ABC Family to Freeform TV: Essays on the Millennial-Focused Network and Its Programs
Edited by Emily L. Newman and Emily Witsell
Launched in 1977 by the Christian Broadcasting Service (originally associated with Pat Robertson), the ABC Family/Freeform network has gone through a number of changes in name and ownership. Over the past decade, the network—now owned by Disney—has redefined “family programming” for its targeted 14- to 34-year-old demographic, addressing topics like lesbian and gay parenting, postfeminism and changing perceptions of women, the issue of race in the U.S., and the status of disability in American culture.
This collection of new essays examines the network from a variety of perspectives, with a focus on inclusive programming that has created a space for underrepresented communities like transgender youth, overweight teens, and the deaf.