You're only a teenager for seven years of your life; ages thirteen through nineteen are those notorious years where you change perspectives faster than the cuts in a Tarantino film. For ABC Family, five years of teenagehood is plenty.
'The Secret Life of the American Teenager' will come to an end after its fifth season, as ABC Family has opted not to renew the hit series for a follow-up sixth. Series star Shailene Woodley recently appeared in the Academy Award winning film 'The Descendants' and seems primed to pursue a feature film career, with 'Secret Life' heading to the rearview mirror.
In March 2013, the final season of 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager' will begin, the first of a twelve-episode order. The series has been not only a commercial success but was a hit with critics as well, as the series focused on more serious and relevant issues than the standard family television fare.
One area where the series garnered critical and media praise was the decision to cast Luke Zimmerman, an American actor with Down Syndrome, in the role of Tom Bowman, the adopted older brother of Grace. 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager' has been praised not only for including a character with Down Syndrome but for addressing the specific challenges Tom could conceivably face as a high-functioning man who refuses to let his condition hold him back.
First airing in 2008, 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager' has been rapidly approaching the life of the American Twentysomething, as the ages of the series' main stars range from early-twenties to late-twenties today in 2012. Making an immediate splash in 2008 for addressing teenage pregnancy and deftly carrying an impressive ratings audience for each season to follow, it is a safe bet that the cancellation of 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager' is a creative decision rather than a financial one.
The ABC Family series returns in March 2013.