The Fosters has been given an early second season pickup by ABC Family.
Executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, The Fosters follows the lives of Lena Adams (Sherri Saum) and Stef Foster (Teri Polo), a lesbian couple raising several children together. There’s Brandon (David Lambert), Stef’s son from a previous marriage, and adopted twins Jesus (Jake T. Austin) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez). Lena and Stef also take in troubled foster child, Callie (Maia Mitchell), and her younger brother, Jude (Hayden Byerly).
The Fosters premiered on June 3 and drew 1.42 million viewers. The midseason finale aired August 5 and drew 2.07 million viewers.
“The Fosters has demonstrated its ability to build an audience, and the creative team’s compelling storytelling assures us that there will be more growth in upcoming seasons,” ABC Family programming chief Kate Juergens said.
According to Variety, the series ranked as the top new cable series of the summer in ABC Family’s key demographics, viewers 12-34 and females 12-34.
Rosie O’Donnell joined The Fosters in September. The 51-year-old, who is a foster and adoptive mother herself, executive produced and starred in Lifetime’s 2008 original movie America, which centered on a boy who aged out of the foster care system. O’Donnell played Maureen Brennan, the therapist to the title character (Philip Johnson). The film was based on the young adult novel of the same name by E.R. Frank.
“When Rosie O’Donnell tweeted that she loved The Fosters, we knew we had to reach out and try to snap her up,” series creators and executive producers Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg said in a statement. “Having witnessed her support of foster children and blended families, we knew she would be a perfect fit for the show.”
O’Donnell will play Rita Hendricks, a tough but compassionate woman who works for the foster care system and becomes a mentor for the Foster family.
“I am thrilled to be part of this wonderful, heartwarming show,” O’Donnell said. “My kids and I never miss it.”
The Fosters returns for the second half of its first season in January.