Shapiro Sets Family Game Plan


Many executives have tried, and failed, to find the right programming mix for
ABC Family.&

Now the network's new president, Angela Shapiro, is taking her stab at it,
finally crafting a game plan to turn the cable network around -- with some
innovative twists.

Shapiro, named president of ABC Family this spring, has a host of changes in
store for the network -- most notably primetime interstitials that may develop
into shows, a crawl offering pop-culture tidbits, Monday nights dedicated to
reality programming and a Saturday-night block of repurposed hits from the ABC
Television Network.

Starting in late October or early November, ABC Family will launch 'ABC
Plus,' a Saturday primetime block that will include broadcast network ABC's 8
Simple Rules
, Less Than Perfect and That Was Then.

But Shapiro said this repurposed programming will be 'enhanced,' or packaged
with new content that could include interviews with talent and producers from
those shows, or sitcom outtakes.

ABC Family scored a success this summer when it aired The Bachelor:
Special Edition
. Over seven days, that show -- which included new interviews
with bachelor Alex Michel -- brought about 1.5 million new viewers to ABC
Family, according to Shapiro.

The network saw a ratings uptick in the third quarter: It rose 14 percent in
primetime, to a 0.8 from a 0.7.

ABC Family -- which, at one time, was televangelist the Rev. Pat Robertson's
The Family Channel -- has struggled to find an identity since it was sold to
News Corp. and Haim Saban in 1997 (and rechristened Fox Family Channel). News
Corp. and Saban then sold it to The Walt Disney Co. for $5.2 billion last

Shapiro -- who joined ABC Family from ABC Daytime, where she was president --
is slowly putting her stamp on the cable network, starting with primetime