Radio-TV Broadcast History
ABC Family
File:ABC FAMILY 2007.jpg
LaunchedApril 29, 1977 as CBN
NetworkDisney-ABC Television Group
Owned byThe Walt Disney Company
SloganA New Kind of Family
HeadquartersBurbank, United States
Formerly calledCBN (1977)-(1988), The Family Channel (1988)-(1998), Fox Family (1998)-(2001)
DirecTVChannel 311
Dish NetworkChannel 180
Available on most cable systemsCheck local listings

ABC Family is an American cable television network currently owned by Disney-ABC Television Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company. ABC Family offers contemporary and inclusive programming, including series, movies, events, and enhanced ABC encore presentations.



Template:See also ABC Family launched on November 17, 2001 after FOX Family was sold to ABC for $3.2 billion in July of 2001. The sale to ABC included the Fox Kids Network (a joint venture of Fox and Haim Saban) which provided the new ABC Family with hours of children's programming. [1]

The sale to ABC, owned by Disney, was considered one of the largest mistakes or problems occurring during the tenure of Michael Eisner. The failure was primarily due to the acquisition being done by the strategic planning department of Disney, without consulting anyone at ABC. The original plan was to use the channel to essentially show re-runs of ABC programming, but this plan was completely impossible since ABC had no syndication rights to the majority of their own programs. During this time, the network did air same-season repeats of Alias, Less Than Perfect, Life with Bonnie, and The Bachelor, almost all of which were Touchstone Television productions (The Bachelor is distributed by Time Warner's Telepictures). But in trying to change the focus of the channel, Disney also cancelled several Fox Family series, like State of Grace, and cut back on the network's TV movies, which were among the few programs Fox Family was doing well with. The ratings tumbled further as the network became dependent on syndicated reruns and no original programs (save for original wrap-around segments around Bachelor repeats, and children's programming). [2]

The next major plan was to reposition the channel to market it to college students, young women, or to a more hip audience under the name XYZ, a reverse reference to ABC. Disney soon found that the channel could never be renamed as such. The sale from CBN contained a stipulation from Robertson that the channel contain the word "Family" in the name forever, no matter who owns the network. To create XYZ, the Family Channel would have had to cease to exist - terminating all existing cable TV contracts - and XYZ would have to be created as a new network. Cable companies would not be obligated to put XYZ in the spot vacated by the Family Channel. ABC scrapped the idea after discovering this clause.[3].

The name was revisited at one point in 2003, serving as a program block entitled "The XYZ.", showing programs and movies aimed at the above groups. The network was also used as a buffer to burn off failed ABC series, such as All American Girl, which featured Spice Girl Geri Haliwell. [4].


Following controversial remarks made by 700 Club host Pat Robertson about Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, as well as other equally controversial comments regarding gays, feminists, Muslims, abortion, and many other social issues [5]. ABC Family moved to distance itself from the program (the showing of which is also required under Robertson's original sale stipulations); ABC Family changed the disclaimers before, during, and after the broadcasts from "The following/preceding program is brought to you by CBN" to "The following/preceding CBN telecast does not reflect the views of ABC Family." Since 2003, ABC Family has been producing more successful ABC Family Original Movies and series. [6].


In August 2006, an all new slogan and visual style premiered on ABC Family: A New Kind of Family. As previously stated, the word "Family" is required under the terms of the lease from Robertson.

On August 31, 2006, ABC Family aired Jetix for the last time as a part of Disney's plan to convert all Jetix airings to Toon Disney. Jetix aired various programs since its debut on the network in 2002, which included Metabots, Beyblade, Digimon: Digital Monsters, Daigunder, Get Ed, and many others. Of its long list of programs, the Power Rangers series was its most successful. Template:Fact Sitcom repeats currently air in Jetix's former timeslot from 7 a.m.-9 a.m. ET, with the morning airing of the 700 Club/Living the Life block pushed back an hour further to 9 a.m. ET. [7].

