When ABC Family becomes Freeform on Jan. 12, rest assured that your favorite shows will still be DVR’d accordingly — and you won’t have to do a thing.
“DVRs are smarter than [humans] are, and they will find their way to the right show,” network president Tom Ascheim assured reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena. “They will find Pretty Little Liars and Shadowhunters independent of a channel [name]. Fear not.”
As previously reported, the network’s new moniker “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,” Ascheim said, “all the firsts that exists between who they are and who they want to become.”
Recounting the impetus for the name change, Ascheim said that while ABC Family indexes extremely well among those who watch it, those who do not tune into the channel are very likely dissuaded by perceptions. “We’re delighted to be [perceived as] family friendly and wholesome,” he said, “but that’s not truly representative of who we are.”
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Freeform as a possible name famously “kicked booty” in focus groups, though Ascheim told TVLine that those polled were more asked about it as a name for a TV network, and not necessarily as a replacement for ABC Family. “We didn’t want to prejudice [focus groups] by asking, ‘Is this a good name for ABC Family?'”
Freeform also released a minute-long promo for the new brand. Watch it above, then hit the comments with your lingering thoughts on the switch-up.