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  • CBN Satellite Service (1977-1981)
  • CBN Cable (1981-1988)
  • The CBN Family Channel (1988-1990)
  • The Family Channel (1990-1998)
  • Fox Family (1998-2001)
  • 29 avril 1977
  • 1er aout 1988
  • 1990
  • 15 aout 1998
  • 10 novembre 2001


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ABC Family (1977)

"A New Kind of Family"

Type :  


ABC Family, stylized as abc family, is an American television network, owned by ABC Family Worldwide Inc., a subsidiary of the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. ABC Family offers contemporary and family programming, including off-network syndicated reruns and original series, feature films and Made-for-TV original movies, and some religious programming.

The network was founded in 1977 as an extension of televangelist Pat Robertson's christian television ministry, and eventually evolved into The Family Channel by 1990. In 1998, it was sold to Fox Kids Worldwide Inc. and renamed Fox Family. On October 24, 2001, Fox Family Worldwide Inc was sold to The Walt Disney Company. The sale to Disney included Saban Entertainment and Fox Family. The channel generally offers programming aimed at a wide audience, but primarily features series and movies aimed at older teens and young adults (age 15-30).


ABC Family launched on April 29, 1977, as the CBN Satellite Service, an arm of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network . The name later changed to the CBN Cable Network in 1981 and grew to a million homes by that year. On August 1, 1988, the word "Family" was incorporated into the name to better reflect the format, becoming The CBN Family Channel. By 1990, the network had grown too profitable to remain under the CBN banner without endangering CBN's non-profit status. CBN spun it off to a new company called International Family Entertainment Inc. (run by Robertson's son, Tim Robertson), and the name was changed to simply The Family Channel on September 15, 1990.

As The Family Channel, it attracted a slightly older audience not sought by advertisers; only about one-third of homes watching the network included children or youth. The Family Channel started airing television shows for preschool children, preteens, and teenagers to target all members of the family.

International Family Entertainment, Inc. was sold to Fox Kids Worldwide Inc. in July 1997, and Fox Kids Worldwide Inc. was renamed Fox Family Worldwide Inc. The Family Channel was officially renamed Fox Family Channel on August 15, 1998. Following the sale to News Corporation, The 700 Club was scaled back to two airings a day , with the evening broadcast being moved out of prime time, pushed an hour later to 11 p.m. ET from 10 p.m., while Columbo was moved from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on Sundays. More cartoons were added to the lineup, many of which were from the Fox Kids library, with about eight hours of cartoons airing a day. However, Fox Family also became a cornerstone for syndicating foreign TV series, such as the popular British S Club 7 TV series, which became their flagship series for the channel until the early 2000s. The channel also syndicated many Canadian series, both animated and live action, including Angela Anaconda, Big Wolf on Campus, I Was a 6th Grade Alien, and briefly The Zack Files; along with running cartoons and anime based on video games, such as Donkey Kong Country, Megaman, and Monster Rancher, mostly a part of the channel's morning lineup. The channel aired reruns of some Fox Kids series such as Bobby's World, Eek! The Cat, and Life with Louie, and added some recent family sitcoms as well. The new schedule also included reruns of the CBS Saturday morning series Pee-wee's Playhouse, which had not been seen on television since 1991. When Fox bought the channel in 1997, programmers sought a new dual audience—kids in daytime, families at night. In 1999, Fox tried to spin off two digital cable networks from Fox Family, the Boyz Channel and the Girlz Channel, which both contained content focusing on each gender; both networks went off the air a year later due to lack of demand and the controversy that developed over the gender-segregated channels. To a point, Disney is attempting to relaunch the concept somewhat in February 2009 with the conversion of Toon Disney into the tween boy-targeting Disney XD, while Disney Channel has shifted towards featuring programming appealing to girls (though not necessarily in the same gender-exclusionary manner as the Boyz/Girlz Channel concept).

Under Fox's ownership, Fox Family saw its ranking slide from 10th to 17th place as a result of an increasingly competitive race for younger viewers and the bickering over ownership between News Corp. and Haim Saban. Some observers believe that it chased away some of the older viewers and never really replaced the core audience. As a result, primetime ratings declined 35% in the past three years. It is also suggested that Fox hired more employees than needed, and when Disney took over, as many as 500 were laid off , but Fox Family also used many freelancers for certain aspects of the channel, such as their short-lived "block jocks" and most of the monikers for the network were created by freelance artists. However, the Disney acquisition took the channel into a deeper decline in its early years.

Fox Family Worldwide Inc was sold to The Walt Disney Company, for $2.9 billion on October 24, 2001. The sale to The Walt Disney Company included Saban Entertainment. The Walt Disney Company bought Capital Cities/ABC in February 1996, and changed the corporate name to ABC, and the network was officially renamed ABC Family on November 10, 2001.

