Executive producer Brenda Hampton knows a thing or two about the life of the American teenager. Her family drama 7th Heaven ran for 11 seasons and now her hit ABC Family series The Secret Life of the American Teenager is marking its landmark 100th episode on Monday (8/7c). Secret Life stars Shailene Woodley as a high school student whose life gets turned upside down when she becomes pregnant — and things just get more complicated from there. Hampton took a moment to tell us why we should learn the secrets of The Secret Life.
TV Guide Magazine: It's been 100 episodes. Is the American teenager's life secret anymore?
Brenda Hampton: Oh yeah. Teenagers always have secrets. That's because they're never doing what they're supposed to do. You were a teenager, right? You have secrets from when you were a teen, don't you? No? Liar!
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Hampton: All the characters die a sudden death, but I live on.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Hampton: Secret Life = hormones — brain cells + a high-school hallway
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing that anyone has said about Secret Life?
Hampton: "I would never let my teenage daughter watch the show." —Baptist minister, Hartwell, Georgia
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing?
Hampton: "My parents don't know I watch it, but it's my favorite show." —daughter of Baptist minister, Hartwell, Georgia
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
Hampton: They both are!
TV Guide Magazine: How would 7th Heaven's Camden family react to the Secret Life characters?
Hampton: Ruthie would be sleeping with Ricky. In case you missed it, Ruthie actually has slept with Ricky. Only her name is Zoe now. [Editor's note: actress Mackenzie Rosman plays both roles]
TV Guide Magazine: How are you using your power of TV for good?
Hampton: I saved a cat.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. What idea didn't make it out of the writer's room.
Hampton: I've got news for you, that network can't be scared. They allowed us to do a masturbation montage scored with "Mr. Sandman."
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you prefer we forget?
Hampton: I like all my credits, it's always good to work.
TV Guide Magazine: If you could do a crossover with any other show, what would it be?
Hampton: HBO's Angry Boys.
TV Guide Magazine: Fill in the blank: 'If you like _____, you'll like The Secret Life of the American Teenager."
Hampton: Potato chips.