ABC Family is Changing its Name in January

Starting in January, ABC Family will be known as Freeform, the Disney-owned cable channel is rebranding, without the word “Family.” Disney–ABC Television Group and network president Tom Ascheim announced that the network would be rebranded as Freeform in January 2016. The switch is part of an effort to attract more of what the network calls “Becomers,” viewers between the ages of 14 and 34.

The network’s programming style — led by shows like Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, and Young and Hungry — will essentially remain the the same.

The relaunch, which will begin with an extensive branding campaign encompassing the network’s popular “13 Nights of Halloween” and 25 Days of Christmas” blocks, will coincide with the winter premieres of the network’s new and existing original series.

ABC Family is available to approximately 94,406,000 pay television households (81.1% of households with at least one television set) in the United States. The network was founded in 1977 as an extension of televangelist Pat Robertson’s Christian television ministry, and eventually evolved into The Family Channel by 1990. In 1998, it was sold to Fox Kids Worldwide Inc. and renamed Fox Family. On October 24, 2001, Fox Family Channel and Fox Family Worldwide were sold to The Walt Disney Company, in a sale that also included Saban Entertainment.

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