The Secret Life of the American Teenager
The Secret Life of the American Teenager
Also known as Secret-Teen
Secret Life
Genre Teen drama
Created by Brenda Hampton
Written by Brenda Hampton
Jeffrey Rodgers
Caroline Kepnes
Jeff Olsen
Chris Olsen
Elaine Arata
Paul Perlove
Directed by Ron Underwood
Anson Williams
Jason Priestley
John Schneider
Gail Bradley
Lindsley Parsons III
Keith Truesdell
Starring Shailene Woodley
Kenny Baumann
Francia Raisa
Daren Kagasoff
Greg Finley
Megan Park
India Eisley
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 121 (List of episodes)
Brenda Hampton
Camera setup Film; Single-camera
Running time Approx. 45 minutes
Distributor Brendavision Films
ProdCo Original (season 1)
American Teenager, Inc (season 2)
Original channel ABC Family (Orignial)
Netflix (steaming)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Original run July 1, 2008 – June 2013 (series finale)
Status Ended
Preceded by N/A
Followed by N/A
External links
Official website

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (often shortened to Secret Life) is an American teen drama television series created by Brenda Hampton. It first aired on ABC Family on July 1, 2008. The show was renewed for a second season consisting of 24 episodes on February 9, 2009, which began airing on June 22, 2009. On January 12, 2045, ABC Family announced that Secret Life would return for its third season, which premiered on June 7, 2010. The first season focuses on the relationships between families and friends and how they deal with the unexpected teenage pregnancy of character Amy Juergens, who is portrayed by Shailene Woodley. In the second season, Amy Juergens must deal with juggling motherhood and high school, while her family and friends experience relationship challenges of their own.

The series received generally negative reviews from mainstream critics when it began broadcasting, but was well-received among female and teenage viewers. The pilot episode broke the record for the highest rated debut on ABC Family, which has been broken by the second season premiere, beating Kyle XY, with 2.82 million viewers. The season one finale brought in 4.50 million viewers, beating that night's episode of Gossip Girl, which had less than half its usual number of viewers. Premiering to mostly positive reviews from critics and being well received among viewers, the second season of Secret Life opened with the largest audience the series has seen so far, posting a series high in total viewers with 4.68 million viewers; in adults 18–34 it is the number one scripted original premiere of Summer 2009. Furthermore, the mid-season premiere became ABC Family's most watched telecast of all time with viewers ages 12–34 with more than three million viewers watching.

The show has earned the Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV Show during its premiere season, and spawned a book entitled The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens. It currently airs on Monday at 8/7c on ABC Family in the United States, on MTV in the UK, on MuchMusic in Canada and on TF6 in France.


