We have 13 days until Halloween.  Do you know how I know this?  Because the annual “13 Nights of Halloween” starts tonight on ABC Family!

The folks at ABC Family are programming geniuses.  Not only do they know how to handle the holidays (“25 Days of Christmas” is another annual favorite), they have great weekend themes as well (Harry Potter all weekend!), making it easy to park it on the couch Friday through Sunday.  It’s almost a requirement when they have Nicholas Sparks movie weekends.  

I know what you’re thinking: “FAMILY channel…doesn’t that mean it’s all Disney and T.G.I.F. re-runs from the 90’s?”  Apparently, a lot of people think this.  Which is why they’re changing their name to Freeform in January.  I get why they’re eager to ditch the “family” part of the channel, as it’s a bit misleading for their shows and movies overall, but I’m not totally sold on the new name.  It sounds like a concept, not a channel.  At least it’s a step in the right direction of keeping the channel current with the 18-35 demographic.  It seems like they really found their target audience when they switched to “edgier” teen/twentysomething shows like Kyle XY, Greek, The Lying Game, and the hugely successful Pretty Little Liars.  For those of us in our 30’s, we love watching the parents on these shows, because they’re actors we grew up watching, and at the same time we can still appreciate the younger storylines because they don’t feel too far removed.  Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s an expiration date on enjoying these shows.  There’s only so long you can handle feeling old for crushing on the “hot Dad” and kinda pervy for crushing on the “teen bad boy”.

This isn’t the first time this network has relaunched and changed names.  (If you’re having a super slow Monday and need to fall down the internet rabbit hole for a bit, here’s more info then you’ll ever need.) I vaguely remember Fox Family Channel, which only ran from 1998-2001, according to Wikipedia, but it really focused on kid shows and never took off.  Even as ABC Family, the network struggled for a while until it had hits like The Secret Life of the American Teenager and the others listed above.  They tried adding the slogan, “A New Kind of Family” for a while, but clearly that wasn’t helping misconceptions either.  No matter what it’s called, this channel definitely brings the fun!

You can get your Hocus Pocus on at 9/8c, and here’s the schedule for the rest of the month.

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