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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.

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June 22

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

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“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

Bunheads

“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

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“…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

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“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

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“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.

July 25

July 25, 2004 – The ABC Family Movie Crimes of Fashion Premieres

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“I am a fashion student! I design pretty clothes that don’t include gun holsters!”

On July 25, 2004, the ABC family movie Crimes of Fashion premiered. It was written by David Mickel, directed by Stuart Gillard, and stars Kaley Cuoco as Brooke, Dominic Chianese as George, Megan Fox as Candace, Pat Kelly as Jack, and Chuck Shamata as Sal Hugo.

The film begins at a funeral for Don Dominic, where a group of mob men are being spied on by a duo of men from the FBI, and are soon spotted by the mob. Meanwhile, at Fashion University, fashion student Brooke Taylor is mooning over a guy instead of paying attention to her studies, but is able to answer the question the professor gives her. Unfortunately for Brooke, while she is excellent at her studies, her fashion sense leaves much to be desired. Her rival, Candace, takes joy in pointing out Brooke’s sloppiness, much to Brooke’s annoyance. As Brooke heads to another class, she is approached by one of the men at the funeral, who tells her to get in a car with him. She reluctantly goes with him when he shows her his gun, and is taken to a mansion that he says belonged to her grandfather. Brooke is confused, as she never knew he had a grandfather. She becomes angry, thinking that she was abandoned by him in foster care after her parents died while he lived in the mansion. The man, George, lets Brooke know that it was her grandfather’s final wish that he take over the family business, and she is shocked to find that he was a mob boss.

As George once again tries to convince Brooke to take over the family, rival Candace tries to put her down

As George once again tries to convince Brooke to take over the family, rival Candace tries to put her down

Brooke refuses to play any part in her grandfather’s business, and walks away from Gordon, although he will not take “no” for an answer and shows up in her next class. He continues to find her on campus, refusing to give up until she says yes. She finally decides to listen to his explanation, and he tells her that their group is so close to being legit, and they need someone honest to take them the rest of the way: her. She agrees, only if she can stay in school and no one finds out about this. In a corner diner, the two men from the FBI meet and discuss that the Sarto family has found themselves a new Don. The younger of the two, Jack, is tasked to go undercover at Brooke’s school to find information about her and to bring her down. Brooke then heads back to her grandfather’s mansion, and is told about Sal Hugo, a rival mob boss that wants the Sarto territory. Gordon tells Brooke that she’ll need to earn Hugo’s respect and sell him on their plan of going legit; Brooke freaks out at hearing this, as she claims she’s not convincing and no one listens to her. Gordon offers to teach her how to be more confident, although she has a very hard time learning anything. When Hugo hears of the new Don, he is less than pleased.

Jack finally makes contact with Brooke, although he acts very nervous around her. Brooke’s crush, Marcus, interrupts their conversation, although he acts like a complete jerk. Soon after, Brooke heads to a meeting with the Sarto family, although she is not confident about meeting everyone. The speech she gives to the family is less than ideal, but she finally realizes that she can use her fashion skills to make them a respectable group. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Candace is stealing fashion designs from another girl downtown, when she spies Brooke with her mob. Brooke finally admits to her friends about her double life, and Candace overhears. Her friends can’t support her on it, and her Candace heads to the headmaster about Brooke’s activities. Jack continues to search for information on Brooke, but is unable to find anything. He heads to Brooke’s part time job, where she’s accompanied by George. Jack and Brooke start to talk, and he is very impressed with Brooke’s expertise and passion for fashion design. They continue to “bump into each other” on campus, and they continue to bond. He is warned by his boss not to get to close to her.

