Monday, July 13, 2015

ABC Family: What Should Have Been

ABC Family was a network heart and soul. And when Disney bought it,it became a network of awesome possibilities. Sadly,thanks to Bob Iger and Anne Sweeney (and the brainless ben sherwood) ABC Family has become an absolute nightmare. Let's take a trip back,to the networks humble beginning.

The Family Channel launched on April 29, 1977, as the CBN Satellite Service, an arm of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which focused mainly on religious programming. The channel was notable for being one of the first cable channels to distribute its signal nationally through satellite transmission (a method that HBO had first pioneered in September 1975).

The channel's name was later changed to the CBN Cable Network in September 1981. Around this time, the channel adopted a more secular programming format featuring a mix of recent and classic family-oriented series and films, while retaining some religious programs. 

On August 1, 1988, the word "Family" was incorporated into the channel's name to better reflect its format, rebranding as 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. 

Ok,so the Networks beginnings were less than stellar,but they Did get least,for a while.

Anyway,The name was changed to simply The Family Channel on September 15, 1990.

As The Family Channel, it did better. The Family Channel started airing television shows for preschool children, pre-teens, and teenagers to target all members of the family. They even aired old cartoons,including ones that aired on NBC's Saturday Morning block. Sweetness!

 During this time, from 1994 to 1997, The Family Channel sponsored NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Ted Musgrave in the #16 Ford Thunderbird for Roush Racing.

In 1997, CBN put The Family Channel up for sale. News Corporation entered into discussions to purchase a stake in The Family Channel with CBN as a partner, in order to use the channel to carry the library of children's programs that News Corporation had owned through Saban Entertainment.

That June,The Network was purchased by Fox Kids Worldwide Inc., a joint venture between News Corporation and Saban Entertainment.

The Family Channel was officially renamed Fox Family Channel on August 15, 1998. With the change in ownership, Fox Family's operations were also migrated from Virginia Beach, Virginia (which is CBN headquarters) to News Corporation's other cable channels in Los Angeles.

Following the sale to Fox/Saban, The 700 Club (CBN's flagship show) was scaled back to two airings a day (per the sale agreement),once in the morning and another late night.  More cartoons were added to the channel's lineup, many of which were from the Fox Kids program library, with about eight hours of cartoons airing each day.


However, Fox Family also became a cornerstone for syndicating foreign television series, such as the popular British S Club 7 television series, which became the flagship series for the channel until the early 2000s.

The channel,unfortunately,also aired many Canadian series. Shameful! They also aired Mega Man The Animated Series. Cool.

As stated earlier,The channel aired reruns of some Fox Kids series,but added some recent family sitcoms as well. The new schedule also included reruns of Pee-wee's Playhouse, which had not been seen on television since 1991, when CBS pulled reruns of the series from its Saturday morning lineup following Paul Reubens' arrest for indecent exposure at a pornographic movie theater in Sarasota, Florida. Pitiful,Pee Wee,Pitiful!

In 1998,The Network sought a new dual audience – kids in daytime, families at night.(just like Discovery Family,but unlike Those jokers,Fox Family did things the right way)

In 1999, Fox spun off two digital cable channels from Fox Family, the Boyz Channel (for boys) and the Girlz Channel (for girls). However,these 2 Networks didn't last long, due to a lack popularity and the controversy that developed over the gender-segregated channels.
In 2000,Fox Family ultimately saw its overall viewership slide. This was a result of an increasingly competitive race for younger viewers and the bickering over ownership between News Corporation and Haim Saban. Some observers believe that it chased away some of the older viewers and never really replaced the core audience. They may be right.

It was also rumored that Fox hired more employees than needed, and when Disney took over, as many as 500 were laid off. Fox Family also used many freelancers for certain aspects of the channel, such as its short-lived "Block Jocks" (which were on-air hosts that the channel hired to present the channel's afternoon children's programs). Most of the monikers for the network were created by freelance artists.

But that didn't matter to us viewers,the Network was Still fun to watch.

In October 2001,Fox Family was sold to The Walt Disney Company. The sale to The Walt Disney Company included ownership of Saban Entertainment. The network was officially renamed ABC Family a month later.

The channel's sale to Disney was considered one of the biggest mistakes or problems occurring during the tenure of company president Michael Eisner (oh,if they only knew that things would only get way worse years later).

