BREAKING NEWS FROM FREEFORM’S 2019 UPFRONT PRESENTATION
At today’s combined Walt Disney Television Upfront presentation held at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, Freeform showcased its continued commitment to provocative and bold original content that champions the force and momentum of its young adult audience.
“Freeform is built on one very powerful belief: that embracing the disruptive voices and diverse identities of our viewers is key to our ongoing success,” said Tom Ascheim, president, Freeform. “We are so proud to have the opportunity to grow with our audience and are looking forward to continuing to push the boundaries of convention through our programming—this year and in years to come.”
Marking another strong year for its original series, Freeform delivers the No. 1 comedy for the second year in a row (“grown-ish”) and 2 of the Top 3 new dramas of 2019 (“Good Trouble” and “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists,” respectively) among Women 18-34. Freeform continues to establish itself as the leading cable television network for young adults and sets itself apart from other content platforms with authentic and inclusive programming. The network also continues its decade of dominance in social media as the No. 1 most social cable network this year, as well as the No. 1 network in digital viewing.
Below are several network announcements with more breaking news coming out of today’s presentation.
FREEFORM RELEASES FIRST TRAILERS FOR NEW ORIGINAL SERIES
‘Motherland: Fort Salem’
Set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution over 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the government to fight for their country, “Motherland: Fort Salem” follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world—but with supernatural tactics and weapons. The series stars Ashley Nicole Williams, Jessica Sutton, Taylor Hickson, Demetria McKinney and Amalia Holm. “Motherland: Fort Salem” is executive produced by Eliot Laurence, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Maria Maggenti and Steven Adelson.
‘Party of Five’
From Sony Pictures Television, “Party of Five” will follow the five Acosta children as they navigate daily life struggles to survive as a family unit after their parents are suddenly deported back to Mexico. The series stars Brandon Larracuente, Emily Tosta, Niko Guardado and Elle Paris Legaspi. The new iteration of “Party of Five” is created by Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, who also serve as executive producers and writers. Rodrigo Garcia also serves as executive producer and directed the pilot. Michal Zebede serves as co-executive producer and writer.
‘Everything’s Gonna Be Okay’
From “Please Like Me” creator, writer and star Josh Thomas comes half-hour comedy “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,” produced by Avalon Television and Freeform. The series introduces Nicholas (Josh Thomas), a neurotic 25-year-old visiting his single dad and two teenage half-sisters, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. He hasn’t been particularly present in his siblings’ lives, but when their dad reveals that he is terminally ill, the girls have to cope with not only a devastating loss but also the realization that Nicholas is the one who will have to rise to the occasion, move in and hold it all together. Thomas created, stars, writes and will serve as showrunner of the comedy series, coming soon to Freeform. Stephanie Swedlove and Kevin Whyte also serve as executive producers, with David Martin, Jon Thoday, and Richard Allen-Turner executive producing for Avalon Television. The series will also star Kayla Cromer, Maeve Press and Adam Faison.
AMERICA’S FAVORITE FAMILY ‘THE SIMPSONS’ HEADS TO FREEFORM BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox Television*
Freeform welcomes the Simpson family as America’s longest-running sitcom will begin to air on the network starting this September. Viewers will be able to enjoy episodes from all 30 seasons of the dysfunctional and hilarious adventures of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the array of quirky supporting characters living in the misfit city of Springfield. Currently in its 30th season, “The Simpsons” is a Gracie Films Production in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series was created by Matt Groening and developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Sam Simon. James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Al Jean are executive producers. Air dates will be announced at a later date.
