The first season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, an American television series created by Brenda Hampton, debuted on the ABC Family television network on July 1, 2008. The first season comprises 23 episodes, the first eleven of which ended on September 9, 2008. Despite marketing issues, the remaining twelve ended up as part of the first season, which concluded its initial airing on March 23, 2009. Season one regular cast members include Shailene Woodley, Molly Ringwald, Daren Kagasoff, Kenny Baumann, Francia Raisa, Megan Park, India Eisley, Greg Finley II, Jorge Pallo, Mark Derwin, and Luke Zimmerman.
Kyle XY was ABC Family's highest rated original series from June 2006 - July 2008, but lost its reign when the series premiere of The Secret Life of the American Teenager brought in 2.8 million viewers. The season finale brought in 4.50 million viewers, 2.4 million of whom were females. The show was the number one scripted telecast on March 23, 2009 in viewers 12-34 and the number one telecast that night in viewers.
The season focuses on the relationships between families and friends dealing with the unexpected teen pregnancy of character Amy Juergens, portrayed by Shailene Woodley. Probably the last girl anyone would expect to suffer such a scandalous event, Amy's world begins to expand as she discovers that virtually every student at her high school deals with some secret or unexpected problems, from the religious good-girl Grace to the tough-kid Ricky and to clingy loving Ben.
Shailene Woodley as Amy Juergens
India Eisley as Ashley Juergens
Daren Kagasoff as Richard 'Ricky' Underwood
Kenny Baumann as Benjamin 'Ben' Boykewich
Francia Raisa as Adrian Lee
Megan Park as Grace Bowman
Greg Finley II as Jack Pappas
Jorge Pallo as Marc Molina
Luke Zimmerman as Tom Bowman
Molly Ringwald as Anne Juergens
Mark Derwin as George Juergens
The series received a mixed reception when it began broadcasting. Many mainstream critics praised the messages presented in the series, although it was also criticized for its direction and writing. New York Post praised the series for having a set of characters that are "...real and come from families of all stripes — from intact to single-parent households to one boy in foster care..." The pilot episode broke the record for highest rated debut for ABC Family, beating Kyle XY, with 2.82 million viewers. The season one finale brought in 4.50 million viewers, beating the night's 90210 which had almost half its usual number of viewers.