What ABC Family’s been about this whole time→
it’s ironic that The Walt Disney Company, which has owned the network since 2001, chose a name that implies thematic chaos to rebrand the network: for once, its objectives are clear as day. They’re going after ages 14-34, a demographic they’re calling “becomers” (because they are “people in formation” but also because “millennials” lost its fizz many Mountain Dews ago). Granted, the network has been targeting the “between your first kiss and your first kid” crowd for a long time, unbeknownst to the general public. Last week’s rebranding simply aims to alert the outside world to changes that went into effect a decade ago, when ABC Family adopted the tagline “A new kind of family” and began airing edgy, progressive melodramas aimed at a predominantly female young adult audience. Series like Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, Greek, and Switched At Birth have long positioned ABC Family as television’s answer to the YA fiction boom that turned the Twilight and The Hunger Games series into household names. (Not coincidentally, Twilight and The Hunger Games are both part of Freeform’s recurring rotation of youth-oriented movies.)
To be honest, I’ve been referring to ABC Family as “the Harry Potter channel” in my head for a while now.