The failure was primarily due to the acquisition being conducted without consulting anyone at ABC. The original plan was to use the channel to essentially show reruns of Old ABC programming, but this plan was impossible,as ABC did not own the rights to the majority of its own programs, only having rights to those that were produced by Disney Television and Touchstone Television.

During this time, the channel did air repeats of Alias, Less Than Perfect and Life with Bonnie, almost all of which were Touchstone Television productions. But in trying to change the focus of the channel, Disney also canceled several Fox Family series and cut back on the network's made-for-cable movies.

Ratings tumbled further as the network became dependent on syndicated reruns and had no original programs on its schedule (save for original wraparound segments that aired around repeats of The Bachelor, and children's programming). I call Bullshit on this,The Network was still good and still well watched. 

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. However, Disney discovered that the original sale from CBN contained a stipulation that the channel contain the word "Family" in the name permanently, regardless as to who owns the network.

Legally, this meant that Disney would have had to shut down Fox Family and create XYZ as an entirely new network. Since this would have canceled all of Fox Family's carriage contracts,XYZ was turned into a Program Block instead. The block was short lived.

Since 2003, ABC Family has been producing more quality questionable original movies and series. Questionable Indeed!

For the record,the contract with CBN was re-newed,so The 700 Club remained in it's Morning and Nightly time-slots on Weekdays. Also,CBN was allowed to create a half-hour show every weekday morning. Thankfully,as usual,CBN's shows didn't hurt the Network that much. And in 2005,Disney added a "warning" disclaimer before and after every airing of CBN programming. Smart Move,Big D.

Well,long story short,in 2007/2008 the network turned to crap and has remained that way ever since. what a waste!

Today,ABC Family is now a Network for Stupid Women and Ignorant Teen Girls. In addition to the retarded shows that they air now,they also air the overrated garbage movies way too much.I'm sick of it. And it's all because of That Retard Goddess,Anne Sweeney,who's horrid legacy continues today though Ben Sherwood.

It's now time to once again take a look into what Should have Been.
What Happened: CBN continues to be a force against insomnia...translation: it's boring.
What Should've Been: Pat Robertson is forced to make his show more fun and appeal to the youth of america.

What Happened: Canadian Shows.
What Should've Been: No Canadian shows,they contribute to American Network Decline.

What Happened: The Traditional Weekday Afternoon and Sunday Morning blocks were canned.
What Should've Been: They are kept..period.

What Happened: A Gilmore Girl Fetish.
What Should've Been: No Fetish for the Gilmore Girls,the show never airs sucks anyhow.

What Happened: Overrated and Unlikable Teen Movies are aired lots of times.
What Should've Been: Those movies are not allowed to air..Period!

What Happened: Shitty Young Adult Shows and Pathetic Young Adult Dramas.
What Should've Been: These shows are never allowed to exist on the Network,Period!

What Happened: Inconsistant and Shitty Program Direction.
What Should've Been: Program Direction Done the Right Way.

What Happened: Transforming a Family Network into a Network for Clueless Teenage Girls and Retarded Women.
What Should've Been: This change Never happens and ABC Family Stays a Family Network. Plus,awesome shows and movies are made for the Network. All with the General Public in mind.

What Happened: The Harry Potter Weekend Problem. This would be fine if this movie marathon aired twice a year,but it airs 5x a year.
What Should've Been: The HP Weekend marathon airs only twice a year.

What Happened: Replacing The Good Retro Sitcoms with the Shitty Ones
What Should've Been: When it's time for The Good Retro Sitcoms to be replaced,they are replaced with other good retro sitcoms.

What Happened: Reruns of Bad ABC Shows.
What Should've Been: Reruns of Good ABC Once Upon A Time and Agents of Shield.

What Happened: Disney Movies don't air much.
What Should've Been: Disney Movies air often...with the entire animated movie library used.

What Happened: Garbage at Night.
What Should've Been: A special Late Night Block with cool shows.
As I stated earlier,If it wasn't for Anne Sweeney and Bob Iger,ABC Family would've been good.

That's it for now. See Ya,Space Cowboy.


RekkaDragonJay said...

Well done. And for the record. Pat Robertson is a nutcase who belongs in a looney bin for thinking such nonsense like video games kill people. What a maroon!

Stefan said...

He's a good man,jase,leave him alone.He may be boring and have a few senile moments,buthe's a good man.