Mild Spoilers Ahead.
At the end of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars season 6A, the long-withheld identity of the terror known as “A” was finally revealed to be none other than Allison’s (played by Sasha Pieterse) sister CeCe. With that mystery so central to the show, fans wondered how the show would continue now that it was solved. To that point, the cast and creatives of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars hit the stage on the second day of PaleyFest NY to dish on the past and future of the mystery series, with exec producer I. Marlene King offering “it’s lighter in some ways [season 6B] because we are starting a new mystery…we get to rely little bit more heavily on the soap as we start this new mystery.”
When the show returns, it also comes with the added twist of a five-year time skip during which the “Liars” have gone their separate ways, only to return to home at the request of Allison. “We love the idea of echoing the pilot, which had them return and sort of have had some experiences” explains executive producer Oliver Goldstick on the direction of season 6B. “You get to see where we work, we all have careers now” said Lucy Hale (Aria) on getting to see the girls in a different stage in life. “It’s another great thing about the flash-forward is that we’re kind of reinventing our characters” offers Pieterse.
Continuing on the topic, the creatives say this new season is for fans old and new. “The idea is you can actually start from this season right now and meet these girls. These young women are coming back to a town, very relatable, post college, helping an old friend, someone from high school, and having to relive some high school experiences.” Goldstick continues “So people who are coming into the show now new… I think the relationships that are here right now too, start off at great places.”
Throughout the discussion was the recurring theme of the beginning of the end. This prompts a question however – as it took 5 and half seasons to reveal the big mystery, could the show run a new mystery for another long stem? “I think the fans will stay with us for so many more seasons,” King says, “but I think as a group we’ll make a decision on when it’s time to end, and right now it’s sounding like season 7.” But fans shouldn’t be too sad about that. According to King “there could be versions of the show that go on in a different form, so everything is possible.”
Either way, King did say at one point that “I think we have definitely saved the best for last in terms of what that final finale would be.”
Some more takeaways
‘The parents are still stuck in the basement” joked Benson, which made the crowd erupt in laughter. In all seriousness, Goldstick reassures fans that they will find out what happened to the parents during the special airing November 24. “The idea is that [the] kids will come back from college with a certain independence” he says about the new dynamics between the “Liars” and their parents. “They’ve been living on their on and sort of feel like they’re making their own decisions…you start to challenge and push… that’s going to inform the show”
And if fans are a bit confused on the controversial storyline of CeCe and Jason dating (because in actuality they are brother and sister), King promises that “there is a little more to the Jason/CeCe dating story, so that’s a tease.” (Yes please, more explanation would be nice).
Season 6B of Pretty Little Liars will begins on ABC Family/Freeform January 12. To tide you over, here’s a preview of the season released on Youtube to coincide with the show’s panel at New York Comic-Con: