Freeform will look to reach its young millennial audience beyond primetime with its first ever late night show, one of several news series, movies and specials announced as part of its 2016-17 programming slate, the network said in advance of its New York upfront presentation Thursday.
Three months after changing its name and brand from ABC Family, Freeform officials said it plans to offer new original content that reaches young viewers to air alongside its lineup of existing shows like Pretty Little Liars,Young & Hungry, Baby Daddy, Shadowhunters and Switched at Birth.
“Freeform is a brand built for the fresh taste of a modern generation who value open-mindedness, fluidity, immediacy and who don’t like to be fenced-in,” said Freeform president Tom Ascheim in a statement. “As we continue to evolve and deliver on our brand promise, it’s important that we put our audience at the center of everything we do and connect with them in all the places they are and in the ways they prefer – on our cable network, in the digital space and with ‘Freeform Fest’ IRL (in real life).”
Among the new shows the network will look to roll out over the next few months is Later Bitches, a half-hour comedic talk show focusing on pop culture featuring as yet named female hosts. The Daily Show producers Jennifer Flanz and Elise Terrell will consult on the series, which is described as late-night talk meets Sex and the City.
Freeform will team with Marvel Comics to develop a new series Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, which chronicles two teenagers involved in an interracial romance who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers while falling in love. Other new shows include Famous In Love, starring Bella Thorne as an ordinary college student who has to deal with a new life after getting a big role in a Hollywood blockbuster; and Issues, which takes a behind the scenes look at a women’s magazine based on the life of Cosmopolitan editor in chief Joanna Coles.
On the non-scripted series front, the network in August will launch Cheer Squad, which follows the World Cheerleading Champion Great White Sharks cheerleading squad; and Freeform Presents: Snapshot,” a two one-hour documentaries focusing on big pop culture moments from the producers of “30 for 30” and ESPN Films.
A list of new Freeform series appears below:
In the mermaid-obsessed sea town of Bristol Cove, everyone’s lives will change when actual mermaids come ashore, causing sides to be taken, loyalties to be tested and a war between man and mermaid to begin. Executive producers include Eric Wald, Dean White, Brad Luff, RD Robb and Nate Hopper.
From executive producer Mila Kunis, “Hunted” centers on Valerie who escapes prison to prove she did not murder her husband. While the police hunt for her and attempt to prove her family helped her escape, Valerie fights to exonerate herself – but is she really innocent? Along with Kunis, Ed Bernero and Hugh Sterbakov executive-produce.
A sci-fi drama from executive producer McG, “Lore” tells the story of the lone survivor of an ancient race of paranormal beings who is abducted and forced to put his extraordinary abilities to work for the government. When an old nemesis resurfaces, this arrangement turns into an uneasy alliance, and the only hope for survival in a dangerous world of mystery and magic. The series is written by Zack Stentz (“Thor”) and executive-produced by McG, Mary Viola, Zach Stentz, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross.
A drama based on a hit British series, a group of twenty-somethings are exposed to a mysterious chemical, and subsequently develop peculiar superpowers. The series is from ABC Signature Studios and executive-produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
Executive-produced by Joel Silver and writer/director Don Roos, in association with Lionsgate, this dramedy focuses on a middle class family who adopted identical twin boys at birth. One is all boy, one grew up trans. The series is inspired by the book “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family.”
Nine Years Under
From executive producer Will Packer, “Nine Years Under” tells the story of a law school grad who blows off the bar exam to take a job at a funeral home after the sudden death of her mother. Along with Packer, Korin Huggins executive-produces.
Executive-produced by Selena Gomez, Mandy Teefey and Aaron Kaplan, this drama is set in a low-income Latino neighborhood, and is told through the eyes of an 18-year-old girl destined for greatness. Ana Cobarrubias will be a consultant on the project.
From The Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, two misfits from different backgrounds try to make their way into the vain and status-obsessed culture of Los Angeles. Along the way, they find salvation in their male/female, strictly platonic friendship.
Made in LA
From executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, along with Mila Kunis, “Made in LA” is a half-hour comedy set in the world of fashion, centering on two friends who join their different skill sets to become fashion entrepreneurs. The series is loosely inspired by the creators of fashion label Juicy Couture and the authors of “The Glitter Plan.” The series is from ABC Signature Studios.
Elizabeth Banks executive-produces this single-camera comedy that follows the insulated life of a children’s book author who hates children. Her life is turned upside down when her brother shows up on her door with his two young daughters. The show comes from Warner Horizon TV, and executive producers Banks, Max Handelman and Susan Jaffee.
Young & Hungry Spinoff
A spinoff of the network’s popular sitcom “Young & Hungry” executive produced by and starring Ashley Tisdale as Logan Rawlings.
Greek: The Reunion
The characters from “GREEK” return to Cypress Rhodes University for their five-year reunion. It will be executive-produced by Shawn Piller, Lloyd Segan and Patrick Sean Smith.
From executive producer Will Gluck, a disgruntled angel tries to make it back into heaven after being kicked out.
Short-Form Development Projects
This docuseries follows professional dancer Josh Horner as he gives unconventional crash courses in dancing for special events.
My Boyfriend is a Robot
A romantic fish-out-of-water comedy centering on the relationship between a girl and her boyfriend – who happens to be a robot. The project is from executive producers Deb Spera and Maria Grasso.
Focusing on nonprofit organization Open Roads, which provides filmmaking wilderness camps for high school students, this docuseries follows campers’ experiences in the wild, making documentaries, and creating new relationships. Viewers will also get to see completed documentaries from the Open Roads campers.
Untitled Punam Patel Project
Comedienne Punam Patel hosts this unconventional interview-based show. Each episode finds Punam tucking in a celebrity/person of influence into bed, using children’s stories as a launching pad for fun and personal conversation topics.
Rio Squad (working title)
In a collaboration with ESPNW, “Rio Squad” (working title) highlights four uniquely powerful female athletes who have dedicated their lives to being the best at their sport. It follows these women as they pursue their dreams, prepare for the Summer Games, and demonstrate that a female hero doesn’t have to take the shape of a princess.
School of Doodle
A series of short videos acquired from School of Doodle, an organization that creates inspiring content for girls and women. This series will celebrate the arts and provide the audience the tools to turn creative potential into success.