According to The Hollywood Reporter, Freeform is expanding its original programming footprint from its current two-night plan to four nights beginning in 2018.
The expansion is said to be the network’s effort to use its film library to platform shows instead of relying on its own scripted originals to launch themselves, with originals set to run from January through September before letting the network’s 13 Days of Halloween and 25 Days of Christmas programming blocks carry the remainder of the year.
The new Freeform, a result of the network dropping 20% in its core demo for the first half of 2017, will feature Mondays as a haven for unscripted content, including a recently ordered series focused on Disney weddings; Tuesday as their drama hub, with The Fosters, Shadowhunters, The Bold Type, and Famous in Love all set to succeed one another; Wednesdays seemingly pegged as the comedy night, meaning that Young & Hungry and Marvel’s New Warriors should air after grown-ish and Alone Together sign off; and Thursdays cordoned off for genre programming like Siren and Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.
Since the Freeform rebrand that went into effect almost two years ago, the network has had difficulty launching new programming, with three of its four new dramas in 2016 being cancelled and the renewals in 2017 based only on online performance and critical acclaim. Presumably, only airing in the 8:00 hour should give them something of an advantage when it comes to lack of cable competition and more time for people to watch within the Live + Same Day window, but we’ll have to see if that can overcome a more narrow brand than ABC Family had and a target audience that’s veering away from watching live television.