The longest-running original show on ABC Family is about to come to an end. The network has announced that its hit drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager
will come to an end after the current fifth season.
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The show, currently in the middle of season 5, will air a special Christmas episode on November 19, then return for its final 12 episodes in March.Secret Life
began on July 1, 2008 and helped establish ABC Family as a strong network for original programming. It hit a ratings high with the season 2 premiere, earning 4.7 million viewers, though the latest season has averaged 1.5 million.
The show's success helped ABC Family become a destination for solid young adult programming, with shows like Pretty Little Liars
and Switched at Birth
following its lead.The Secret Life of the American Teenager
centers on Amy Juergens (Golden Globe nominee Shailene Woodley), a teenager who became pregnant and had a baby in high school. It was created by 7th Heaven
mastermind Brenda Hampton.
One of the chief joys of watching this ridiculous series has been seeing its impressive guest cast, many of whom are known for far less family-friendly roles. One of the stars is Steve Schirripa from The Sopranos
while several of his co-stars from the HBO mob drama also stopped by (most notably Emmy winner Michael Imperioli and Dominic Chianese). Other guest stars included True Blood
's Kristin Bauer van Straten and Oz
's Ernie Hudson.The Secret Life of the American Teenager
will be sorely missed by its fans and by those of us like myself who watched it solely to see how outrageously bad it got. Here's just a few of the ridiculous things the show has given us over the years:
-A character being fatally beaten by a pimp
-A former Internet prostitute played by Jennifer Coolidge teaming up with a kid with Down Syndrome to catch said pimp
-The Sausage King marrying the Internet Prostitute in a fairy-tale wedding
-An entire episode about female masturbation which the show referred to as "Just Say Me"
-Several episodes talking about how the Fourth of July is a gay holiday
-A cameo by Bristol Palin
-Molly Ringwald's middle-aged mom announcing she's a lesbian
-A character believing her father died in a plane crash because she had sex with her boyfriend
I will remember all of those ridiculous moments and many more that the absurdity of The Secret Life of the American Teenager
has brought into my life. Be sure to check out the final season when the series returns in March.(Image courtesy of ABC Family)