“Pretty Little Liars” is currently in the midst of its seventh season with the midseason finale airing tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8 p.m.). The second half of the season — which will mark the final 10 episodes of the show — premieres in April 2017. Freeform has planned a special two-hour series finale for the last episode.
Last year, Variety was first to report that the show would not return for an eighth season.
“Pretty Little Liars,” which premiered in 2010, is Freeform’s top show. It catapulted the then-ABC Family network into the social media stratosphere, becoming a pop culture phenomenon for teen audiences and beyond with over 14 million Facebook followers, 3.7 million Twitter followers and 5.8 million Instagram followers.
“Through brilliant storytelling, compelling characters and social media phenomena, ‘Pretty Little Liars’ paved the way for television shows, writers and cast to interact and engage with audiences on a national and global scale like never before, which led the series to unparalleled success,“ said Karey Burke, Freeform’s executive vice president of programming and development.
King commented: “It’s been an honor to work with such a talented cast and crew over the last seven years. We are a family, and it will be hard to say goodbye to a show that has made such an impact on young audiences and been a mouthpiece for cultural change. I’m excited for fans to finally have all of their questions answered, and I believe they will be satisfied with the wild ride that is our last ten episodes. I am also thrilled to embark on my next endeavor ‘Famous In Love’ with Bella Thorne and for ‘PLL’ fans to get wrapped up in Paige’s rise to stardom and the pitfalls of Hollywood.”
Insiders say that the network and studio would have liked to continue with more seasons of “Pretty Little Liars,” if King and the cast had signed back on, but ultimately, the story had run its course and the cast, whose contracts were up at the end of Season 7, is now free to explore more projects.
Buzz of the series ending before an eighth season has long been discussed by cast members in various interviews, though the actors and producers had also previously teased another season or a possible movie. Last year, Variety reported that the show would come to a close after Season 7, following an interview with King, though she later clarified her comments.
The teen thriller, which is based on Sara Shepard’s books of the same name, revolves around the five-some (played by Bellisario, Benson, Hale, Mitchell and Pieterse), better known as the Liars, who have been tormented by a mysterious villain “A,” since the show began. When “PLL” comes to a close after its upcoming spring season, the real “A” will finally be revealed, after other sub-“A” figures have come to the forefront throughout the past six-and-a-half seasons.
In 2013, “Pretty Little Liars” spawned a spinoff, “Ravenswood,” though the drama was cancelled after one season. The short-lived series starred “Pretty Little Liars'” Tyler Blackburn, who returned to the flagship show and is a series regular, alongside the “PLL” men Keegan Allen and Ian Harding, both of whom have also been on the show since its first season. Janel Parrish, Laura Leighton, Chad Lowe, Holly Marie Combs and Andrea Parker also star.
While King will stay in the Freeform family with her upcoming series “Famous In Love,” the “PLL” stars are branching off into new territory. Mitchell, who had a role in in ensemble romantic comedy “Mother’s Day,” recently landed her first feature film role in the horror flick “Cadaver;” Hale recently signed with ICM to steer the next iteration of her career; and Bellisario is starring in the indie flick “Sister Cities,” which will soon debut on Lifetime. During the show’s run, much of the cast had various outside projects — Benson starred in the James Franco film “Spring Breakers” and Adam Sandler’s “Pixels;” Hale signed with Hollywood Records and released a country album; and Parrish competed on “Dancing With the Stars.”
“Famous In Love” will debut after the spring premiere of “Pretty Little Liars” in April 2017. Watch the first trailer here.