After four seasons of drama, ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager launches its final season tonight at 8 p.m. ET. What began as the story of high-schooler Amy Juergens (Shailene Woodley) becoming pregnant by Ricky Underwood (Daren Kagasoff) tonight finds Amy buying a wedding dress and — yes — a guest appearance by Chaz Bono as himself. At this momentous point in the show’s history, creator Brenda Hampton takes a little time to reflect on the highs and highers of working on the drama through the years and reveals a handful of “secrets” behind the production.
We had such a good time doing Secret Life, we hated to see production come to an end last fall. We were hoping to keep going until the baby grew up and graduated from college. We put together a wonderful cast and crew; it was a really great group of people, and we shot at the Warner’s Bros. Ranch, best lot in town. When Steve Schirripa (Leo) left the set for the last time, in thanking everyone, he repeatedly said it was the “best job I ever had in my life.” That made me feel really good because I strive to create an environment where everyone can enjoy the work and do their best, knowing that that’s really an impossible goal. I can get a show done on time and under budget; that’s always possible when you work with Lin Parsons (our line producer/unit production manager/director), but making a production a good experience where everyone still has time for a life… that’s a rare experience in Hollywood. And this was one of those rare experiences. I owe most of the credit to Lin and to Bill Asman (our jovial director of photography). I loved going to work every day, and though the job presented a lot of challenges, I’d have to say that The Secret Life of the American Teenager was also the best job of my life. READ FULL STORY