ABC Family Is Changing Its Name to Something Even More Confusing and Stupid


The network currently known as ABC Family will become the network known as Freeform beginning January 1, network president Tom Ascheim announced Tuesday. The name change, which coincides with the return of network staple Pretty Little Liars, is part of the network's latest rebranding effort. 

The network is shifting gears to focus on targeting folks it's dubbed "Becomers" a.k.a. viewers ages 14-to-34 who are experiencing a series of "firsts," as in first job, first heartbreak, first car, first really stupid network rebranding, etc. Last week, the sophomore series Chasing Life became the latest casualty of the rebranding effort, probably because there wasn't much of an audience for "first cancer diagnosis." Which is a shame, because it was a very good series.

According to the network, Becomers are in high school and college and "represent a life stage rather than a generation," which sounds like something Ted Mosby would say, or something a hipster at your nearest coffee house or independent bookstore might think was really insightful but was actually just stupid. The name is supposed to signify fluidity of ideas, but to me conjures up awful open-mic nights featuring interpretive dance or a network that teaches viewers how to paint, but not in the cool Bob Ross way. 

Still, rebranding isn't a bad idea for the network. The name ABC Family no longer represents the network's programming interests, having simply adopted the "family" moniker when the Walt Disney Company purchased Fox Kids Worldwide, which had rebranded the channel as Fox Family from the Family Channel when it took over from the Christian-oriented CBN Family Channel in the '90s (don't worry, religious programming like The 700 Club will continue to air after the name change). The name ABC Family misrepresents the network as one for young children, which isn't the case, as anyone who's watched Pretty Little Liars or The Fosters can attest (especially considering how creepy the men of Rosewood are on a routine basis).

What's most interesting about the network's name change is that according to TV Insider, the name Freeform was chosen from one of 3,000 possible contenders after being tested by a focus group of 1,200 viewers. I'm going to assume all of those viewers were drunk and/or liars, because surely there was something better than Freeform. Literally anything is better than Freeform.

What do you think of the name change? Do you have any suggestions for better names?


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Oct 08, 2015
Freeform. Sounds like a brand of sanitary towels.
Wonder if they were going for that?
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Oct 10, 2015
When I hear the word Freeform, I think of something that's not constricted or restricted in any form (the difference between Jazz and Classical music). That seems to the very opposite attitude of almost every major non-cable network.

But, the truth is, they're really targeting Virgins (first-timers): people who are naive, innocent, or inexperienced. Yet, they couldn't even say the word or anything synonymous with that idea. What a promising start?
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Oct 08, 2015
Sigh, *shudder* (remembers when a channel was called Sci-fi Network)
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Oct 08, 2015
I must find this name so unbelievable that I initially kept reading it incorrectly. I thought it said "Freedom". The name Freeform seems so out of context (or character) for a network that I had to substitute another word that made more sense to me. This is a first.

I do remember reading that our minds are capable of filling in missing letters of words so that everything makes sense. Didn't think I could/would completely change a word. Very scary. Maybe that's why I don't have a problem with any of Tim's reviews. I'm re-writing them in my mind. ???
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Oct 08, 2015
I did the same exact thing! I could've sworn it said Freedom at first. I didn't think Freedom sounded too bad, considering the programming. Then I read the comments and realized what it actually was. Freeform is horrendous.
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Oct 08, 2015
Dumb dumb dumb
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Oct 08, 2015
I'm a 39 year old "becomer"...awesome. I also scored 85 on the "how millennial are you" quiz! I feel young!
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Oct 08, 2015
Dear ABC Freeform or Freeform .. These are the shows I watch ; PLL, The Fosters, Young and Hungry, Kevin from Work, Baby Daddy, Stitchers, and I want to try Shadowhunters when it premieres, so please do not cancel these... Of course I'm not your target audience I'm 35. Of the shows listed above one of my ''becomers'' watches PLL, The Fosters, and Stitchers with me. My other ''becomer'' watches nothing on your network. They both think all your new ''reality'' shows are terrible .....Have you really thought this ''rebranding'' thing through, you already have an audience we are all ages. Kids who are out experiencing their firsts are ....... (here it comes) out experiencing their firsts, not home watching tv. If a 14 yr old is watching some thing their watching it online. And your website has sucked for a long time now. If you want more '' becomers'' do something with that mess. The news on there only has 3 updates for this yr.
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Oct 07, 2015
"Becomers", seems like someone is afraid to say Millennials. How did the teeny boppers get so much power? When I was 20 I may as well have not existed. We got a little attention when they started releasing Voltron on DVD and rebooting other childhood favorites, but it looks liker that's over.
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Oct 07, 2015
"first really stupid network rebranding"

