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ABC Family Plans For Busy Summer

6/22/2011 11:01 AM Eastern

ABC Family this summer will launch
a record number of scripted new and returning series
that it hopes will capture the fancy of its target millennial
audience.

The network jumped out to a strong ratings start
with the June 6 premiere of Switched at Birth, which
chronicles the lives of two teens who discover they
were accidentally given to the wrong parents at
birth. The series drew a network-record 3.3 million
viewers in its debut episode, besting the July 2008
debut of The Secret Life of the American Teenager,
which generated 2.8 million viewers, according to
the network.

ABC Family executive vice president of original
programming and development Kate Juergens said
that she was “gratified” to see audiences gravitate to
Switched and hopes the performance will extend to
its other upcoming series.

“It would be phenomenal to get a number like
Switched generated, but I think we have a different set
of expectations for each launch,” she said. “As long as
we get some attention for the rest of the shows is great.”

The network’s launches last Tuesday of sophomore
mystery series Pretty Little Liars and new sci-fi series
The Nine Lives of Chloe King garnered strong attention
from viewers, averaging 3.7 million and 2.2 million
total viewers respectively, according to network
officials.

For Liars, it’s the second most-watched episode in
the show’s history, said the network.

Later this month the network will debut the sophomore
season of comedy series Joey & Melissa as well
as the series premiere of The Great State of Georgia
starring Raven-Symoné and Loretta Devine.

In August, the network will premiere a new drama
series The Lying Game, about twins whose decision
to temporarily switch families leads to unintended
consequences.

The new and returning series will allow the network
for the first time to program three consecutive
nights of original content. And the summer series
lineup — along with new original movies Cyberbully
and Teen Spirit — could potentially yield ABC Family’s
summer ratings performance, Juergens said. “We
have more original programming that we’ve ever had,
so I have my fingers crossed.”

September