Freeform Rolls Out More On-Demand Content, Teams With Marvel For 2 Shows

Disney-owned Freeform kicked off its upfront sales efforts Wednesday in New York by announcing several new shows. It also gave updates on a number of previously announced programs.

The network, once known as ABC Family, revealed plans for live events and new shows that will involve synergies with other Disney-owned properties, such as its theme parks and Marvel Entertainment.

Freeform, which aims its content at a Millennial audience, “plans to capitalize on the success of its first-year digital efforts by continuing to roll out content on-demand via the Freeform app on connected TV, mobile and online,” the company said. “Programming will be available on all Freeform platforms at launch, and select series will be available all at once.”

“With compelling programming and innovative viewing experiences that combine linear with on-demand, Freeform is redefining what it means to be a television network for today’s consumer,” said Freeform President Tom Ascheim.

Freeform announced one new drama series: a 10-episode order for “Siren,” about a real-life mermaid. The show is slated to premiere in summer 2018.

Freeform gave development updates for its two upcoming Marvel productions: “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” (premiering in “early 2018”) and “Marvel’s New Warriors” (premiering some time in 2018).

“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” will have two teenagers “from very different backgrounds” who acquire mysterious superpowers and form an alliance that complicates their already complex lives. Ten one-hour episodes have been ordered.

“Marvel’s New Warriors” is a live-action comedy adaptation of the Marvel comic series (pictured above) about six young people with superpowers who live together and battle evil. Freeform said the characters featured in the new series include Squirrel Girl, Mister Immortal and Microbe.

One series that was announced at last year’s upfront -- “The Bold Type,” about a fictional magazine for young women -- finally has an air date, a two-hour premiere on July 11. In the show, the young editors and staff of Scarlet magazine will “explore sexuality, identity, love and fashion” in each action-packed episode. One of the executive producers is Joanna Coles, chief content officer at Hearst Magazines.

Freeform also announced a “multipicture movie commitment in collaboration with People magazine.” The Time Inc. title has been working closely with ABC-TV on celebrity content, and now intends to partner with Freeform “to develop multiple scripted, original movies based on stories from [People about] celebrity, pop culture and entertainment news,” Freeform said.

Next Christmas, look for Freeform’s holiday programming to include “Decorating Disney,” a special that will “reveal how holiday magic is created at Disney Parks,” the company said.

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