ABC Family to Expand Original Programming

8:53 AM PST 03/07/2011 by Lacey Rose
Danny Field/ABC

On the heels of its success with shows like "Pretty Little Liars," the cable network also plans to launch series year-round.

On the heels of ABC Family’s success with shows like Pretty Little Liars and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, the cable network will add a third night of original programming.

The younger-skewing channel, which Michael Riley took the reigns of after his predecessor Paul Lee left last summer to become entertainment chief at ABC, has reason to be bullish. In 2010, ABC Family drew 580,000 viewers in the 12 to 34-year-old demo, up nearly 50 percent from five years earlier.

Looking to lure still more young adult viewers, the Walt Disney-owned cable network announced Monday that it will also begin rolling out new series throughout the year, rather than rely almost exclusively on the month of June as its launch pad.

“As we continue to build out a longer term strategy for ABC Family, the addition of four new original series to our summer slate in combination with our returning original hit shows will create a powerful programming block that offers our Millennial viewers the quality storytelling they have come to expect from the network,” said Riley, a former Radio Disney executive, in a statement.

ABC Family's three new scripted dramas include Switched at Birth (about two teen girls who find out they were mixed up as newborns), The Lying Game (a mystery centering on twin sisters) and The Nine Lives of Chloe King, adapted from the Celia Thomson novel of the same name (about a girl with special powers who is being hunted by an assassin).

A fourth, a multi-camera comedy called The Great State of Georgia, will star Raven Symoné (That’s So Raven, The Cosby Show) as an aspiring actress with a larger-than-life personality. The hour-hour show will join returning series Melissa & Joey on the schedule, forming a Wednesday night comedy block a la its sister network ABC.

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