17. Jane By Design (2012)
The premise of this short-lived show was that a major fashion designer unknowingly hired a teenager to work at the company. We’re supposed to believe that a high end design firm would mistake a high school student for an experienced designer? Nice try ABC Family. Move along, Jane.
16. Baby Daddy (2012-Present)
Remember the show Smart Guy, with Tia and Tamara’s little brother Tahj? Well, he’s on this show, which instantly ups its cool factor. As you could assume, the show is about an unexpected 20-something guy who’s raising his illegitimate baby on his own. Hijinks ensue (think Three Men and a Baby).
15. Lincoln Heights (2007-2009)
Lincoln Heights was ABC Family’s attempt at edgy- complete with a cop and a dangerous setting. The show was a mix of teen soapy-ness and contrived crime drama. The family patriarch was well-played, though, by Russell Hornsby, who you might recognize as a different cop on NBC’s Grimm.
13. Huge (2010)
Huge only made it 10 episodes, but it featured some fabulous plus-size actresses like Nikki Blonsky of Hairspray (ugh, the good ‘ol Amanda Bynes’ days) fame. The show followed a group of teens at weight loss camp, and gave a little more serious look at what it’s like at fat camp than, say, Heavyweights did.
12. 10 Things I Hate About You (2009-2010)
The decision to recreate the beloved Heath Ledger/Julia Stiles movie was a big risk - they did get the same guy that originally played the dad, though, so that’s something. The show basically followed the general plot of the movie, but it only lived to see one season, so we’ll never really know where the series might have gone.
11. Switched At Birth (2011-Present)
The fact that ABC Family has a show airing about something that’s probably the most traumatic thing that’s ever happened to some families is a little dubious. BUT, it is cool that it’s one of the first mainstream TV shows to have multiple deaf main characters, and to feature a significant amount of ASL. So, props for that.
10. The Lying Game (2011-2013)
Based on a popular Sara Shepard book series, The Lying Game was… confusing as hell. Twins, raised separately by foster and adoptive parents, conspire to find their birth mother by switching places. And, a whole bunch of other stuff happens, so consider taking notes to keep up.
9. Beautiful People (2005-2006)
Before Torrey DeVitto became evil/crazy Melissa on Pretty Little Liars, and before Jackson Rathbone joined the Twilight vampire crew, they starred in one season of a show called Beautiful People. The show was about a mother and her two daughters, who make a clean break from their deadbeat Dad and move to the Big Apple. You’ve got your typical rich kid drama, eating disorders and extramarital affairs, all packed in 16 episodes.
7. Wildfire (2005-2008)
One of ABC Family’s first original series explored the “cutthroat” world of horse racing (seriously), and had a main character fresh out of juvenile detention (a la Ryan Atwood). The typical episode focused on the über-dramatic love triangle between Kris (the jailbird), the boss’ son Matt and token rich kid Junior.
6. Bunheads (2012-2013)
This show didn’t deserve to die so soon. Written by Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, and starring the fabulous Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop, Bunheads was about a Vegas showgirl who ends up teaching ballet alongside her mother-in-law. The show was snappy and smart, and, obviously, featured some impressive dancing.
4. Kyle XY (2006-2009)
Ah, yes, the teen without a belly button. The titular character is essentially one, human-sized science experiment who infiltrates your typical, American fam. Just for reference, star Matt Dallas does, in fact, have a belly button. TV magic, folks.
3. The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008-2013)
The original Sixteen and Pregnant focuses more on the sexual life of said American teenagers, than other pursuits like, say, dance team or Algebra II. The show did give us Shailene Woodley, however, star of The Spectacular Now and the upcoming Divergent. Amy Juergens grew up well folks (teen pregnancy aside).
2. Greek (2007-2011)
Before there was powerhouse that is Pretty Little Liars, there was the masterpiece called Greek. Who didn’t love geeky, little Rusty Cartwright? And were you team Cappie, or team Evan? Oh, and screw Rebecca.
Most importantly, Greek asked the important questions — like if you should eat the doughnut or the ice cream first during recruitment.
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