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January 12

January 12, 2016 – The Network Freeform Begins Broadcast

“Freeform is the inspired by the interconnection between content and audience, media and technology, interactive and linear, life stage and life style and the way Becomers interact with them all.”

On January 12, 2016, the reincarnation of ABC Family, now named Freeform, began broadcasting. This marked a change for the network as it tried to move away from the family audience to a target audience of ages 14 through 34. Programming includes series such as Grown-ish, Alone Together, and The Bold Type.


October 24

October 24, 2001 – Disney Acquires Fox Family Worldwide

“These assets are a perfect fit for our company. We paid approximately for a rare asset.” – Disney CEO Michael Eisner

On October 24, 2001, Disney completed the acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide, which they bought for $5.3 billion from News Corp. and Haim Saban. The announcement of the planned acquisition was presented by media outlets on July 23, 2001. The acquisition included several channels, such as Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids (rebranded as ABC Family and Jetix, respectfully). Upon the announcement of the acquisition, Disney began to shift content from ABC and other Disney broadcast channels to ABC Family, giving the channel enough programming to start off well.

June 22

June 22, 2009 – The ABC Family Series Make it Or Break It Premieres


“It’s so weird: all this work and it can be all over in one weekend.”

On June 22, 2009, the drama series Make It or Break It premiered on ABC Family. Inspired by the comedy-drama film Stick It, the series revolved around four elite gymnasts who wished to make it to the Olympics. The series lasted for three seasons with 48 episodes. It was created by Holly Sorensen, and starred Chelsea Hobbs as Emily Kmetko, Ayla Kell as Payson Keeler, Josie Loren as Kaylie Cruz, and Cassie Scerbo as Lauren Tanner.

The pilot episode begins at the Rocky Mountain Gymnastics Training Center (also known as the Rock), where several Olympic hopeful gymnasts are arriving. Best friends Payson, Kaylie, and Lauren are preparing to head to their last Nationals, though Kaylie and Lauren are looking forward to life after competing. The top three gymnasts will be heading to Nationals, with the three girls eyeing the spots. A last minute competitor named Emily joins the race, giving the three girls some anxiety, particularly Lauren. Kaylie attempts to be nice to Emily, while Lauren is rather snippy. Lauren attempts to turn Kaylie and Payson against Emily, but Kaylie and Payson would rather pay attention to their own work. Emily has a scholarship to attend The Rock, and is nervous about maintaining it. Each girl has their own troubles to work with, with each dealing with the pressure to win a spot at Nationals.

Emily starts the long trek home from The Rock when her mom forgets to pick her up

Emily starts the long trek home from The Rock when her mom forgets to pick her up

Emily ends up walking home from the Rock, and accidentally finds Kaylie making out with fellow gymnast Carter, which is a violation of the rules of the Rock. When Emily arrives home, she finds that her mother has forgotten about the National Tryouts, but Emily is able to smooth things over. Carter drives Kaylie home and wants to tell her father about their relationship, but Kaylie refuses as they should focus on Nationals. Lauren arrives at Kaylie’s, and says that her father will “take care of Emily,” making sure that she will not qualify for the team. Emily arrives at her new job to pick up her uniform, and ends up having to work a shift, keeping her late at the restaurant. She ends up making friends with fellow employee Razor, although he seems to have an immediate crush on her. The next morning, Emily oversleeps and rushes to make it to the trials. She barely manages to make it, but arrives just in time.

The competition begins, and Emily holding her own against the other three girls, though she still holds in fourth place. Lauren, known as “Queen of the Beam,” heads up to do her routine, but falls off the beam at the start, costing her some serious points. Realizing that Emily deserves a shot at top three, Payson starts cheering Emily on, with everyone joining her. Emily nails her beam routine, and nails her position in top three, crushing Lauren. Lauren decides to sabotage Emily’s vault routine, especially knowing that Emily is afraid of the vault. Unaware of the sabotage, Emily takes off, and injures herself badly on the vault. Emily doesn’t want to go to the hospital, but she is taken to rest in the back. Emily’s mom wants her to give up on her dream, but Emily refuses to quit. She is allowed to have her second vault, and sets the board herself to prevent another injury. She nails the vault, and manages to win her shot at Nationals. Lauren is hurt that she lost her spot, and decides to get it another way: by spilling the details of Kaylie’s verboten relationship with Carter. However, Emily defends Kaylie, covering for her. In the end, Lauren’s father, who funds the Rock, goes to the coach and blackmails him into taking Lauren and a few other girls to the Denver club. This leaves Kaylie, Payson, and Emily with no coach, and no hope before Nationals.


June 11

June 11, 2012 – The ABC Family Series Bunheads Premieres


“If a director can just look at you and say ‘no’ after three seconds, it’s not ‘no’ cause you’re so young and hot. It’s ‘no’ cause you’re starting to look like an IHOP cashier.”

