ABC Family Freeform

ABC Family's Switch to Freeform: 5 Burning Questions Answered

I think we can all agree we live in strange, exciting times: Drones are delivering packages, rats are becoming Internet famous and ABC Family is changing its name to Freeform.

I can’t really shed any new light on those first two, but ABC Family released a series of videos this week to help answer fans’ burning questions about the big switch going down on Jan. 12. Here are our favorite reveals:

1. Will Freeform keep its annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming event? You bet! In fact, not only is the network “not canceling Christmas,” but as you’ll see in the video below, Baby Daddy star Derek Theler might have an in with the big red man, himself. (That said, I’d also appreciate an update on the network’s “13 Nights of Halloween” block.)

2. Will Freeform still show Disney movies? ABC Family has made a (wonderful) habit of flooding our weekends with classic Disney movies from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Tangled — and that’s not ending anytime soon. “Don’t be ridiculous,” says Shadowhunters‘ Dominic Sherwood. “We love Disney movies!”

3. What does “Freeform” mean, anyway? OK, here’s where things start to get a little more interpretive. According to Switched at Birth‘s Vanessa Marano, “Freeform” means “no boundaries.” It’s a place where you “make up your own rules” and “anything is possible.” (I hope she’s kidding about that “appropriately clothed” part, though.)

4. Why change the network’s name at allABC Family lets Shadowhunters‘ Isaiah Mustafa handle this one: Apparently, the network wants to be more like its audience, more “inquisitive.” He says it’s becoming a place to “grow, ask questions and even change your name if you want to.” (I already did.)

5. Lastly, will ABC Family’s channel change? This one’s easy: Nope!

ABC Family junkies, what are your thoughts on the network’s big name change? Drop ’em in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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231 Comments
  1. Colleen says:

    The last burning question is will the 700 Club still come on after The Fosters? Cause that irony never got old for me.

  2. Tom says:

    No matter what reasons they made up, this name change is ridiculous and stupid. If none of the programming is changing, then why change the name? And the name itself is just dumb. They couldn’t come up with a better one?

  3. Susan says:

    They are keeping the 700 Club? It’s worse than any fiction. I saw it once out of curiosity. As I recall, the host was talking about the “reality” of demonic possession and beating the demon out of someone possessed. This was several years ago, but still.

    • Becky Ann says:

      The 700 club is a Christian talk show. You might believe that it is crazy, but it’s someone’s RELIGION! It’s not crazy to them but unless you’re a believer of said religion it is always going to sound crazy.

  4. Will says:

    so so dumb. appealing to a generation of cable cutters, I just don’t understand. oh well!

  5. MrMank says:

    My question is…do people really have burning questions about ABC Family’s name change?

  6. evababy says:

    The only time the term ‘Freeform’ sounds even remotely interesting is when Isaiah Mustafa says ‘You can call me Dr. Freeform.’ Otherwise, still sounds dumb.

    • Temperance says:

      What a horrible change! On the upside, it’s just a hair less awful than Sci-fi becoming Siffy (Syfy) – if you could call it an upside.

  7. brandydanforth81 says:

    I’m glad they’re keeping the Halloween,Christmas event programming & Disney movies on weekends.I think the new names awful but as long as they have shows I like(Fosters,Switched,PLL) I don’t care what they call themselves.

    • therealjonpalmer says:

      Exactly. Plus, it could be worse. I was worried they were going to call the channel #freeform–the way it was shown in the early ads. I’m so sick of #this and #that. It is so nauseating

  8. Ian says:

    The name Freeform doesnt exactly roll of the tongue

  9. It will always be ABC Family no matter what they change their name to.

    • James says:

      It was once Fox Family so it wasn’t always the case. :D

      • therealjonpalmer says:

        It was once the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). I think there is something in the sales agreement that is the reason the channel is stuck showing the ridiculous 700 Club.

  10. Simon says:

    Really stupid name, but Family didn’t work either. There is not one Family friendly prime time show on that station

  11. A says:

    Freeform is still an awful name.

  12. steven says:

    What about their Harry Potter movie marathons?

  13. Linda says:

    Will they be changing all of their social media accounts names?

  14. Charissa29 says:

    Kudos to the station for managing to create a conversation about the lamest, most inane and oxymoronic name change in recent tv history. Freeform, because they want to remove boundaries, encourage inquisitiveness and grow, but their programming isn’t changing, the channel isn’t changing, it is still business as usual. Oh yeah! Long live cynicism in business.