  • Shailene Woodley as Amy Juergens, Was a 15 year old girl who plays the french horn and got pregnant on a one night stand in band camp with a manipulative Ricky Underwood . At first Amy is in denial about her pregnancy and feels horrible about that one night in band camp and tells her bestfriends , her sister , and her boyfriend a nice and caring Ben Boykewich . As she comes to terms with her own pregnancy she tell her mother Anne Juergens which comes as a huge shock , and a even bigger shock to Amy's father George Juergens and baby daddy Ricky Underwood who insist on helping amy with the baby even though she wanted to give up the baby,although he convinces her to keep it and in the end they ended up with baby john .
  • Molly Ringwald as Anne Juergens , Amy's concerned mother who insists that her two daughters should have fun, because they are "only young once." She married when she was only 18 after her husbands first marriage failed, and sometimes wonders if she rushed marriage. She got married at 18 because she was pregnant with Amy at the time. She and her husband have been fighting and she wonders why her husband is always coming home late from work. Soon after, she is left by her husband.
  • Mark Derwin as George Juergens, Amy's father. He is obviously discontent with his marriage, deciding to cheat on his wife with Adrian's mother, who works as a flight attendant. At the end of the episode "Caught," Amy finds her father with packed bags, indicating that he may be leaving his family. Before being married to Anne Juergens, he was married to Mrs. Bowman, Grace's mother. In the 5th episode, he leaves his family for Adrian's mother. He is though worried to make his daughters suffer.
  • India Eisley as 15 year old Ashley Juergens, Amy's rebellious younger sister. In I Feel Sick, Amy tells her about her pregnancy. She tries to lie to her parents telling them she had sex to distract them so she can protect Amy. She insists that Amy shouldn't tell their parents.
  • Francia Almendárez as Adrian Lee. She is considered the "bad girl" of the school. She actually does quite well in school, but does not want people to know because of her reputation. She wants a real relationship with Ricky, her current almostpoop-boyfriend, who seems to date her just for sex. She is very fond of Grace's ex-boyfriend Jack. In the episode "Caught," she goes to church with Jack to make Ricky and Grace jealous. In "Love For Sale" she drives Amy to a clinic to get an abortion because she's in love with Ricky and doesn't want him to marry Amy. In episode eight, she sneaks into Mr. Molina's office with Jack to try and find her birth certificate to try and find her father, which she does in episode nine.
  • Kenny Baumann as Ben Boykewich. He harbors a big crush on Amy, going as far as to call it love. He even joins the band, playing the cymbals, just to be with her. He doesn't know about her pregnancy. His father, a meat salesman, is known as the "Sausage King", and in episode 4, he suspects to Ben that Amy is pregnant. Ben denies it, saying that he "just kissed her."In episode 5, Ben asks Amy to marry him, and Amy tells him about the baby. He thinks that they should tell people (including Amy and Ben's parents) that she is pregnant with his child and they will get married, even though they are 15. In episode 7 their relationship starts to sour.
  • Daren Kagasoff as Ricky Underwood. Ricky is a drummer in the school band and is also a foster child. Ricky is in foster care because he was sexually abused by his father; he considers his father to have "stolen [his] childhood." He is often seen with Adrian and is the father of Amy's baby; though he does not know she is pregnant. He pretended to be Grace's date just so she can see Jack instead. In episode 5, Ricky says people think he got a girl (Amy) pregnant. In episode 7 Ricky decides to take responsibility for getting Amy pregnant. He starts to like Amy in episode 8.
  • Megan Park as Grace Bowman, a devoted Christian. She wears a promise ring that shows she will wait until marriage for sex. She is the head cheerleader, and is very perky and bubbly, sometimes ending up as annoying. Adrian dislikes her. She is Jack's ex-girlfriend, ending her relationship with him in "Caught." She is friends with Ricky, and soon becomes friends with Adrian in "Absent".
  • Greg Finley as Jack Pappas, Grace's ex-boyfriend. After Grace's brother catches him sharing a kiss with Adrian, Grace is unsure if she should forgive his cheating or not. He also slept with Adrian, which Grace found out about later on. He seems jealous of Grace hanging around with Ricky.
  • Renee Olstead and Camille Winbush as Madison and Lauren. Madison and Lauren are Amy's best friends. They support her with her pregnancy, although their views and advice often differ. But they become more and more overwhelmed by the secret and have no idea how to help Amy. They also are very chatty and are responsible (not willingly though) of the rumor about Amy's pregnancy. Lauren's parents forbid her to see Amy as they disapprove of her pregnancy. Madison and Lauren start a battle to see who's sexiest in "You're Cheatin' Heart" but quickly resolve it. In "Slice of Life" Lauren is caught kissing Ricky by her brother, Jason, and Madison.


Main article: List of The Secret Life of the American Teenager episodes


The Secret Life of the American Teenager had the highest premiere ever for an ABC Family original program. "Secret Life" brought in 2.82 million viewers and a 0.9/3 in the 18-49 demo. The premiere only ranks behind the first season finale of Kyle XY in terms of viewers. "American Teenager" also scored high in the female demos, registering a 6.5/24 in the female teens demo and a 3.1/11 in the older females. The show was recently nominated for a Teen Choice Award.


The series has a theme all its own; though the theme's actual title, the writer of the lyrics, and the composer of the music, were not known as of early August of 2011, it was known to have been sung by series regular Molly Ringwald. Other noteworthy music featured in the installments includes:

  • Both the first and last episodes of the first season feature the song "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne.
  • In the fifteenth episode of the second season, Jack plays "She Don't Wanna Man" by Asher Roth while he and Madison dance.
  • In the fourth episode of the third season, when Adrian sits sadly on the stairs in front of her house, Tom plays "You Are So Beautiful" performed by Joe Cocker on his cell phone before they dance. (Season 3, episode 4).
  • The song "Kids" by MGMT appears in the fifth episode of the third season when a slide show of Amy lost in New York is played.
  • At a party in the Bowmans' guesthouse, the song "New Day" performed by Tamar Kaprelian is played.
  • Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" plays in the final moments of the first half of the third season finale, including during Ben and Adrian's wedding.
  • Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" plays after Ben and Adrian find out the baby is dead, and the montage is played to close the season.
  • "Daughters" by John Mayer was featured in the season's first episode during Amy's visit to the clinic.
  • In the fourth episode of the fourth season, "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele is played in the beginning during Adrian's walk and at the end of the episode when she is sitting in the empty nursery after punching numerous holes in the wall.