For the network or ever? In case of the latter, I think that ship sailed with Syfy.
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Oct 07, 2015
I got to the last paragraph until I realized that it's actually Freeform, not Freedom, and therefore much stupider than I thought :/
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Oct 07, 2015
I thought it was Freedom at first too!
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Oct 07, 2015
Since they seem to be leaning towards females in their target demo, maybe instead of Freeform it should be Maidenform? Cross my heart, I'll keep it Secret, Victoria!!
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Oct 07, 2015
Freeform? Sounds like a new workout craze, like a Zumba 2.0, without the improvements usually seen in a 2.0 version of something. How bad were the other 2999 name options?
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Oct 07, 2015
Really, most cable channels should change their names to something less concrete, because they can't sustain a channel based on one concept.
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Oct 07, 2015
Maybe the becomers network would have been less... no that is pretty dumb too.
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Oct 07, 2015
Well, better Freeform than Freebase.
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Oct 07, 2015
As long as they are no longer leading people with the word "Family" in it! This channel showed some absolute trash!!
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Oct 07, 2015
Why all the vehemence?
Who cares what it is called, what matters is what they show.
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Oct 07, 2015
Disney xxx
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Oct 07, 2015
They ought to just call it "The Overly Horny Teenagers and People You Gawk At" network...
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Oct 07, 2015
I'm now too old :(
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Oct 07, 2015
So is anyone else wondering if the ABC executives came up with this while they were at a party drunk, and/or on drugs?
Cause thats what it sounds like to me when i read Freeform for becomers.
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Oct 07, 2015
I think we should call them "The-network-formerly-known-as-ABC-Family". Prince could help them design their logo(s). When I hear "Freeform", I think of either a mattress made of memory foam or interpretive dance.

I'm thirty-six, so I'm past the "becomer" stage, huh? Good. Now, I can have a cooler name for my group.
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Oct 07, 2015
If they want to be a network for audiences that's experience a series of "first," why don't they just call themselves First.
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Oct 07, 2015
#illuminaticonfirmed
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Oct 07, 2015
I THINK THEY SHOULD CALL IT "SHIZZLE MY NIZZLE "

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Oct 07, 2015
On a positive note, it is better than Syfy.
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Oct 07, 2015
SciFi, damnit. We want that back.
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Oct 07, 2015
But wait, before I read this article, let me take a selfie...
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Oct 07, 2015
You take a picture of a friend taking a selfie of herself taking a picture of you taking a selfie. You'll need four phones, but it'll be so worth it.

Probably.

Okay, it won't. Like at all.
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Oct 07, 2015
"Literally anything is better than Freeform."

Yes...anything.
How about ANGST. And always in caps, because angst. The ANGST channel.