    • Megan says:

      Well in terms of changing, they are adding a ton of new shows that seem to live up to the “Freeform” name like Shadowhunters, Recovery Road, etc. Those shows seem to be a little less PG, along the lines of their shows like PLL, the Fosters, and such. I think it’s just that “ABC Family” didn’t represent a lot of their shows anymore, so it makes sense to change it. It is a silly name though…

  15. shkamidit says:

    My main burning question is why would you pick such a stupid name?

  16. Jared says:

    I wish ABCFamily/Freeform still did original movies. Weren’t they always apart of 25 Days of Xmas??? I haven’t seen one of those in years. Maybe the Mistletones?

    • sarah t says:

      I agree, they did used to do original movies for Christmas (I liked them). Not sure why those went by the wayside unless they just weren’t making money.
      Also, this concept worked so well for the Sears Tower that got renamed and everyone still calls the Sears Tower (I’m not saying ABC Family is as iconic as that) but seriously, the name is ridiculous. Having some of your “biggest” stars explain it doesn’t make it any better. Wouldn’t it have been been better to do what SyFy did and just change it to ABFam to appeal to the millennials?

  17. Mark says:

    Oh god…they trying to make FREEFORM seem like cable version of Transgendered..I cringed…yikes.

  18. Sherrita Scott says:

    I am fine with the name change as long as I keep my shows!

  19. Angela says:

    Yeah why did no one ask why such a stupid name. I have yet to see anyone that honestly likes the name change. That’s the “burning” question that should have been asked

  20. Blamarche says:

    Notice they didn’t say that the show topics won’t change, just that the shows would still aire, but be able to have no boundaries, ect.

    • Jennacj says:

      Think you have nailed it. Without ‘family’ in the name, they have more freedom in the future to air shows and topics on the current shows that wouldn’t be considered ‘family’ appropriate. Also, the name is ridiculous, makes me think of a gymnastic routine.

  21. stellalunaa says:

    But what about Harry Potter weekend?!?!?!

  22. Temperance says:

    What a horrible change! On the upside, it’s just a hair less awful than Sci-fi becoming Siffy (Syfy) – if you could call it an upside.

  23. Sebastian says:

    What’s Mustafa in?

  24. Kate says:

    I thought “Freeform” sounded more like a new bra company…

  25. PL says:

    FreeForm, because we want you to think you are talking about womens bras!

  26. Two thoughts: lol the Pretty Little Liars girls were clearly not having this part of the campaign.
    And: Everytime I say “Freeform” to someone, they think I’m saying “Free Forum.”

  27. Bettys3 says:

    Such a stupid name but I agree with the others, there’s nothing “family” about a lot of these shows anyway. Still Freeform isn’t the answer. And the fact that they actually have this whole question/answer thing lets you know it’s not the smartest move.

  28. Asia says:

    I THINK #FREEFORM IS THE STUPIDEST NAME EVER FOR THIS NETWORK. IF NO CHANGES ARE BEING MADE TO THE PROGRAMMING WHY BOTHER WITH CHANGING THE NAME. I THINK THEY ARE JUST TELLING PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR. PRETTY SOON THEY ARE GOING TO START FEELING LIKE ALL THE SHOWS THEY PLAY DON’T REALLY FIT THE WHOLE #FREEFORM BRAND THEY’RE AIMING FOR. PLL IS ABOUT 5 GIRLS TRYING TO SAVE THEIR OWN LIVES WHILE TRYING TO KEEP THEIR FAMILIES SAFE AT THE SAME TIME, THE FOSTERS: TWO WOMEN WHO DECIDED TO OPEN THEIR HOME TO KIDS IN NEED OF A FAMILY, SWITCHED AT BIRTH: TWO FAMILIES WHO’S DAUGHTERS WERE SWITCHED AT BIRTH, THE 13 NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN: A TIME WHEN FAMILIES GATHER AND WATCH HALLOWEEN MOVIES TOGETHER AND THE SAME THING WITH THE 25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. ALL OF THE SHOWS AND MOVIES THEY PLAY ARE IN SOME WAY FAMILY ORIENTED. PRETTY SOON ALL OF THEM WILL BE CANCELLED JUST LIKE CHASING LIFE!

    • I didn’t know it was canceled. I knew it couldn’t last forever, but seriously? Laaaame.

    • therealjonpalmer says:

      –It’s just going to be called freeform–thankfully not #freeform.

      –I don’t really care what they name it as long as my shows are on–PLL, SwitchedAB, Fosters, Young & Hungry, Baby Daddy and Stichers (still bummed they cancelled Melissa & Joey).

      –As long as they don’t put a stupid # in front of the name it won’t bother me.

      –It does suck that they are still forced to waste valuable air time on the ridiculous, bizarre 700 Club with Reverend Looney Tunes.

