jared, bartender and owner of bar who hired Carter as a waitress. He is introduced as of October 6, 2015.
Production and development
Finding Carter was written as a writing sample by Emily Silver, who then shopped it around to networks such as ABC Family and MTV. Shortly after, Terri Minsky was brought onto the project as an executive producer and the pilot went through a re-write. On September 12, 2013, MTV placed a pilot order. Scott Speer then signed on to direct the pilot.
On January 30, 2014, Finding Carter was given a 12-episode series order. Filming for Finding Carter takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, in Westlake High School's old facility. In April, it was announced that Jesse Henderson would play Gabe, the role in which Nolan Sotillo was previously cast.
On August 19, 2014, MTV renewed the show for a second season containing 12 episodes. On January 10, 2015, it was announced that Season 2 would premier on March 31, 2015. On May 18, 2015, it was announced that there would be a 12 episode extension to season 2 which premiered in October. The season finale of season 2 was on December 15, 2015. On January 29, 2016, MTV announced the show's cancellation because of a drop in viewers. Since the show's cancellation, petitions have been created online in efforts of trying to get the series renewed for a third season or for streaming services, such as Netflix, to pick up the show.
Casting announcements began in October 2013, with Cynthia Watros first cast in the role of Elizabeth Wilson, a police detective and Carter's biological mother. Shortly after, Kathryn Prescott, Anna Jacoby-Heron, Zac Pullam, and Jesse Henderson were cast in the series. Prescott signed onto the role of Carter Stevens, the confident and mischievous lead, who has a close relationship with the woman she thought was her mother; Jacoby-Heron was chosen for the role of Taylor Wilson, Carter's fraternal twin sister; Pullam was cast as Grant, Carter's somewhat-detached younger brother who was born after her disappearance; and Henderson joined in the role of Gabe, Taylor's close friend who immediately finds himself attracted to Carter. In early November, Alexis Denisof was cast as David Wilson, Carter's father, who found success as a novelist after writing a book about his daughter's disappearance. Milena Govich plays the role of Lori, the woman who abducted Carter when she was three.
Finding Carter has been met with positive reviews from critics. The first season received a 71 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating generally favorable reviews, based on 9 critic reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, season one holds a rating of 88%, based on 8 reviews, with an average rating 7.1/10.
In Australia, the series premiered on July 16, 2015, on FOX8. On November 26, 2015, MTV Portugal started broadcasting the show's first season. MTV Denmark started broadcasting both seasons on June 6, 2016. The second season began June 22, 2016. MTV UK began broadcasting the show's first season on June 21, 2016. In Germany Disney Channel started broadcasting the show.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 30, 2014). "MTV's Picks Up Coming-Of-Age Drama Pilot 'Finding Carter' To Series". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- "Finding Carter (Season 2) - Returns In October". MTV. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (January 29, 2016). "MTV's 'Finding Carter' Canceled After 2 Seasons". Variety. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
- "Video: MTV Debuts the Trailer for Its Highly Anticipated New Drama Series, 'Finding Carter'". The Futon Critic. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
'Finding Carter' stars Kathryn Prescott as 'Carter Stevens' ('Skins'), Cynthia Watros as 'Elizabeth Wilson' Elizabeth as experienced one of the worst thing's that could ever happen to a mother. Her daughter was kidnapped at age 3. She became a cop so she could find her daughter. In the process she had an affair with a fellow co-worker (Gabe's dad). About 12–13 years later she found her daughter. Elizabeth and her found daughter's, Carter/Lyndon, relationship starts out rocky due to the fact that Elizabeth would kill the kidnapper 'Lori' if she could. Elizabeth and Carter have a fun day causing a slow but great relationship between the two. Great Quotes: 'I joined the force to find my daughter and I found her' ('Lost'), Anna Jacoby-Heron as 'Taylor Wilson,' Alexis Denisof as 'David Wilson' ('Buffy the Vampire Slayer'/'Angel') and Zac Pullam as 'Grant.' The series also features Milena Govich as 'Lori,' Meredith Baxter as 'Grandma Joan' ('Family Ties'), Robert Pine as 'Grandpa Buddy'('CHiPs'), Eddie Matos as 'Kyle,' Alex Saxon ('The Fosters') as 'Max,' Jesse Henderson as 'Gabe' and Stephen Guarino as 'Toby.'
- "'Finding Carter' Sneak Peek: Season 2 Will Kick Off With All Kinds of Amazing". mtv.com. Matthew Scott Donnelly. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- Goldberg, Lesley (April 16, 2014). "MTV's 'Finding Carter' Adds Quartet to Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
The series, which stars Skins' Kathryn Prescott, has enlisted Jesse Henderson, Jesse Carere, Caleb Ruminer and Vanessa Morgan as recurring guest-stars, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. […] Henderson (Restless, The Gray Area) will play Gabe, a teenager who falls for wild-child Carter despite her sister and his longtime friend Taylor's harboring feelings for him.
- "Development Update: Thursday, September 12". The Futon Critic. September 12, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- "MTV 'Finding Carter' Casting Call For Teachers and Students in Atlanta". Project Casting. May 6, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
- Goldberg, Lesley (August 19, 2014). "MTV's 'Finding Carter' Renewed for Second Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- Donnelly, Matthew Scott (August 19, 2014). "The 'Journey' Continues: 'Finding Carter' Is Coming Back For Season 2". MTV. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- Abrams, Natalie (August 19, 2014). "MTV renews 'Finding Carter' for season 2". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- "Finding Carter". Facebook. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (October 22, 2013). "Cynthia Watros Joins MTV Pilot 'Finding Carter', Rex Lee & Jonathan Sadowski Cast In ABC Family's 'Young & Hungry'". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Goldberg, Lesley (October 23, 2013). "'Skins' Star Lands Lead Role in MTV's 'Finding Carter' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Goldberg, Lesley (November 5, 2013). "Alexis Denisof to Co-Star in MTV's 'Finding Carter' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "Finding Carter : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "Finding Carter: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- Knox, David (July 3, 2015). "Airdate: Finding Carter". TV Tonight. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- ""Finding Carter" chega à MTV Portugal". November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2015.