"Teenager" whips "Gossip Girl"

Does TV Week still think Gossip Girl is a hot show?

Well, here’s an even hotter show. ABC Family’s Secret Diary Of An American Teenager blew Gossip Girl out of the water last night in total viewers (4.5 vs. 2.2 million), in adults 18-34 (by 50%), adults 18-49 (by 43%) and viewers 12-34 (by 123%).

It was the second half of the season finale of Teenager, which doesn’t get the same kind of press as Gossip Girl – maybe because Girl is about goofy shenanigans at a Manhattan prep school while Teenager is about a girl who unexpectedly gets pregnant as her family and friends deal with the issue- one today’s teen and young adult audiences certainly can relate to.

American Teenager was created by Brenda Hampton, who was behind the hit family drama 7th Heaven for eleven seasons on The WB and CW.

Surprisingly, critics haven’t warmed to the show – which is kind of interesting given Gossip Girl recently landed on TV Week’s list of best TV shows at No. 24.

But the only thing that matters is American Teenager has touched a nerve with America’s youth – something overrated Gossip Girl hasn’t done. And fans of the show will be happy to know that American Teenager has been renewed for 24 more episodes by ABC Family, which starts this summer.

The program also airs on broadcast television in Canada on CityTV’s chain of stations in five markets, including Toronto and Vancouver.

One rule of thumb in scriptwriting is to always give people believable characters they can relate to. For its target audience, The Secret Life of An American Teenager more than delivers. If the broadcast networks did just that with their scripted programming (instead of a ghost on Grey’s Anatomy), they would have more viewers.