ABC Family's "Secret Life of the American Teenager" smashed network rating records with its season premiere Monday night — and in the process, beat the CW's similarly targeted "Gossip Girl" head to head at 8PM.
The season premiere of "Secret Life" averaged 4.4 million total viewers, 47% more than "Gossip Girl," which averaged 3.0 million total viewers. The episode of "Secret Life," titled, "The Secret Wedding of the American Teenager," was ABC Family's best-ever season-premiere and top telecast in teens 12-17, one of its target demographics.
Last August, "Secret Life" topped ratings for the first season of "Gossip Girl," but its impressive ratings victory Monday evening suggests trouble for the CW hit, which is heavily buzzed-about but has never been a breakout ratings hit.
Monday's season premiere also marked "Secret Life"'s first episode in its new time slot, which, as THRFeed's James Hibberd notes, is series creator's Brenda Hampton's former "7th Heaven" time period.