This summer, MTV brings one of the most controversial and thought-provoking topics to its viewers with the new series, “16 & Pregnant.” With statistics showing that three in ten girls in the U.S. will get pregnant before the age of 20, the show will take an intimate look inside the lives of pregnant teenagers as they face the challenges that come with being a young parent and dealing with relationships, finance, school and other new responsibilities. “16 & Pregnant” premieres on Thursday, June 11th at 10:00pm ET/PT and will have six one-hour episodes.
According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, more than 700,000 teenage girls in the U.S. become pregnant each year. The vast majority of these pregnancies are unintended. Despite the availability of sex education and access to contraception, the United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and teen birth in the entire developed world.
“MTV has a long history of reflecting the lives of our viewers with compelling reality stories,” said Tony DiSanto, President of Programming MTV. “’16 & Pregnant’ follows the journey of six young women going through an immensely life changing experience at such a young age. Each episode tells a new, unique story and shows the real life challenges they face from dealing with family and friends to school and finances as new mothers. This is the real secret life of an American teenager.”
“16 & Pregnant” will follow the lives of teenage girls for 5-7 months as they navigate the unfamiliar territory and uncertainty of being pregnant. MTV was able to capture every moment and reaction in real time, including some of the births and how the young mothers and fathers deal with new parenthood. The series tackles a variety of issues including marriage, adoption, attending school, and dealing with gossip. Cameras will continue to follow the teens for a significant time after the births to show how the new parents cope with taking care of their infants in addition to balancing adult responsibilities with teenage life.
“Given that the teen birth rate is on the rise for the first time in a generation, MTV’s ’16 & Pregnant’ is extremely timely,” said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “We applaud MTV for using their unique and compelling style of storytelling to bring this important programming to their devoted audience. The show provides an honest portrayal of the challenges of too-early pregnancy and parenthood. The stories in ’16 & Pregnant’ are full of hope, heartbreak, and real life consequences and should be a must viewing for teens nationwide.”
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is working with MTV to support “16 & Pregnant.” In partnership with MTV, The National Campaign is creating viewing guides for each episode so educators, key organizations and individuals can use the show, which will be available rights free for distribution, as a platform to have an honest discussion around sexual health and pregnancy with teens. In conjunction with The National Campaign, MTV will reach out to thousands of individuals and organizations across the country that work in education, health, and sex education to promote the show and its resources. Additionally, The National Campaign will launch an online resource to support the show at www.stayteen.org, to answer viewers most commonly asked questions surrounding pregnancy and provide young people with the information they need to be fully informed on this topic. “With the high incidence of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, it’s more important than ever to reach young people where they are and with messages that resonate,” said Tina Hoff, Vice President and Director, Entertainment Media Partnerships. “Through our longstanding partnership with MTV, we reach tens of millions of viewers every day with programming and other content to help them make responsible and safer decisions about their sexual health.”
During the month of May, National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, MTV and The Kaiser Family Foundation’s It’s Your (Sex) Life campaign (www.ItsYourSexLife.com) will also highlight resources and information on how to prevent unintended pregnancy and educate yourself on contraception. It’s Your (Sex) Life, which promotes responsible decision making about sex, offers insight into what to do if you think you could be pregnant, are pregnant, had unprotected sex, and how to choose and use contraception properly.
“16 & Pregnant” is Executive Produced by Morgan J Freeman Tony DiSanto is Executive Producer for MTV. Dia Sokol is Co-Executive Producer. Liz Gateley and Lauren Dolgen are Executives in charge for MTV. Jessica Zalkind is Executive for MTV. Concept by Lauren Dolgen.
Executive Producer Morgan J. Freeman (MTV’s Taking The Stage, Laguna Beach,) made a name for himself as the Sundance award-winning writer/director of Hurricane Streets, a film centered on the trails and tribulations of teenage life. Freeman’s latest film is called Homecoming, a thriller starring Mischa Barton and Jessica Stroup (90210) and is being released theatrical July 17th.
About The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy:
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families. Our specific strategy is to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy so that a higher proportion of babies are born into wanted and welcoming circumstances. The National Campaign supports a combination of responsible behavior by men and women and responsible policies in the public and private sectors. Find out more at www.thenationalcampaign.org or www.stayteen.org.