One of TV’s most recognizable families is undergoing a name change.
ABC Family will become Freeform starting in 2016, network president Tom Ascheim announced on Tuesday.
The network added that it will double its amount of “original programing over the next four years. New series pick-ups and series returns will also be announced” later in October.
Despite the moniker swap, the network’s current lineup — including Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, Young and Hungry and Baby Daddy “will all return in early 2016 for their winter premieres alongside the world premieres of new original series Shadowhunters and Recovery Road,” the network added.
“Freeform evokes the spirit and adventure of our audience,” said Ascheim, in a release. “Freeform will deliver new, exciting original content as well as all the favorite shows our viewers already love on ABC Family.”
The rebranding, Ascheim told TV Insider, was prompted by research that found people unfamiliar with the network considered it more “family-friendly” and “wholesome” than other attributes. The name was chosen after being tested with a focus group of 1,200 viewers, he added.
The network’s release also noted that the “Freeform” name “builds on ABC Family’s existing strategy of super serving ‘Becomers’ – a life stage that spans people who are 14-34” — who are “navigating the wonderful, fun, exciting, and scary time in life when you experience the most firsts – first car, first apartment, first job, first love, first heartbreak – all the firsts that exists between who they are and who they want to become.”
The news was accompanied by a video (embedded above) that streamed on social-media platforms for the network’s hit series, such as Pretty Little Liars and The Fosters.
What do you think of ABC Family becoming Freeform? Does the name speak to your inner Becomer? Sound off below!