Three months after transitioning from ABC Family to Freeform, the cable network has shown significant awareness and growth with TV viewers based on established programs like Pretty Little Liars and Young & Hungry, and the new series Shadowhunters. With this success, the network will continue to nurture its hit series, develop a full slate of newcomers and, for the first time, look to schedule late night with original programming while also expanding its digital platform. The network is also developing a live festival called “Freeform Fest,” and creating short-form content to live in all the places Freeform exists, including traditional, digital and social platforms.
Freeform will also grow its digital offering to unite the linear and non-linear worlds enabling fans to simultaneously engage with Freeform content and their social networks as it adds to the many ways it engages with its viewers. Over time, the new offering will give the audience choice and control over how and when they consume content, allow them to binge and stream, to customize playlists of their favorite episodes and scenes, to interact with advertising and even be a part of the development process.
Heating up the summer are new blockbuster dramas Dead of Summer from Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (Once Upon a Time), and Guilt from Lionsgate TV and Thunderbird Films, along with cheerleading docuseries Cheer Squad. Fan favorite comedies Young & Hungry and Baby Daddy bow first on Wednesday, June 1, followed by Guilt on Monday, June 13, and The Fosters one week later on Monday, June 20. Social phenomenon Pretty Little Liars will kick off its summer season with a supersized episode on Tuesday, June 21, with highly anticipated Dead of Summer debuting on Tuesday, June 28. On Monday, August 22, Cheer Squad will join the lineup airing weeknights at 10:00 p.m. EDT. Procedural drama Stitchers is currently airing its second season Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. EDT and will finale Tuesday, May 24 with Monica the Medium, debuting its sophomore season later this month on Monday, April 25 at 10:00 p.m. EDT and will air with all-new episodes through Monday, June 27.
Premiering in 2017 are sci-fi series Beyond and unscripted series The Letter. Peabody Award-winning Switched at Birth will end its five-season run after more than 100 episodes, in early 2017 with a special 90–minute series finale. Also returning is the hit epic saga Shadowhunters, which will premiere its recently announced second season.
Adding to its history of addicting, soapy dramas, Freeform has picked up to series Famous in Love, from I. Marlene King, the executive producer of Pretty Little Liars, and starring superstar Bella Thorne. The network will also make its first venture into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with new series Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, a superhero love story. For the first time, Freeform will also launch original programming in late night with Alice, a half-hour weekly variety-style platform showcasing bold, groundbreaking and experimental short-form content. The network is also greenlighting a new pilot, Issues from Cosmopolitan editor in chief Joanna Coles.
Tentpole programming is another area the network continues to expand both with new content and additional events. Holiday-themed movie shorts will be added to the “25 Days of Christmas” lineup this year. Also during this year’s holiday season, the network will premiere the latest installment in the popular Cinderella Story films, A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits, starring Sofia Carson (Descendants).
In the tradition of “25 Days of Christmas,” “Countdown to 25 Days,” “13 Nights of Halloween” and “Funday,” the network is adding two new tentpole movie stunts. First up is “Man Crush Movie Week” later this month, with such movie favorites as “The Notebook” and the network premiere of “The First Time.” “Harry Potter’s Birthday” on July 31 will celebrate the birthday of everyone’s favorite boy wizard.
Freeform is currently in development on its first late-night talk show, the fiercely funny Later Bitches, from longtime producers Jennifer Flanz (The Daily Show) and Elise Terrell (The Daily Show), as well as developing Freeform Presents: Snapshot, two one-hour documentaries focusing on big pop culture moments from the producers of 30 for 30 and ESPN Films. New scripted series development includes: Rising from executive producers Selena Gomez, Mandy Teefey and Aaron Kaplan; Nine Years Under from executive producer Will Packer; a spinoff of the network’s popular sitcom Young & Hungry executive produced by and starring Ashley Tisdale; Misfits from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl, The O.C.); Alone Together from The Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer; Made in LA from Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Mila Kunis (That 70s Show); Lore from executive producer McG; comedy Paige One executive-produced by actress/director Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect films); Hunted from Mila Kunis and Ed Bernero; mermaid thriller The Deep; and from executive producer Joel Silver and Lionsgate, New People. Getting back into the original movie game, Freeform currently has the movie Angry Angel in development, along with a holiday movie reuniting the characters from the network’s original series GREEK.
The network is also developing short-form projects for linear and/or digital platforms including Rio Squad (working title), shorts featuring female athletes who have dedicated their lives to being the best at their sport; Open Roads, My Boyfriend is a Robot, “Untitled Punam Patel Project” and Just Josh. The network is also licensing short-form content from School of Doodle.
“Freeform Fest” is another first for the network that is also in development. “Freeform Fest” is a brand-defining live event slated for summer 2017 that is a collaborative and creative celebration between fans and talent in tribute to TV, music, art, comedy, fashion, film and digital media. There will be performances, fan interaction, participatory activities, interactive art, food, drink, sideshows and delightful surprises in between, with live custom vignettes and a wrap-up on-air special.
Young & Hungry – Wednesday, June 1, 8:00 PM
Young & Hungry returns with more episodes, and more ups and downs in Gabi and Josh’s relationship! This season, Gabi, reeling from her discovery of Josh with his therapist, meets a brokenhearted stranger (guest star Tyler Ritter) and they decide to commiserate together. Elliot and his husband Alan make a major life change, and Yolanda celebrates a big milestone. Young & Hungry stars Emily Osment, Jonathan Sadowski, Rex Lee, Aimee Carrero and Kym Whitley.
Baby Daddy – Wednesday, June 1, 8:30 PM
Baby Daddy picks up right where it left off in the spring finale, with Ben finally deciding to be with Zoey (guest star Jonna Walsh), just as her son’s father reappears in her life. Riley is heartbroken after learning Danny hooked up with Sam (guest star Daniella Monet) in high school, and decides to put him on “trial” for his misdeeds with Bonnie acting as his lawyer. Tucker tries to further his career as an entertainment reporter, and Bonnie reunites with a relative she’d rather forget. Baby Daddy stars Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Derek Theler, Tahj Mowry, Melissa Peterman and Chelsea Kane. Guest stars this season include Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Loni Anderson, Eddie Cibrian and Jackée Harry.
Guilt – Monday, June 13, 9:00 PM
The definition of guilt is being responsible for wrongdoing or a crime. In the murder of Molly Ryan, many are guilty in different ways, but only one is truly guilty of her murder. When Natalie’s sister Grace becomes the prime suspect in her roommate Molly’s murder and popular target for the press and in social media, Natalie leaves her life in Boston and heads to London to defend her. With the help of an ethically questionable ex-pat lawyer Stan Gutterie, Natalie starts to question how innocent her sister may really be as more ugly truths start to emerge. In this one-hour soapy drama, the mystery will twist through all layers of London society — from a posh but depraved sex club and all the way up to the Royal Family itself. Guilt stars Billy Zane, Emily Tremaine, Daisy Head, Cristian Solimeno, Naomi Ryan, Kevin Ryan, Zachary Fall, Simona Brown and Sam Cassidy.
The Fosters – Monday, June 20, 8:00 PM
The new season picks up immediately from the dramatic cliffhanger finale with Mariana’s emotionally devastated boyfriend Nick bringing a gun to school. Now that Callie’s moms know she slept with Brandon, Callie worries they may not want her to remain part of the family. The Fosters stars Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Hayden Byerly, Noah Centineo, David Lambert, Maia Mitchell, Danny Nucci and Cierra Ramirez.