As previously announced, Freeform is committed to building a female-focused animation block with two projects in development—“Betches” and “Woman World.” “Betches” is executive produced by Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story”), Samantha Fishbein (co-founder of Betches Media), Jordana Abraham (co-founder of Betches Media), Aleen Kuperman (co-founder of Betches Media), Carli Haney, Kesila Childers and Gil Goldschein from Bunim-Murray Productions (“Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” “The Real World”). Rachel Koller (“Lady Bits with Lauren Giraldo”) will write the pilot.“Woman World,” is executive produced by Felicia Day (“The Guild,” “Geek & Sundry”) and written by Aminder Dhaliwal (“Pinky Malinky,” “Close Enough”). The network also began airing Family Guy this past April.
‘SIREN’ DIVES INTO A THIRD SEASON
“Siren,” Freeform’s fan-favorite mermaid thriller, has been picked up for a third season. During the first half of its second season, “Siren” ranked as Freeform’s No. 1 show among Adults 18-49 and Women 18-49. The second half of Season 2 will premiere on THURSDAY, JUNE 13, at 8:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on Freeform. Ben and Maddie are uncertain about the mermaids’ future after the deadly consequences of the attack on the oil rig and, with the mermaids returning to sea, are left feeling lost without Ryn. Once Helen learns she’s not the only one of her kind, she discovers there is a dark side to her people’s past. The series stars Eline Powell, Alex Roe, Fola Evans-Akingbola, Ian Verdun and Rena Owen. “Siren” is executive produced by Eric Wald and Emily Whitesell, who serves as showrunner.
FREEFORM DOUBLES DOWN ON THE MOST HAUNTED TIME OF YEAR WITH SECOND ANNUAL EXPANDED ‘31 NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN’ PROGRAMMING EVENT
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures*
Last year’s inaugural “31 Nights of Halloween” delivered its most-watched October in three years and finished the month as the No. 1 cable network in Women 18-34 and Females 12-34. Freeform will be doubling down on their commitment to Halloween and will be making this year’s “31 Nights of Halloween” programming stunt even bigger with the following programming additions.
After last year’s highly successful “Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash,” Freeform will continue the party this year with a new original special, “Halloween Extravaganza Bash” (working title) a celebration of Halloween’s biggest pop culture moments. This year, the special will honor the icons of the season as we celebrate the most beloved movies, television shows and music artists who have become synonymous with Halloween.
The network has also announced new movies joining the line-up. Marking its 25th anniversary, the classic hit “Ghostbusters” and its sequel “Ghostbusters 2,” as well as the “Scream” trilogy will be airing throughout the stunt, joining other fan favorites including “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Addams Family.” And not to be forgotten, Freeform will break its own record of the number of times one network can air “Hocus Pocus,” in a programming stunt with a record for 27 broadcasts of the cult classic.
FREEFORM GETS INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT WITH NEW PROGRAMMING
FOR ‘KICKOFF TO CHRISTMAS’ AND ‘25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS’ ANNUAL PROGRAMMING EVENTS
IN FIRST-EVER CABLE DEBUT BELOVED HOLIDAY CLASSICS ‘FROSTY THE SNOWMAN’ AND ‘RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER’ TO AIR ON FREEFORM
Fan-Favorite Rankin Bass Holiday Classics Return to ‘25 Days of Christmas’
Photo Credit: Rankin/Bass Productions*
For the first time ever on cable, the beloved holiday classics “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” will air on Freeform during this year’s “25 Days of Christmas” programming event. From the Rankin Bass classic holiday library, the two iconic films will join other titles including “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town,” “The Little Drummer Boy” and more for the merriest time of year.
FREEFORM ANNOUNCES EPIC NEW ORIGINAL COMPETITION SERIES ‘WRAP BATTLE’ SHOWCASING THE MOST OVER-THE-TOP HOLIDAY GIFT WRAPPING SKILLS
In a holiday series showdown like no other, “Wrap Battle” will put the most gifted DIY-ers to the test. In the elimination gift-wrapping competition, contestants battle it out to deliver amazing results in different challenges in every episode, with each vying to win $50,000. Get your scissors and two-sided tape ready, let’s get wrapping! “Wrap Battle” is executive produced by Michael Levitt (“Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash”).
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