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Molly Ringwald appears in an scene from the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager in 2012. - Provided courtesy of ABC Family

'Secret Life of the American Teenager' canceled, to end after season 5

Get more: TV
10/09/2012 by Corinne Heller

ABC Family has canceled its popular drama series "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and the show is set to end after the current fifth season.

A network spokesperson confirmed the news to OTRC.com on Tuesday. The program is currently on hiatus. A holiday special is set to air on November 19, after which the show will go on another break. The remaining 12 season 5 episodes will air starting in March 2013.

Ratings for "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" have fallen since its debut season in 2008, when it was averaging about 3.5 million viewers. Episodes from the current fifth season have not topped 1.7 million. The show still maintains a loyal fanbase and with more than 83,000 Twitter followers.

"The Secret Life of the American Teenager" stars "Breakfast Club" actress Molly Ringwald as family matriarch Anne Juergens. Shailene Woodley, who starred with George Clooney in last year's Oscar-winning movie "The Descendants," plays Juergen's daughter, Amy.

The show also stars Ken Baumann, Mark Derwin, India Eisley, Greg Finley, Daren Kagasoff, Megan Park and Francia Raisa.

"The Secret Life of the American Teenager" has evolved through the years. Spoiler alert!

It had at first focused on her pregnant teenage daughter, Amy, played by Shailene Woodley. Starting from the end of season 4, whose episodes aired around June, the series has showcased a different teenage pregnancy - Amy's roommate's, while Ringwald's character comes out of the closet, which opens up new plotlines involving homophobia and homosexual curiosity involving female characters.

Same-sex relationships have also been tackled in other offerings from ABC Family - such as "Pretty Little Liars," which has been averaging about 2.48 million viewers in its current third season, which returns from hiatus on October 23 for a special Halloween episode before it takes its own winter break. The show resumes officially in January and has been renewed for a fourth season.

Jennifer Lopez is also producing a new ABC Family pilot about a lesbian and mixed race couple raising a family.

The network announced in a statement on September 24 that the project, "The Fosters," showcases the pair's struggle taking in a troubled teenage daughter with an abusive past. Teri Polo of the movie "Meet The Parents" will play Stef, a "tough but kind police officer," while Sherri Saum of the show "In Treatment" will play her partner, Lena, who is described as an "altruistic school principal.

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