An article is published in the New York Banner, revealing Brooke's secret

An article is published in the New York Banner, revealing Brooke’s secret

Candace has been snooping around trying to get information on Brooke, and sell what she has to a reporter at the New York Banner. After the news is published, Brooke is ambushed on campus by reporters, and is saved by her friends as they escort her across campus. She freaks out and decides to tell George that she’s going to quit, but when she gets to class, she is greeted with applause. Everyone then starts being nice to her, as they fear her wrath as a mob boss. Meanwhile, George is planting flowers in the garden, when it’s revealed that he is actually the Don, and Brooke’s grandfather, but plans to keep this hidden from Brooke. He goes to pick her up later for the meeting with Hugo, and although she’s nervous, he gives her the confidence she needs to go ahead with the meeting. The meeting, however, doesn’t go very well, as Hugo believes that he owns everything that she owns. She’s able to turn it around with her fashion sense, so she thinks, but Hugo pegs her for a softie and says that she’ll be easy to break.

Jack is tasked once again to undergo surveillance to spy on Brooke, and when he tries to get her alone, Brooke’s crush Marcus takes her away. Jack heads back to the FBI truck, despondent, while Brooke is asked out by Marcus. George doesn’t approve of Marcus, thinking he likes her for the wrong reasons. They head to an Italian restaurant, where the staff goes out of their way to impress her when they find out she is the Sarto Don. Marcus starts asking her all sorts of questions about the mafia, and admits that he only is dating her because she’s a mob boss. She calls off the date and heads home, and decides to research what her grandfather did and all of his businesses. She finds that the Sartos own a dress factory that makes knockoffs, and George reveals the plan to go legit: they start producing Brooke’s designs and creating a whole new dress factory. As Jack continues to investigate Brooke, the two get closer, although he is torn between his job and his feelings for Brooke. When Brooke runs to tell George, she finds him leaving, although he changes his mind and stays.

Candace brags about her designs, which Brooke realizes she stole from the girl at the factory

Candace brags about her designs, which Brooke realizes she stole from the girl at the factory

Candace, still trying to one-up Brooke, goes by her room to brag about her designs, when Brooke realizes she’d seen the designs before from a worker in the Sarto factory named Rosa, and that Candace cheated. She goes to talk to Rosa, who admits why she gave the drawings to Candace. As they prepare their case to take to the Dean, Hugo goes to threaten the Dean, as the Dean continues to borrow money from Hugo. Hugo then decides to have a “hostile takeover” of the school, since the Dean can’t come up with the money. Brooke goes to meet Jack at the Sew-Off in the quad, and they walk off together to talk. She tries to tell him that she’s a mob boss, but he refuses to listen to her. When she continues to talk, he cuts her off by kissing her. The Dean suddenly appears and closes down the school, and informs Brooke that Sal Hugo is closing down the school. The FBI appears soon after and asks to talk with Brooke, with Jack revealing who he truly is. When Brooke protests that she’s making the family legitimate, the FBI asks for her help in taking down Sal Hugo. Brooke decides that the best way to raise enough money for the school is to put on a fashion show, with the clothes being sold after the show.

At her job, Brooke vents about falling for the wrong guy, thinking that Jack was using her to further his career, when Jack appears and informs her that he’s been suspended. He tells her that Sal Hugo burned down his grandparents’ shop when he was a kid, and that’s why he joined the FBI. He also admits that his feelings for her have been out in the open the entire time. Brooke decides to negotiate with Hugo, giving him his money and all of her businesses, save for the dress factory, and says that one day, he’ll be giving her all of his businesses. The day of the fashion show arrives, and some of the models haven’t arrived, thanks to Candace’s sabotage. The show then begins without a hitch, which premieres Brooke’s new line, “Crimes of Fashion.” The show is a success, with Brooke getting offers from Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales. She confronts Hugo after the show, and is able to get enough information to send him to jail. Brooke and Jack reconnect afterwards, and decide to begin a real relationship. The Dean is also arrested for embezzling, and George is made the new Dean of the school. His first act is to expel Candace and give her scholarship to Rosa. In the end, he finally admits the truth: he is Brooke’s real grandfather. He tells her that he couldn’t leave her again, and she forgives him. The movie ends with Brooke becoming a successful designer, surrounded by her friends and family.