In October 2007, ABC Family completely revamped their website, giving it a more digital look as compared to its previous look. They also revamped the Broadband Player, putting more content on it including reruns of Three Moons Over Milford, and episodes of 7th Heaven, Grounded for Life, Kyle XY, and Greek, as well as adding some Fox Kids programming they still own, such as "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes". [8].

ABC Family has also recently been generating high levels of viewers with their weekend movie events. The "Harry Potter Weekend" Block generated some of the highest levels of viewers for the year so far weekend events. The popular show Kyle XY has given the channel the most viewers in the network's history. [9].

ABC Family is also becoming known for giving previews to upcoming movies, as it has done for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hairspray and Stardust. [10].

In early 2008, the network launched a companion HDTV channel [11]. Currently the network's original series are produced in a 16:9 HD format (currently downgraded to letterboxed 4:3 on the current channel), and episodes of Greek and Kyle XY have been broadcast in 720p on ABC HD during summer Friday broadcasts.

On June 16, 2008, The Middleman premieres, based on the comic book of the same name from Viper Comics.



ABC Family Original Movies



The sale of FOX Family also included Fox's Major League Baseball cable rights. Starting with the 2002 season, Disney moved the regular season games previously on Fox Family and FX to their sister network ESPN. The Division Series playoff games, however, aired on ABC Family due to complications in the sale. These games used ESPN graphics and announcers. A deal was made to move those playoff games to ESPN, starting with the 2003 season. Although the games aired on Disney networks, Fox kept the exclusive negotiation to renew the contract after the 2006 season, although they chose not to renew those rights, which went to TBS.

Template:See also

Holiday Programming

The 25 Days of Christmas

Template:Main Since its final year of ownership by Pat Robertson, The channel has been known for airing many Christmas specials, such as the Rankin-Bass programs The Little Drummer Boy and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. ABC has since expanded this holiday programming, adding made-for-television movies, a litany of Rankin-Bass shows sequels (this was complicated somewhat because some of the original series, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, were still owned by CBS), and other original programming to create "The 25 Days of Christmas." This program block airs from December 1 through 25, in prime time during the work week and from noon through prime time during the weekends. There have been some movies that aren't necessarily holiday related. In 2006, for example, Harry Potter movies were shown along with Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Also that year, the original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman specials were dropped, and Dr. Seuss On the Loose and The Cat in the Hat were added, however, not with How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The "25 Days" promotion also consists of a contest.

The 13 Nights of Halloween

Thirteen nights of Halloween programming.

The Mothers' Day Weekend

The Mother's Day event on ABC Family.

The Big Kahuna Weekend

A former event for Fathers' Day.

Programming Blocks


Template:Main Aired various children's programs since its debut on the network in 2002, which included Metabots, Beyblade, Digimon: Digital Monsters, Daigunder, Get Ed, and many others. Of its long list of programs, the Power Rangers series was its most successful (and still is). Sitcom repeats currently air in Jetix's former timeslot from 7 a.m.-9 a.m. ET, with the morning airing of the 700 Club/Living the Life block pushed back an hour further to 9 a.m. ET.


A block formerly airing on the channel.


  1. July 1, 2001 Disney buying Fox Family Channel
  2. December 3 2001 Disney refocusing Family channel
  3. Mickey News June 16, 2004 This Family Was Really Messed Up
  4. Vh1 [1] All American Girl TV series
  5. ShowBizData August 24 2005 ABC Family Channel condems Robertson but has to keep him
  6. July 12, 2006 Tuned In: Original shows help ABC Family improve
  7. xyweFebruary 16, 2006 Disney announces new shows, kid block leaves ABC Family
  8. ABCFamily.comMarch 4, 2008 New ABC Family website
  9. The Futon Critic April 24, 2007 ABC FAMILY ANNOUNCES 2007 SUMMER AND FALL SCHEDULE
  10. July 7, 2007 Harry Potter Triple-Feature Weekend on ABC Family Includes OotP Sneak Peeks
  11. Broadcasting & Cable March 13, 2007 Disney To Launch HD Networks on DirecTV

See also

  • Family (similar Canadian service)

External links


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