Disney’s ABC Family Cable Network Mulling Reboot

pretty little liars

ABC Family might look for new graphics, new programs and even a new name in 2015 as part of a proposed reboot that would make it more appealing to its millennial audience, according to a person with knowledge of the Walt Disney property’s plans.

A network spokeswoman declined to offer specifics on what might be up for consideration or change. “We are looking at the network to determine what needs to be rebooted to make sure it’s in line with current millennial sensibilities,”said Jori Arancio, a spokeswoman for ABC Family.

The network is known for youth-skewing series like “The Fosters,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Melissa & Joey.” Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment, came to wider notice when he led ABC Family between 2004 and 2010, launching series like “Kyle XY,” “Greek” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

Since Tom Ascheim took the reins of ABC Family in late 2013, the network has undergone a restructuring of sorts, with several new executives joining its ranks. Kate Juergens, the network’s longtime chief creative officer and executive vice president of original programming, left in July, as did Lynn Stepanian, who oversaw scheduling and acquisitions. Salaam Coleman Smith joined the network in July as its executive vice president of strategy and programming. Nigel Cox-Hagan joined as head of marketing, and Karey Burke joined as executive vice president of programming and development in October.

In recent months, executives have suggested ABC Family ought to emphasize its appeal to young adults, rather than serve as a place where families with kids can watch together.

ABC Family has its roots in a network that was founded by evangelist Pat Robertson’s television ministry, and evolved into the Family Channel. Fox Kids bought the outlet in 1998 and renamed it the Fox Family Channel. Walt Disney bought the network in 2001.


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  1. Voicetek says:

    “In recent months, executives have suggested ABC Family ought to emphasize its appeal to young adults, rather than serve as a place where families with kids can watch together.” A place where families and kids can watch together? Not in a LONG time! Most of the programs on that channel are not, by any means, family friends. I’ve always wondered why they call it the “family channel” when families couldn’t watch most of the programming together. The channel is a disaster and it needs to decide what it wants to be.

    • Rick Tengle says:

      they have to have “family” in the name, but they don’t have to air “family” shows, they could call it Anti-Family Channel and have porn just as long as they kept the 700 Club on

    • cdhaskell says:

      I hope that all that change will help ABC Family will get more audience to watch their program.Your Truly Charles David Haskell

  2. Andrew DeCaro says:

    I Think It Will Become NBC Family Because ABC Had It For Almost 15 Years But it’s time For A Change To Switch From ABC Family To NBC Family

    • cdhaskell says:

      I hope that what ever name that ABC Famiy decide I hope that the show will be a good one. I don’t think the channel will be change to NBC Family. I still remember when the channel was still Fox Channel and some reason Fox sold it to ABC/Disney. *It still show the 700 club as part of the lineup. *

  3. cdhaskell says:

    I can’t wait to see what new name that ABC Family will be calling itself before the end of 2015 plus what kind of new program that will debut.

  4. Ben says:

    I was hoping switched at brith have one more season like season nine I hope they can do breaking dawn part one and part two and all tim Bention all remake of disney

  5. They should adopt the brand of their Canadian sister station, ABC Spark – http://www.abcspark.ca/

  6. The 700 Club will be part of ABC Family lineup. ABC Family should worry about getting the right program that will get the fan to rush home to watch each day/night.

  7. Mari says:

    Still mad they canceled twisted

  8. George Matusek says:

    ABC Family should have renewed “Bunheads” for a 2nd season.

  9. Lisa says:

    Just so long as they keep renewing The Fosters and Switched at Birth, they can call themselves by any name that they would like.

  10. Abcfman says:

    Contractually they cannot get rid of the 700 Club. I think they need to keep the word “Family” in the name as well. All part of the Saban sale to Disney.

    • Charlie says:

      That 700 Club clause may be expiring. Which is why this “mulling a reboot” talk is happening. Similar to how HBO etc may be at the end of a contract with the cable companies so they can remove restrictions against direct sales and let folks with things like Roku and Apple TV get their stuff on its own

      • JP says:

        The clause is not expiring, but maybe they’ll try to challenge it in court. It’s definitely a “permanent” clause, which are normally illegal in contracts, so maybe ABC is trying to get out of that part of it. Not sure about the name requiring “family”, but definitely know the 700 Club Clause is considered permanent.

      • Frank Garrett says:

        the 700 Club clause will never expire, at least not until Jesus comes back

  11. bigmeechy74 says:

    get rid of that 700 club garbage

    • MLC says:

      Can’t. Clause in the contract (like I said up above) says that they keep 700 Club ON AIR. They’re trying to get it as far from their channel by airing it when most people are asleep, and run a “This program does not reflect our views, and we want it gone” (just kidding about that last part) disclaimer before it. ABC done messed up.

  12. meeks says:

    It seems that there is a push to go after the Millenials generation. It would seem that is where the $ is, yet I think that there are so few Family-oriented networks. The marketplace does dictate. The idea that a Family-oriented network is passé might not be true or real.

  13. Mantra720 says:

    Isn’t there a covenant that requires ‘Family’ in the name and three 700 Club airings a day though dating back to the sale to Fox in 1998? I’d like to see if this means they’re using the end of the standard/analog feed to get past that contract language, since launching the HD version meant it’s only ‘simulcasting’ the analog version and can be considered a new channel with good carriage that won’t be reset.

    • I can’t wait to see what kind of name that ABC Family will pick in 2015. I know that the channel was change several time and each time the word family was included in the title change. Good luck to Disney/ABC went it decide on the new name.

  14. Kenny says:

    Hey, can’t WB-style teen dramas mixed with Harry Potter marathons coexist with Pixar movies and twice daily showings of The 700 Club? Seriously, I’m askin’.

  15. I can’t wait to see what kind of name that Disneys/ABC Family will come up with. How about calling it the Disney Family?

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