Name Change Coincides with the Winter Season Premieres of Returning Favorites “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Fosters,” “Young & Hungry,” “Baby Daddy” and the World Premieres of New Series “Shadowhunters” and “Recovery Road”
BURBANK, CA – ABC Family announced that the network will officially be renamed Freeform on Tuesday, January 12, the same day as the season premiere of its #1 hit series, “Pretty Little Liars,” and the world premiere of its new original series, “Shadowhunters.”
The name Freeform speaks to the network’s ongoing priority to super-serve Becomers, fans on that epic adventure of becoming an adult, a life stage that spans people who are ages 14-34. Traditionally, Becomers are in high school, college and the decade that follows and are navigating the wonderful, fun, exciting, and scary time when you experience many of life’s firsts — from first kiss to first kid.
The audience’s identity and experience are fluid as they explore endless possibilities and their passions take shape. Freeform is inspired by the interconnection between content and audience; media and technology; interactive and linear; life stage and lifestyle, and the way Becomers interact with them all.
“The Freeform brand represents the passion, fun, energy and new ideas that infuse young adulthood,” said ABC Family President Tom Ascheim. “We’ve been evolving naturally for a while now, so it’s time that our name reflects the true essence of our brand. We are excited to take our network in some new directions and continue to evolve alongside culture while delivering those favorite shows our viewers already love.”
Freeform remains committed to the critically acclaimed original series and programming that have become pop culture phenomena and made it so successful with the Becomer audience.
At 8:00 PM ET/PT on January 12, the network’s #1 original hit series, “Pretty Little Liars,” will return with a new look, new secrets and new lies, followed by the world premiere of its new original series, “Shadowhunters” at 9:00 PM ET/PT. “Shadowhunters,” is based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. “Shadowhunters” follows 18-year-old Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters – human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. McG at Wonderland Sound & Vision, who serves as executive producer, directs the first episode.
The midseason premiere of “The Fosters” and the series premiere of “Recovery Road” will air Monday, January 25, and returning hits “Young & Hungry” and “Baby Daddy” will premiere on February 3.
The network also has several new series in the works including the supernatural series “Beyond,” from executive producer Tim Kring; thriller series “Guilt;” horror tale “Dead of Summer,” from “Once Upon a Time” creators Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis, with Ian Goldberg and the recently announced new reality series “The Letter.” Additional projects include the pilot “Famous in Love” from “Pretty Little Liars” producer I. Marlene King, based on the novel by Rebecca Serle; and the highly anticipated Nicki Minaj comedy project which is inspired by Nicki’s life growing up in Queens with her vibrant family after immigrating from Trinidad — as well as her personal and musical evolution that led to her eventual rise to stardom.
The network is also planning new seasons of established series including “Switched at Birth,” “Stitchers” and “The Fosters,” as well as a second season of recent unscripted hit “Monica the Medium.”
During the 2014/15 season, ABC Family landmarked as cable TV’s #1 network in Prime for the first time in the channel’s 15-year history among Women 18-34 and was the #1 ad-supported cable TV network for the fourth consecutive season with Females 12-34. In addition, ABC Family extended its streak as a Top 5 cable TV network to seven straight seasons in Women 18-49 and placed among the Top 10 for the seventh season in a row in Adults 18-34 and Viewers 12-34.
The network has 53 million fans across Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and has the most socially engaged audience, ranking as the #1 TV network on social media during the 2014/15 season with more than 15.3 million average engagements per show. The network’s highest rated show, “Pretty Little Liars,” is the #1 scripted show on Instagram (4.0 million) and also on Pinterest.
Freeform will replace ABC Family on all channel line-ups on January 12; its channel number will not change.