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Oct 07, 2015

So what were the other 2999 suggested names that were dumber than Freeform?
Like some have commented before - how much was spent on this re-branding exercise? Could have just gotten some monkeys to throw poop on the 'name' wall chart and see what sticks.
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Oct 07, 2015
1. Fear the Abc family
2. The network formerly known as Abc family
3. Law and order....Abc family edition

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Oct 07, 2015
"Fear the ABC Family" is great! It has my vote.
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Oct 07, 2015
Here, I'll come up with a better one in 10 sec, ummm.... NCIS Family. There, multiple demographics represented, and literally everyone watches NCIS.
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Oct 07, 2015
At first I read it as "Freedom" which I thought would be a cool name for a channel. "Freeform" just sounds stupid.
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Oct 07, 2015
"Freeform" sounds like the name of a bra. ...No wait. It is!
Freeform is the name of those stick-on bra cups that have no straps.

Massively stupid name for a network.
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Oct 07, 2015
We need a visual for that information!
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Oct 07, 2015
On first sight I read it as '' free from'' and thought free from what ? gluten? Oh frack, everythings fracken gluten free now
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Oct 07, 2015
I've got only two words for this name change: EPIC FAIL!
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Oct 07, 2015
This is even dumber than The Sci-Fi Channel becoming Syfy.
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Oct 07, 2015
Nothing is dumber than that. Not just that they renamed the channel but that they said it was pronounced "Siffy" WTF!
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Oct 07, 2015
Stupid new name.I hope this rebranding Dosent mean the end of Fosters & Switched at rthi
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Oct 07, 2015
Two things:

1. "first really stupid network rebranding, etc." - This made me LOL.
2. "chosen from one of 3,000 possible contenders" - How the f*ck do you get 3K contenders? Let wild cats run across all the office keyboards? Is this a typo? Do "Becomers" not know how to properly count things? I could believe if they had 3 contenders, but not 3,000.
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Oct 07, 2015
Epic trolling by the 1,200 members of the focus group!
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Oct 07, 2015

changes sorry is what i meant to say

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Oct 07, 2015
uh why ? they already changed their name once before. for those who are to young to remember it was named something else i forget what for many years and than about what was it 10 or 15 years ago they changed it to what it is now. why do tv channels insist on changing their name so much? using Spike Tv for example when that went through about 5 different name changed
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Oct 07, 2015
I've been waiting for waiting for them to change the name.

They haven't been about family in years!
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Oct 07, 2015
Maybe not *your* family... my family, which is routinely stalked by murderers in hoodies, relates very well to this channel.
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Oct 07, 2015
ABC is ABC you don't expect much from them. AT least they are removing family from the network name. There nothing on a family can watch and they have been anti-family for so long.
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Oct 06, 2015
Just get it over with and call it ABC For Teenage Girls With Contradictory Preachy And Less-Than-Wholesome Subject Matter Because ABC Want To Appear To Be Family-Oriented While Still Having Enough Viewership To Pay The Bills.
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Oct 06, 2015
Umm i really don't care what it is called tbh lol.
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Oct 06, 2015
I'm crying at the idea of how much some advertising exec must have gotten paid for that idea.
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Oct 06, 2015
The new name might be ridiculous but calling the network ABC Family wasn't working anymore either. U am guessing "Freeform" might be popular with the same people who vote on Teen Choice Awards because that is the people the network is among for.
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Oct 07, 2015
Idk - teenagers are family too. It was just pg-13 family shows, not pg shows.
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Oct 06, 2015
Abc Family was stupid and confusing...Eh if that's the case think it says more about you Tim than them but the new name is ridiculous.
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Staff
Oct 07, 2015
Tim didn't write this.
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Oct 07, 2015
Whoops coming off another post by him guess I had Tim on the brain.
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Oct 06, 2015
Well, "becomers" don't get cancer. That's how it is.

Looking good eh?
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Oct 06, 2015
Still think I should still stick around, Kaitlin? :) I called it last week. I'm not in their new demo. I know you really like The Fosters, but I could never get into it.
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Oct 06, 2015
after reading the entire article and some comments thinking the name was being changed to FREEDOM (cringe) freeform really isn't bad. and I do think it's about time they dropped the misleading 'family' from the name .
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