ABC Family is undergoing a name change and rebranding. Starting in January 2016, the channel will be called Freeform.
The new name, according to ABC Family president Tom Ascheim, “evokes the spirit and adventure of our audience. Freeform will deliver new, exciting original content as well as all the favorite shows our viewers already love on ABC Family.”
The change will mark the first time since the late 1908s that “Family” hasn’t been part of the channel’s name. The channel was started by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who sold it to Fox in 1998. Disney bought it in 2001 and renamed it ABC Family. (Per a long-standing agreement, Robertson’s talk show “The 700 Club” will still air on Freeform.)
Freeform will target people ages 14-34, a group it calls “Becomers.” (You may know them now as “Millennials.”) ABC Family’s signature shows, including “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Fosters” will continue to air.