ABC Family whipped up some intrigue on Tuesday night, as the premiere of its newest original series Pretty Little Liars drew 2.47 million viewers at 8 p.m.
Designed to appeal to a more hip female crowd, Pretty Little Liars put up encouraging numbers, drawing 1.1 million adults 18-49 and 854,000 women 18-49, making it the second-most-watched series premiere among those demos in ABC Family history. (The July 2008 debut of The Secret Life of the American Teenager drew 1.2 million viewers 18-49, per Nielsen ratings data.)
Younger viewers also took a shine to the show, as ABC Family set a personal best with 1.74 million viewers 12-34 and 1.51 million females 12-34.
Based on a series of popular young-adult novels, Pretty Little Liars follows a clique of high school girls who contend with the stuff that teen angst is made of: boys, shoplifting and, um, murder. A stylish mash-up of themes explored in films such as Heathers and Mean Girls, the show is at once spooky and steamy, but chaste enough for its 8 p.m. time slot. It’s like Gossip Girl with a curfew.
It’s been a big week for ABC Family, which on Monday night bowed the third season of Secret Life to huge numbers. The 8 p.m. June 7 premiere served up 3.2 million total viewers, of which more than half (1.7 million) were members of the 18-49 demo. Also well represented were viewers 12-34 (2.3 million) and the key female demos (women 18-49: 1.3 million; females 12-34: 1.8 million).
When compared to the season two finale, Secret Life improved by around 20 percent in the major demos.
ABC Family closed out the first quarter of 2010 ranked No. 9 among all ad-supported cable nets, averaging 1.49 million total viewers in prime, a gain of 5 percent from the year-ago period. Deliveries of women 18-49 were flat in Q1, as the net held onto fifth place in the demo with 423,000 viewers. Adults 18-49 were off a few ticks to 649,000.
Last year, ABC Family took in $315.6 million in net ad sales revenue, an increase of 1 percent from 2008 per SNL Kagan estimates.