Television shows are unpredictable. These days, a show's longevity is contingent on factors ranging from ratings, to actor availability, to creator interest, and even social media engagement. Thus far, Pretty Little Liars has enjoyed four-and-a-half stellar seasons, but how long will the teen drama last? With the fourth season already wrapped and a fifth season already confirmed, Pretty Little Liars showrunner Marlene King says...
“At least five. I hope more,” Marlene tweeted back in June. (We're glad we're on the same page, Marlene!)
It’s hard to predict these sorts of things ahead of time, but with ratings for the ABC Family drama still consistently strong (let's not forget it's the most social series on TV), and given that Marlene — and the fans! — are clearly still devoted to the show, we have high hopes for keeping the Liars in our lives for many more seasons to come.
We’re also glad to see that Marlene is hesitant to say anything too committal about a sixth season. Arguably, the only thing worse than a beloved television show getting canceled is a beloved television show continuing on when it should have been canceled, limping past its narrative prime into self-loathing and humiliation. We’re not saying that will happen with PLL, but it’s really hard to predict a show’s ability to produce quality episodes almost two full seasons ahead of time.
Another important factor will be the interest of our four main actresses. Troian, Lucy, Shay, and Ashley are all young up-and-comers still working to define themselves as artists. After five seasons on one show, they may be ready to move on and try something different. We wouldn’t blame them, but we can’t imagine PLL without all four of our Liars present and accounted for.
How long do you want PLL to continue? Are there any deal breakers (like actors leaving) that would mean the end of the show for you? Sound off in the comments below!
Catch the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 winter premiere on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.