March 26, 2013 1:02pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Series Announced, Debuting in October
ABC Family is expanding the world of Pretty Little Liars with a spinoff. Ravenswood, from Pretty Little Liars executive producer Marlene King, will premiere in October.
Also on Tuesday, ABC Family greenlighted a fifth season of Pretty Little Liars just days after production on the fourth season began.
Ravenswood centers on a town not far from Rosewood, Penn., which has suffered under a deadly curse for generations. Five strangers find themselves connected by this fatal curse and need to dig into the town's mysterious and terrible history before it's too late for all of them. The series will premiere after this year's Pretty Little Liars Halloween episode.
King, Oliver Goldstick, Joseph Dougherty and Leslie Morgenstein are executive producing Ravenswood.
The news comes after the March 19 season-three finale of Pretty Little Liars dominated social media and averaged nearly 3 million viewers for the premiere telecast. The season closer was the first time a TV series amassed more than 1 million tweets during its broadcast, accounting for one-third of Twitter activity.
“Pretty Little Liars is brand-defining and demo-defining for ABC Family,” channel president Michael Riley said. "We are proud to be able to grow the PLL franchise in two ways -- both by adding additional seasons of the original and by extending the storytelling into a spinoff. Ravenswood will become another ‘must-tweet TV’ series for us."
Said Kate Juergens, ABC Family's executive vp original programming and development: “Pretty Little Liars has maintained the No. 1 spot in its cable time period in all core women demos since its premiere in 2010 with fans who are passionate, loyal, social and mobile. Ravenswood will have plenty of mystery, drama, friendships and suspense that will inspire the same dedication from its fans. We are very excited about both series."
Pretty Little Liars has proved to be an invaluable property for ABC Family. Based on the Sara Shepard novels, the drama has served as a launchpad for new network series like The Lying Game and sneak peek of upcoming murder mystery Twisted, which will lead out of Pretty Little Liars in the summer.
On the new season of Pretty Little Liars, the Liars strive to make sense of the mysterious Red Coat and what plans he or she might have in store for them.
Pretty Little Liars is the latest property eyed for expansion in the past few months: The CW is mulling a potential The Vampire Diaries spinoff with The Originals, and NCIS: LA is looking to add NCIS: Red to its growing franchise.
Pretty Little Liars returns for season four at 8 p.m. June 11 on ABC Family.