On June 11, 2012, the dramedy series Bunheads premiered on ABC Family. The series centered around Las Vegas showgirl Michelle Simms, who marries a man impetuously and moves to his hometown of Paradise, California. After her husband dies, Simms decides to go back to her roots and teach ballet alongside her mother-in-law at the Paradise Dance Academy. The series lasted for 18 episodes, being cancelled after one season. It was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and Lamar Damon. It starred Sutton Foster as Michelle Simms, Kelly Bishop as Fanny Flowers, Kaitlyn Jenkins as Bettina Jordan, Julia Goldani Telles as Sasha Torres, Bailey Buntain as Virginia Thompson, and Emma Dumont as Melanie Segal.


April 30

April 30, 2009 – Disney Announces Partnership with Hulu


“…Disney has sought to meet the constantly evolving viewing habits of our consumers, and today’s Hulu announcement is the next important step in that ongoing journey.” – Bob Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company

On April 30, 2009, a press release was presented by Hulu announcing the partnership between Disney through the subsidiary ABC Enterprises Inc. This partnership made popular ABC and Disney shows available to viewers, including Lost, The Wizards of Waverly Place, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. This included full-length episodes from ABC, ABC Family, ABC Daytime, SOAPnet, Disney Channel, and from the Walt Disney Studios itself. Through this transaction, Disney also became an equity partner with Hulu, gaining three seats on the board: one for Iger; once for Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group; and Kevin Mayer, executive vice president of Corporate Strategy, Business Development & Technology.


January 3

January 3, 2012 – The Television Series Jane By Design Premieres on ABC Family


“And this is me, Jane Quimby. Career girl in high fashion, or dateless high school zero: you be the judge.”

On January 3, 2012, the live-action comedy-drama series Jane By Design premiered on ABC Family. The plot follows the life of Jane Quimby, who scores her dream job of being a personal assistant to famous designer Gray Chandler Murray, but Jane must hide the fact that she is still in high school. The series was panned by critics, and only lasted for one season, ending on July 31, 2012 after eighteen episodes. It was created by April Blair, and stars Erica Dasher as Jane Quimby, Andie MacDowell as Gray Chandler Murray, India de Beaufort as India Jourdain, Rowly Dennis as Jeremy Jones, David Clayton Rogers as Ben Quimby, and Nick Roux as Billy Nutter.

The pilot episode begins with Jane heading to school in her beat up car with her best friend Billy, although Jane doesn’t want to get out of the car. They finally head to school, with Jane revealing a crush on one of the popular boys. Popular girl Lulu wastes no time in mocking Jane’s fashion sense. Later, Jane asks Billy if he ever wonders what it would be like to be popular. Later that night, Jane arrives home to her brother and legal guardian, Ben, who is having a hard time finding a job. Ben had to drop out of college to take care of the two of them after their father died. Worried about the job search, Jane decides to apply for a job at Donovan Decker as a fashion intern. When Jane arrives, she sits at a table full of other intern hopefuls, and soon is taken to Gray Chandler Murray’s office, where she waits for a while before Gray appears on the screen. Gray is rather flippant and careless, and automatically gives Jane the job, although she doesn’t think Jane will last longer than two days. Jane realizes that she’s accidentally applied for the position of Gray’s executive assistant, but accepts the job when she is given a nice salary with an expense account.

Birdie takes a rather stunned Jane around the office

Birdie takes a rather stunned Jane around the office

Birdie, the director of human resources, shows Jane around Donovan Decker, and Jane looks a little overwhelmed, although she thinks that Jeremy Jones, the new designer, is rather adorable. Jeremy has an argument with co-worker India, who is nothing short of a diva. He then finds Jane wandering around and starts talking with her, and offers to give her advice about working at Donovan Decker. Birdie then finds Jane and hands her a stack of paperwork to fill out, and Jane realizes once again that she may be way over her head, as she’s still only a high school student. Nevertheless, she takes the paperwork home to work on. At home, the financial troubles are much worse than Jane thought, but realizes that this job will help them both. She enlists Billy’s help to work on the paperwork and forge the documents, and wants to keep it a secret from Ben. Billy agrees to help, with one condition: Jane goes with him to a popular student’s party. What Jane doesn’t know is that Billy and Lulu are in a secret relationship. Billy questions why they have to keep it a secret, but it continues nonetheless. When Billy catches up to Jane again, she wonders why there’s lipstick on Billy’s face, but is interrupted when Lulu pushes her into a pool.

