ABC Family Changing Its Name to Freeform — But Why?
Pretty Little Liars
Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC Family Channel © 2015 Disney ABC Television Group    


ABC Family Changing Its Name to Freeform — But Why?


As of January 2016, there will no longer be such a thing as ABC Family.


Don’t fret, TV fans. The ABC-owned network isn’t going away per se, they’re just changing their name in the hopes of drawing in a younger audience. The new title? Freeform. Yeah, we don’t get it either.


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“For us, this doesn’t feel like a radical departure, this is an evolution,” ABC Family president Tom Ascheim told Entertainment Weekly. “For the last 10-to-12 years, we’ve been targeting young people, Millennials, and then something happened. Millennials started getting older. The oldest ones are nearly 40. So do we follow Millennials or stay with the ‘life stage’ that got us here?”

By changing the name, execs hope to attract a group of people they call “Becomers” — viewers between the ages of 14 and 34.


While the name will be changing, the channel will still feature shows like Pretty Little Liars and other teen programming for which it’s known. The problem, according to the targeted demo, was the name and the association that “Family” had with “family friendly.”


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But why Freeform?


“Like any growing business, we want to keep our core customers satisfied, but also add new ones — and they had a clichéd sense of who we are. The world ‘Family’ sounds overly loud to their ears and that makes it a barrier to them coming into our ecosystem,” Tom continued. “We wanted an emotional response to a name that made people happy. We got an overwhelmingly positive response. Freeform sounds fun.”