Update, Wednesday, Dec. 23: After this story was published, Marlene King took to Twitter to address her comments from the interview included below. Originally asked by Variety if the five-year time jump gives the series more legs to continue and how long she’d like for the show to go on (as seen below), King answered “at the end of Season 7.” However, she explained on Twitter that she was referring to a specific storyline coming to an end — not the series — by posting, “This Uber A story that starts on January 12 will end when season 7 ends. I did not say PLL will end. Just sayin 4 real.” As stated in the original story, ABC Family confirms no decisions have been made for plans past Season 7.
Original Story, Tuesday, Dec. 22:
“Pretty Little Liars” returns with the second half of its sixth season after the new year, but how much longer will the hit ABC Family show go on?
Landing a double renewal for Season 6 and Season 7 back in summer 2014, a seventh season is a sure thing. But series creator Marlene King and cast members have long teased that the seventh round could be the final installment — however, the showrunner has also teased a longer future for “PLL,” telling many outlets including Variety that there is room for discussion, regarding an eighth season and beyond.
This summer, King spoke to Variety at the Television Critics Assn. press tour, speaking of more seasons and even the long-running rumors of a follow-up movie being very possible: “I think we’ll let the fans tell us what they want. We’re open to that…I’m all for it. Yes, we’re in.”
Now, with a revamped storyline on the horizon — the new episodes kick off the a five-year time jump, resulting in a more mature “Pretty Little Liars” world — King says she would like for Season 7 to be the last.
“I think that this story when we’re back will end next year at the at end of Season 7,” King told Variety this week when asked if the time jump gives the series more legs to continue. Then asked, “So you definitely want it to end at the end of Season 7, and don’t want it to go beyond that?” King replied: “Correct.”
Despite King’s statement, ABC Family has not announced any formal plans for Season 7 to be the last, and has not made any decisions beyond that.
However, whenever the final day of “Pretty Little Liars” does come, it appears King will still be in business with ABC Family. The hitmaker just wrapped production on a pilot for the young-skewing cabler, titled “Famous in Love,” which stars Bella Thorne. Insiders tell Variety the project is looking toward a series pickup, and King says the pilot is in good shape.
“We just wrapped shooting. It’s amazing. We had such a good time,” she said. “95% of our crew was the ‘Pretty Little Liars’ crew so it felt like a big family. I love the whole cast. They’re all just so sweet and charming and nice and talented. We just had a lot of fun, and I think you’ll see on the screen that it was so much fun. Bella is so lovely and such a hard worker and she’s very talented. It’s exciting.”
“Pretty Little Liars” Season 6B returns Jan. 12, the day ABC Family becomes Freeform.