The next time Jane is at school, she impatiently waits for the time to change, and she quickly heads to work as Gray’s assistant. Although Jane struggles with some of Gray’s tasks, she manages to do a good job in keeping her eyes on India, as India is after Gray’s job. India comes over and acts sweetly to Jane, except she is only using her to keep an eye on Gray’s calendar in her attempt to take Gray’s job. Meanwhile, Ben heads to Jane’s school to apply for the position of assistant athletic director, and meets former classmate turned guidance counselor Rita Shaw. She reveals to Ben that Jane got an internship, and wants to know if she’s doing it for all the right reasons. What he doesn’t know is that late that night, Jane is out at a bar with co-workers, when Jeremy steals her away to talk. She finally manages to sneak away from the bar, only to be greeted by Ben, who reveals that he knows about the internship. She convinces him that this is something she badly wants, and he lets her continue with the job.

Jane arrives at Gray's house, and is awed by the amazing walk-in closet

Jane arrives at Gray’s house, and is awed by the amazing walk-in closet

Gray sends Jane to her house to check on a very important shipment, and Jane is overwhelmed by the beauty and size of it all. Jane manages to check the shipment, and assures Gray that it is all there. Billy then calls her to let her know that her midterm is that day, at the same time as an important meeting at work. Jane rushes to the school to take the midterm using Gray’s rather nice convertible, then heads straight to the meeting to find India sabotaging Gray’s work. Jane manages to save Gray’s presentation with some pieces from the shipment, making an enemy of India. Jane reports to Gray that she saved the presentation, although Gray is less than thrilled with the results. As Jane leaves the office, she wants to talk to Jeremy, only to find that he’s having an intimate moment with India. Believing she’s been fired, she gets a call from Gray, only to find that Gray wants to keep her on.


August 17

August 17, 2010 – The Sitcom Melissa & Joey Premieres on ABC Family


“No we don’t. The urge to set things on fire – we repress.”

On August 17, 2010, the sitcom Melissa & Joey premiered on ABC Family. The story is about Mel Burke, a former wild child turned local politician, who has to take care of her niece and nephew after her brother-in-law and sister are thrown in federal prison. Mel reluctantly hires Joe, a former commodities trader, to become the live-in nanny. The show has received great ratings in its timeslot, and as of this date, has been renewed for a fourth season. The series was created by David Kendall and Bob Young. It stars Melissa Joan Hart as Mel Burke, Joey Lawrence as Joe Longo, Taylor Spreitler as Lennox, and Nick Robinson as Ryder.

The episode begins with Councilperson Mel Burke preparing for a night on the town while watching an earlier press conference. Someone in the conference starts demanding their money back from her brother-in-law, but she coolly shuts him down, with her assistant Rhonda telling her that she “smelled of authority.” Their celebration is cut short when Mel’s niece Lennox asks why angry white men are throwing trash on their lawn. Mel is trying to reach out to her niece, but Lennox is rather reluctant, as is Lennox’s brother Ryder, who expresses his anger in not-so-healthy ways. On Mel’s way out, she and Rhonda get phone calls about Lennox, with Lennox getting suspended. Mel goes to confront Lennox, and Lennox acts rather flippant about the entire thing. Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and Mel runs to meet her date, but meets the man from the press conference instead. He apologizes for interrupting her press conference, but once again asks where her brother-in-law is. Her date arrives, and she pushes the guy away. She then tells her date that, with everything going on, she just can’t go.

Joe tries to convince Mel to give him the job of taking care of her niece and nephew

Joe tries to convince Mel to give him the job of taking care of her niece and nephew

The next day, Mel gets ready for work, when the guy shows back once again. He’s gone through the entire budget and has figured out how to get money for the smaller class sizes and garbage pick-up, and introduces himself as Joe Longo. She is surprised to find out who he is, as he was a commodities trader that helped make her brother-in-law millions, before he lost his job thanks to her brother-in-law’s schemes. He asks for a job, but she says there’s a hiring freeze in the government. He spies her request for a nanny, and asks for the job. He ends up weaseling his way into the job regardless of Mel’s protests, and she rushes off to the job. When she gets home, she finds Joe doing the laundry, and Ryder home working on his homework. Lennox is also missing, even though she should be heading to school to apologize to the principal. Joe finds Lennox on the roof after she posts something on social media, and talks to her. She admits that she’s tired of life being unfair, and he convinces her to at least trust her aunt.

Mel heads down to Lennox’s school, and the principal accuses Mel of being an unfit parent. Lennox interrupts her and apologizes for being late, and then apologizes for her actions. At home that night, Joe helps Ryder with his free throws while waiting for Mel to come home. Mel is still uncertain about Joe being the nanny, as he has several interesting methods of getting to her niece and nephew. After talking with him, she is starting to be convinced that he is the right person for the job, although he is rather hurt when he finds that she’s already hired another nanny, as he thinks that she didn’t believe in him. Mel decides to hire him full-time, taking a chance on him after everything that happened that day.