12:03pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
It's Official: 'Pretty Little Liars' to End With Season 7
It's official: Freeform's Pretty Little Liars will end with its seventh season.
The news was delivered Monday via a Facebook Live announcement from showrunner I. Marlene King and stars including Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse.
The announcement comes as Pretty Little Liars is heading into its midseason finale on Tuesday. The second half of the seventh and final season — consisting of 10 episodes — will return in April, with the Disney-owned cable network using the drama to launch King's forthcoming Bella Thorne drama Famous in Love.
Special PLL AnnouncementPosted by Pretty Little Liars on Monday, August 29, 2016
The news that Pretty Little Liars is coming to an end arrives with little surprise as multiple castmembers have eluded to the soapy drama's upcoming conclusion. King herself has touted season seven as "the beginning of the end." The series has spent the past few weeks announcing a long list of stars set to return in the second half of season seven, setting the stage for what Freeform bills as a season of "homecomings and reunions" that is poised to also feature a wedding. The series finale will naturally be supersized and air over two hours.
"Through brilliant storytelling, compelling characters and social media phenomena, Pretty Little Liars paved the way for television shows, writers and cast to interact and engage with audiences on a national and global scale like never before, which led the series to unparalleled success," said Freeform exec vp programming and development Karey Burke.
Since its launch in 2010, Pretty Little Liars has become a social media phenomenon. The drama counts more than 14 million Facebook fans and another 10 million between Twitter and Instagram. The series holds the six most-tweeted scripted telecasts in TV history, Freeform says, with the cast collecting an impressive 36 Teen Choice Awards and four People's Choice Awards.
"It’s been an honor to work with such a talented cast and crew over the last seven years. We are a family, and it will be hard to say goodbye to a show that has made such an impact on young audiences and been a mouthpiece for cultural change. I’m excited for fans to finally have all of their questions answered, and I believe they will be satisfied with the wild ride that is our last ten episodes,” said King. “I am also thrilled to embark on my next endeavor Famous in Love with Bella Thorne and for PLL fans to get wrapped up in Paige’s rise to stardom and the pitfalls of Hollywood."
PLL, produced by Alloy Entertainment and Warner Horizon Television, is executive produced by King, Charlie Craig, Joseph Dougherty, Oliver Goldstick and Leslie Morgenstein.
For Freeform, the pending conclusion of Pretty Little Liars comes after the cable network formerly known as ABC Family has undergone a rebranding to focus on what president Tom Ascheim calls "becomers." The network used PLL to launch the rebranding in January with a focus on viewers ages 14 to 34 — or "becomers," the group reflecting what the executive noted are experiencing "firsts" like car, job and heartbreak. The cabler's roster of programming includes Baby Daddy (which will now be Freeform's longest-tenured series at five seasons), Switched at Birth (which will also end its run in 2017), The Fosters, Stitchers, Shadowhunters, Guilt, Dead of Summer, Young & Hungry, Cloak and Dagger and Nicki.