The sale to Disney was considered one of the largest mistakes or problems occurring during the tenure of Michael Eisner. The failure was primarily due to the acquisition being done by the strategic planning department of Disney, without consulting anyone at ABC. The original plan was to use the channel to essentially show re-runs of ABC programming, but this plan was completely impossible since ABC had no syndication rights to the majority of their own programs. During this time, the network did air same-season repeats of Alias, Less Than Perfect, Life with Bonnie, and The Bachelor, almost all of which were Touchstone Television productions (The Bachelor is distributed by Time Warner's Telepictures). But in trying to change the focus of the channel, Disney also canceled several Fox Family series, like State of Grace, and cut back on the network's TV movies, which were among the few programs Fox Family was doing well with. The ratings tumbled further as the network became dependent on syndicated reruns and no original programs (save for original wrap-around segments around Bachelor repeats, and children's programming).

The next major plan was to reposition the channel to market it to college students, young women, or to a more hip audience under the name XYZ, a reverse reference to ABC. Disney soon found that the channel could never be renamed as such. The original sale from CBN to Fox/Saban contained a stipulation that the channel contain the word "Family" in the name forever, no matter who owns the network. To create XYZ, the Family Channel would have had to cease to exist—terminating all existing cable TV contracts—and XYZ would have to be created as a new network. Cable companies would not be obligated to put XYZ in the spot vacated by the Family Channel. ABC scrapped the idea after discovering this clause.

The name was revisited at one point in 2003, serving as a program block entitled "The XYZ.", showing programs and movies aimed at the above groups. The network was also used as a buffer to burn off failed ABC series, such as All American Girl, which featured Spice Girl Geri Haliwell.

Another one of Robertson's stipulations in his sale of the original Family Channel to its future line of secular owners was that his syndicated talk show, The 700 Club, be aired twice daily on the network , along with a shorter CBN talk show called Living the Life. Following controversial remarks made by Robertson on the former program about Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, as well as other equally controversial comments regarding gays, feminists, Muslims, abortion, and many other social issues, ABC Family moved to distance itself from the program (the showing of which is also required under Robertson's original sale stipulations, along with the airing of a day-long CBN telethon in late January every year); On August 29, 2005, ABC Family changed the disclaimers before, during, and after the broadcasts from "The following/preceding program is/was brought to you by CBN" to "The following/preceding CBN telecast does not reflect the views of ABC Family." Since 2003, ABC Family has been producing more successful original movies and series.

In August 2006, an all new slogan and visual style premiered on ABC Family: A New Kind of Family. As previously stated, the word "Family" is required under the terms of the lease from Robertson.

On August 31, 2006, ABC Family aired Jetix for the last time as a part of Disney's plan to convert all Jetix airings to Toon Disney. Jetix aired various programs since its debut on the network in 2002, which included Metabots, Beyblade, Digimon: Digital Monsters, Daigunder, Get Ed, and many others. Of its long list of programs, the Power Rangers series was its most successful. Sitcom repeats currently air in Jetix's former timeslot from 7-9 a.m. ET, with the morning airing of the 700 Club/Living the Life block pushed back a half-hour further to 9:30 a.m. ET and sitcom reruns airing during the 9 a.m. ET half-hour. Since the removal of Jetix, ABC Family has not aired any programming targeted at pre-teen audiences; those programs now air on sister network Disney Channel (though this is nothing new for the network, as just before the Fox purchase, ABC Family did not carry any children's programming at all).

Despite being co-owned with Disney Channel—and targeting a similar audience, very little of Disney Channel's programming has aired on ABC Family . However, the channel has aired some films featuring performers that have been associated with Disney in recent years, such as Hilary Duff, The Jonas Brothers, Ashley Tisdale, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. The only Disney Channel productions to air on ABC Family were the 2008 movie Camp Rock and the 2011 film Lemonade Mouth, both of which are also two of only four Disney Channel movies to air domestically on a non-Disney Channel branded network .

In October 2007, ABC Family completely redesigned their website, giving it a more modern look as compared to its previous look. They also streamlined the Broadband Player, putting more content on it including reruns of Three Moons Over Milford, and episodes of 7th Heaven, Grounded for Life, Kyle XY, and Greek, as well as adding some Fox Kids programming they still own, such as Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Kyle XY had given the channel the most viewers in the network's history, but in 2008 that record was broken by the series premiere of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. After nearly 3 years, the record was broken again with Switched at Birth premiering to 3.3 million viewers on June 6, 2011. Since then, ABC Family has launched more shows geared towards young females, such as popular dramas Make It or Break It and The Nine Lives of Chloe King, and comedies 10 Things I Hate About You, Melissa & Joey, and State of Georgia

In July 2009, the network posted best-ever July deliveries in Prime and Total viewers thanks to returning series The Secret Life of the American Teenager and new series Make It or Break It, 10 Things I Hate About You and Ruby & The Rockits along with extended features from the Harry Potter film franchise and the TV debut of Labor Pains. On June 8, 2010, the premiere of the ABC Family original drama series Pretty Little Liars, successfully broke series premiere ratings records for ABC Family, across all major viewing demographics of women and young people.

Aside from some common programming and targeting the same audience, the various iterations of CBN/Fox/ABC Family have had no affiliation with the Canadian network Family, although some electronic guide providers confusingly display Family's 1988-1998 logo (which partially resembles ABC Family's pre-1998 logo as The Family Channel) as that of ABC Family's logo.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "ABC Family", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.