The 'Pretty Little Liars' Cast Reflects on the Show's Social Media Impact

The 'Pretty Little Liars' Cast Reflects on the Show's Social Media Impact

Even the stars of Pretty Little Liars didn’t realize how big social media would come into play with the series.

Ashley Benson, Sasha Pieterse, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, and Lucy Hale recently opened up to Vulture about the impact it had on the show – and vice-versa.

“All of the stars aligned, and it was the right time for social media and our show,” Lucy said.

Shay added, “I didn’t even know what Twitter was when we started.”

“Younger kids were watching it, and their parents were monitoring it,” Sasha said. “And then they loved it and it became a family thing, which is so unusual that teens would watch it with their parents. Who wants to watch Gossip Girl with their mom? Even though it happened, it wasn’t a norm.”

“It’s very cool to see, even how television has evolved. You know the Nielsen ratings system? With the Nielsen box? They realized it wasn’t an accurate portrayal of the viewership of certain shows, our show included,” Troian explained. “They developed this whole new rating system based on tweets to track how popular a show was. They looked at social media and hashtag interactions, and our show was consistently number one, it was crazy. It was interesting because for a long time, I remember going to work the next day and asking our producers, ‘What were our numbers last night?’ And they would respond, ‘We could give you the numbers, but they really don’t matter.’ Even though this many people tuned in live, there were 200 million tweets.”

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesday nights @ 8/7c on Freeform.

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