Heads up: ABC Family is no longer ABC Family

ABC Family has already made its New Year’s Resolution: it’s going for a total head-to-toe makeover, and that includes a brand new spiffy name. Come January 1st, the network that we’ve grown to love over the years because of Pretty Little Liars, constant Harry Potter marathons, and the 13 Nights of Halloween, won’t be called ABC Family anymore. Instead, it’ll be named Freeform.

Not a joke. That is it’s real new name. ABC Family is all grown up and wants to be called Freeform now. It’s not like they suddenly woke up this morning and decided to go through a complete re-branding. This name change has been in the works for a while, and the great minds at ABC Family are looking to shed that “family-friendly” image while still providing family-friendly entertainment. They’re also looking to “evoke the spirit and adventure of [Freeform’s] audience.”

Oh, also Freeform is going to go ahead and rename its viewers. We’re no longer millennials and twenty-somethings watching the network, but instead, we’re all Becomers.

“Becomers represent a life stage rather than a generation,” ABC Family Freeform explained in a press release. “[Becomers] 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 exist between who they are and who they want to become.”

According to Deadline, the cable network formerly known as ABC Family tested out over 3,000 names before deciding on Freeform (and I’ve got to know where The Pretty Little Liars Network fell in those 3,000). They eventually decided on Freeform because their content isn’t just limited to television anymore, and it can freely form and be found all over the Internet and social media (FYI: PLL‘s season finales regularly break Twitter records).

With the name, “Freeform personifies this fluidity and will deliver ideas, forms of content and ways of interacting with the brand,” according to the press release.

This is not the first time ABC Family has gone through a makeover. Anyone else remember when it was the Fox Family Channel? And before that, The Family Channel? Networks often re-name and rebrand themselves to cater to the changing times, just like how once upon a time UPN and The WB became the CW.

The OG name will stick with the network through the end of the year, as its rebranding slowly rolls out. Don’t worry, none of our favorite shows are going anywhere, and you can check out the the video announcing Freeform’s debut below. But there’s just one thing, I do kinda need to know ASAP what’s happening to the @ABCFpll Twitter handle. This is important stuff.

(Image via ABC Family)


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