You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Juergens brings ABC Family to forefront

Women's Impact Report 2011: Kate Juergens

ABC Family just completed its most-viewed summer ever, with an average of nearly 1.5 million tuning into the network’s primetime offerings, and records set across all of its key young female demographics.

That’s no accident.

When Kate Juergens, executive VP of original series and development, joined the network in 2004, it was surviving on repeats of shows off of the WB: “Gilmore Girls,” “Smallville” and “7th Heaven.” Juergens was tasked with taking the network into original series.

Juergens dove headfirst into the research, and discovered that Millennials — kids who came of age around the turn of the century — have different values than the Gen X and Yers who came before them.

“Millennials embrace their families,” says Juergens. “They don’t see themselves as separate. Their parents are their best friends and they fully expect that to be true for the rest of their lives.”

ABC Family gained a little traction with its first original series, “Wildfire.” But it really got the ball rolling in July 2006 with “Kyle XY,” at the time the network’s best-ever premiere. “Kyle XY” reigned supreme until July 2008, when it was eclipsed by “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” which bowed to nearly 3 million viewers. That show’s first season finale beat the CW’s “Gossip Girl” with nearly double the viewers at 4.5 million.

Since then, the network’s been on a constant roll. In summer 2009, it launched “Greek,” followed by last summer’s “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Melissa and Joey,” and this summer’s “Switched at Birth,” “The Nine Lives of Chloe King” and “The Lying Game.” By summer’s end, “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Switched at Birth” were basic cable’s top-three scripted series among the network’s key demos of women 18-34 and females 12-34.

Juergens says her former boss, Paul Lee, who’s now ABC’s president of entertainment, always told her it took five years to establish a brand.

“He was right,” she says. “We started in 2004. Five years later, when we really started to feel comfortable with what we were doing and we really understood it, everything started to hit.”

Title: Exec VP, original series & development, ABC Family
Role model: Coco Chanel
Career mantra: “Play to your strengths!”
Leisure pursuits: “Traveling to new and unusual places. Hiking any of the many amazing L.A. trails. Yoga to clear my mind, and meals with friends of course!”
Philanthropic passions: The L.A. River restoration, Marine Conservancy.

More TV

  • Karen Cogan’s 'Fled' Tops The Brit

    Karen Cogan’s 'Fled' Tops The Brit List, a League Table of Unproduced British TV Scripts

    Karen Cogan’s “Fled” has come top of The Brit List, a league table of unproduced scripts from British writing talent, this year devoted to television projects. The list, similar to The Black List in the U.S., was compiled from recommendations by British production companies, talent agencies, financiers and broadcasters. Cogan, represented by Independent Talent Group, [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets HR and Inclusion Chiefs

    ViacomCBS has named corporate heads of HR and inclusion as the companies prepare for the merger that is set to close early next month. The soon-to-combine Viacom and CBS have tapped Nielsen alum Nancy Phillips to serve as exec VP and chief people officer. Viacom alum Marva Smalls will serve as global head of inclusion, [...]

  • Cedric the Entertainer

    Cedric the Entertainer to Produce Multi-Cam Comedy in Development at CBS

    “The Neighborhood” star Cedric the Entertainer is set to executive produce an untitled multi-camera project in the works at CBS, Variety has learned. The series follows two young women who, after repeatedly being turned down by investors, hatch an outrageous plan to raise capital for their new sports app. According to sources, the project had been [...]

  • HBO Max logo

    HBO Max Developing CIA Interns Comedy 'Classified' (EXCLUSIVE)

    There are plenty of tough places to be an intern, but the CIA must be near the top of the list. HBO Max is developing a comedy series which tackles just how hard that might be, Variety has learned exclusively. The forthcoming WarnerMedia streamer, which is set to launch May 2020, has set a script development [...]

  • Sony Pictures Studio Culver City

    Sony Pictures Entertainment Buys AT&T's Stake in Game Show Network

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has bought out AT&T’s minority interest in Game Show Network for about $500 million. The deal makes Sony the sole owner of GSN. AT&T had owned 42% of the company, which the telco giant inherited with its purchase of DirecTV in 2015. AT&T has been on a mission this year to pay [...]


    The First BravoCon Provides an Outlet for Obsession (Column)

    Were you one of the thousands flipping tables for not managing to snatch up tickets to the first ever BravoCon? Did you find yourself refreshing your Twitter and Instagram feeds incessantly for updates on who said what to whom and where over the weekend? Are you wondering if you should try harder to get in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content