ABC Family is a cable channel owned by The Walt Disney Company. It started in 1977 as CBN Cable, owned by Pat Robertson. In 1988, the channel was renamed to CBN Family Channel; two years later it was spun off and the name was changed to The Family Channel, as the channel had begun to make too much money for non-profit CBN to keep it around. The Family Channel, which was by this point co-owned with the library of MTM Enterprises, was bought by FOX in 1997, and renamed Fox Family Channel the next year. The channel, along with Fox Kids, was sold to Disney in 2001. That same year, the channel's name settled on the current one, the Fox Kids block met its end the next year, and its programming moved to ABC Family (and Toon Disney) as "Jetix" (the name was introduced in 2004; previous to that the programming had aired on ABCF under the name of "ABC Family Action Block").
Disney planned to revamp the channel into a young-adult-aimed channel named "XYZ"; a stipulation that "Family" remain in the name forever put the brakes on this. The channel eventually abused a loophole and remained ABC Family, but changed their slogan to "A new kind of family", pretty much saying that they may have to keep the name, but that won't stop them from turning it into a not-so-family-friendly channel.
Original shows airing or about to air on this channel:
- The 700 Club (ABC Family is contractually required to air it, and it clearly isn't happy about having to do so; it buries the show at 11 PM and puts a disclaimer in front of it to warn people.)
- If you're watching the channel at any time The 700 Club is airing, you would have no idea you're watching ABC Family as the network removes all branding from the channel during that hour. You might as well call this time "CBN on ABC Family", like Nick's Nick at Nite. CBN telethons also air on the channel.
- It's also the only show they frequently run commercials before, after the preceding show has ended fully and run closing credits. They really seem to want their normal demographic to change over and watch The Daily Show (or anything else)...
- America's Funniest Home Videos
- Boy Meets World
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- Full House
- Gilmore Girls
- Grounded for Life
- The Harry Potter movies
- Not a show, obviously, but they still own the U.S. broadcast rights and air marathons of the series every now and then. Pat Robertson and The 700 Club are among the Moral Guardians who beileve Harry Potter teaches witchcraft, so this is an instance of Irony. Prior to the end of the Potter film series, the ABC Family marathons were notable for airing "sneak peeks", consisting of footage and interview clips relating to whichever installment was about to hit theaters, during commercial breaks. Today, these sneak peeks can be easily found on YouTube. ABC Family typically airs extended cuts of the films with Deleted Scenes added back in.
- My Wife and Kids
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch
- That '70s Show
- What I Like About You
- Whose Line Is It Anyway