  29. Alexis says:

    This is honestly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.

  30. Terry says:

    You never even answered the question. Why? The name is stupid. So either try another name which doesn’t require a shoe or leave it alone. Why not just name it FVN family viewing network

  31. J. D. Lelman says:

    Idiots

  32. Robyn says:

    Hate it. It doesn’t make an sense to change the name

  33. Linda Ward says:

    If programming isn’t changing, why change to a name no one is familiar with? ABC Family is a well known, respected, and trusted name and channel. Keep it!

    • Fiberlicious says:

      They were probably getting hammered for their programming by foaming-at-the-mouth thumpers whose definition of “family” is “only bunnies and butterflies.”

      • Megan says:

        Yeah this is partly the reason. As well as trying to get new viewers who don’t usually watch ABC Family, because it comes across as solely for small children (even though it really isn’t).

      • Jose says:

        You must have grown up in a liberal tofu farting fairy. Who believes that everyone should take your side because if not you’ll whine and complain that you’re being discriminated against and sue everyone to make them agree with you.

  34. Diz says:

    All I want to know is if my DVR will still pick it up or if I have to reprogram it w. The name change.

  35. Kristin says:

    Since you’re now “free” you should really consider bringing back amazing shows that were canceled way too early! Ex. Twisted. Bunheads. And so on. Get them talented producers working.

  36. Terry Case says:

    I think the name change is stupid. It should remain as is.

  37. margie says:

    I don’t care for the new name.

  38. Trisha says:

    With the name change, can we expect our favorite shows to continue to get cancelled after just a season or two? This is in reference to Jane by Design, Bunheads, The lying Game, etc.

  39. blank says:

    I don’t like it!!!

  40. Roger says:

    To think they actually paid a marketing company to come up with the stupidest name ever for a television network. I really believe a 7 year old could have come up with a better name. Once a my favorite shows complete their runs I want be watching the channel and I want be watching any of their new shows.

  41. Jim J. says:

    If the channel is named “Freeform”, does this mean it will start airing TV-MA original programming or will it stick to TV-14 programming at the most? It’s not like they’re FX (or even worse, HBO) or anything.

  42. Paloma says:

    So I think we are all in agreement: there aren’t five burning questions, only one, in two parts: Which overpriced branding company did Disney hire to come up with the name Freeform and how much were they paid? I’m pretty sure the rest of us could have come up with an equally meaningless bland name for about half the price.

  43. M says:

    Abc family hasn’t really been family oriented in years so makes sense

    • therealjonpalmer says:

      How do you figure that?
      .
      Pretty Little Liars: 5 friends banding together to protect themselves and their family from evil.
      The Fosters: about a foster family.
      Switched At Birth: about 2 families forced together by an accidental baby switch
      Melissa & Joey: an aunt takes in her niece and nephew that need a parent and the aunt falls in love with her male housekeeper–they all become a family.
      Baby Daddy: A single father who gets help from his family and friends because he is willing to step up and take care of the baby that isn’t wanted by her mother.
      .
      Those are their biggest long-running shows. (M & J just ended last season) The one thing they all have in common is FAMILY. There are only a couple of shows that aren’t about family.

  44. Sheldon W. says:

    The Canadian equivalent of ABC Family is called ABC Spark (as in spark of genius, I’d guess), but as inspired as that is, I guess ABC Family was leery of admitting that we Canucks got something right.

    Freeform is a jive@$$ name.

    • Jessica says:

      Lol. Now see, that’s a cool name. I don’t like the name. It kills me when companies rename a “product” to follow in with the times. Just be your own product and own your own name. Doesn’t matter anyway, it’s blocked off my kids tv because of the stuff they show and omg the commercials they play! Lol. My kids are 8, 3 and 1. And my 8 year old already knows more than he should because of tv and kids at school. So blocked it will stay. It’s even blocked in the other rooms except mine, they’re not allowed in mom and dad’s room. But I do watch Young & Hungry.

  45. Amanda says:

    Considering I’ve been watching ABC Family for 20 + years, I definitely have to say that I’m not at all happy with the name change! It will just be weird having to say “see what’s on freeform.” If everything on the channel is remaining, why feel the need to change it, especially if nobody complained about the previous name of ABC Family.

  46. Cassie says:

    So would the abcfamily website change too?

  47. Everly says:

    What a shame they are changing the name. Free-form doesn’t quite sound right. I grew up with watching ABC Family and now it won’t be the same again.

  48. DerrickS says:

    Don’t approve of it.

  49. Abby says:

    HATE THE NEW NAME. not watching any more due to name change

  50. sherline says:

    I don’t like it