ABC Family Plans Its Summer


New York -- Coming off its best ever quarter, ABC Family is looking to extend that momentum to all seasons behind an expansive slate of series and specials.

The network -- which attracted 1.1 million viewers on average in primetime during the first quarter, matching numbers rang up during the same period in 2002 and 2005 -- will tee up a host of new and returning shows from June-September before ratcheting up its Halloween and Christmas stunts in the fourth quarter.

Network president Paul Lee, speaking at an upfront presentation for the press here Friday, outlined ABC Family’s plans, which commence in June with the second seasons of guilty pleasure series Falcon Beach and the network’s top-rated original entry, Kyle XY. Lee said that during the 13-episode sophomore campaign of Kyle,viewers will find that the mysterious, bellybutton-less teen-age savant “is no longer alone.” will support the show with a three-part online interactive initiative, the first of which, Countdown to Kyle XY, is already underway.

Come July, Lee added, ABC Family will roll out the first of its two new series, Greek.

The 10-episode show, set to debut in July, examines collegiate life as an ensemble cast of students navigate the social minefield that is the rush system at fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University, where the young adults find out that it’s “not just Greek life, but real life.”

Beginning May 14, will host a Virtual Rush Web site that invites viewers to “rush” fictional “houses” by uploading photos, videos and creating their own online profiles.

Angel-mythology limited series Fallen returns in August. Last year’s opener will encore Aug. 3, followed by four new hours split over the next two nights.

Later that month, ABC Family will introduce its first primetime animated play, Slacker Cats, following the underachieving adventures of feline friends Buckley and Eddie.

Bridging originals from summer to fall, ABC Family -- which targets the millennial generation, the 83 million Americans born from 1977-96 -- will premiere a 10-episode second season of Lincoln Heights in September. The Sutton family had made their way back to the father/policeman’s old neighborhood for the first time this past January.

In October, the network’s 13 Nights of Halloween stunt will be highlighted by a new original telefilm -- one of 10 the network commissioned -- Nature of the Beast, a story in which boy meets and falls in love with girl, then turns into werewolf.

The acquisition of the Tom Bergeron-hosted version of America's Funniest Home Videos will also hit the network’s air that month.

Getting an early start on Christmas, ABC Family in November will begin an 11-day countdown, featuring a new telepic, to its 10th annual 25 Days to Christmas marathon. This go round, the stunt includes a pair of new telemovies, Snow Globe and Holiday in Handcuffs, a Harry Potter weekend and the basic-cable premiere of The Incredibles. Last year, ABC Family officials said the network ranked first on 18 of the 25 days of the stunt in its 7 p.m.-10 p.m. time slot.

Then in January, ABC Family, will bow the fourth season of Wildfire, production for which is underway in New Mexico.

The network next year will also add acquisition That 70s Show on a nonexclusive basis, according to Lee.