No Pregnant Pauses for TV Writers

by | July 2, 2009 at 10:46 AM | TV News, Watch This Way


Forget cougars, knocked-up teens are what’s hot with TV writers right now, as this subgenre enters its third trimester of oversaturation.

With ABC Family’s ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager‘ already an established hit in its recently started second season, MTV on Wednesday announced that reality series ‘16 and Pregnant‘ will be around for more than a full first-season term.

Watch clips of ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ here

Following teen moms through pregnancy and their adjustment to motherhood, the series drew 1.6 million viewers to struggling MTV upon its June 11 premiere and has been renewed for a second season after running only three episodes.

Watch the first episode of ’16 and Pregnant’ here

Meanwhile, CW officials are outwardly excited about ‘Life UneXpected,’ which network entertainment president Dawn Ostroff describes as a “‘Juno meets the ‘Gilmore Girls.’”

‘UneXpected’ (formerly ‘Parental Discretion’) stars Brittany Roberston (‘Swingtown’) as a 15-year-old who … well, you know, is coping with early parenthood.

Such a series makes sense, Ostroff said at a recent TV business panel at the Paley Center in Los Angeles, given that the CW’s target audience of women 18-34 is collectively into the topic right now.

Given that ABC Family and MTV also go after the same viewers, getting knocked up seems to make sense for them, too.

“There’s been a shift in (public) attitude,” said Ostroff, noting that TV networks can now more safely address the topic of teen pregnancy, which was long a taboo subject for the tube, but one that also apparently has a lot of pent-up viewer demand.

One need only look at the media attention devoted recently to Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin, as well as ‘Juno’s’ box-office receipts 18 months back, to see what I mean.

In fact, to Ostroff’s mind, ‘Life UneXpected’ is simply her version of modern family television.

“The term family takes on so many meanings,” she said. “There is no clear definition of what it is right now.”

Related Story: Molly Ringwald, who plays a grandma on ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager,’ talks about her own real-life pregnancy–with twins!–in Fancast’s exclusive interview with the ’80s film sweetheart.