The network’s top scripted drama is getting an early pickup ahead of its season-five return.
In a huge vote of confidence, ABC Family has renewed its top drama series, Pretty Little Liars, for sixth and seventh seasons ahead of its June 10 season-five premiere, The Hollywood insight has learned.
Season six will debut in mid-2015, while the seventh will kick off in mid-2016. Details on episode counts were not disclosed, though Pretty Little Liars seasons have often hovered around 22-25 episodes, including holiday-themed hours. (This season, the series will air its first Christmas episode.)
“Pretty Little Liars has taken its place in the zeitgeist and reigns supreme in pop culture,” said Tom Ascheim, ABC Family president. “I am glad to bring another two seasons to our audience, because ‘A’ has a lot in store for our Liars.”
Pretty Little Liars, from Warner Horizon Television, remains ABC Family’s highest-rated series in its history across key demographics including adults 18-34 (1.5 million viewers on average), adults 18-49 (2 million), women 18-49 (1.7 million) and women 18-34 (1.3 million) as well as total viewers (3.8 million).
Since its debut in 2010, Liars has developed a monster following on social media, with Nielsen naming it one of the most-tweeted-about series in the last year. In fact, it has seven of the top 15 most-tweeted-about episodes to date, generating an average 675,000 tweets per episode during its most recent season. It’s also ABC Family’s second series to reach the 100-episode milestone, joining The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
The series’ popularity drove ABC Family to give a straight-to-series order to spinoff Ravenswood early last year in an attempt to expand the property into a full-fledged franchise. However, Ravenswood, which starred favorite Tyler Blackburn, was never a ratings performer and was canceled after only 10 episodes.
It has yet to be determined whether the seventh will be Pretty Little Liars’ final season. When asked about an end date for the series, executive producer Marlene King was diplomatic in her outlook.
“It’s very important for me that this show ends when it should end and not go on beyond,” King told The Hollywood Reporter in late May. “I don’t want to beat a dead horse. I don’t want to linger. We’ve got a story we know we want to tell. When it feels like we don’t want to tell that story anymore, it’s time for it to end.”
Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Ian Harding, Laura Leighton, Shay Mitchell, Janel Parrish, Blackburn and Sasha Pieterse star in the series, which is executive produced by King, Oliver Goldstick, Leslie Morgenstein and Joseph Dougherty.