ABC Family Announces ’25 Days of Christmas’ Event Schedule with Original Movies and Returning Classics

With the anticipation of the holiday season steadily approaching, ABC Family launches the thirteenth year of its must see “25 Days of Christmas” event featuring over 200 hours of holiday-themed entertainment for the whole family from December 1-25 – the biggest cable programming event of the year. Viewers will celebrate the season with an all-new original movie, specials and, of course, the return of Christmas favorites during primetime as well as a full week of all day holiday programming from Saturday, December 18 – Saturday, December 25.

This year, ABC Family proudly presents the new original movie, “Christmas Cupid,” starring Christina Milian, Chad Michael Murray and Ashley Benson, premiering Sunday, December 12 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Milian stars as high powered Hollywood publicist, Sloane, who finds herself haunted by the ghost of her recently departed infamous client Caitlin, played by Benson. With just days away from Christmas, Caitlin takes Sloane on a journey to meet the ghosts of her ex-boyfriends from the past, present and future to try and guide her to true love, in a modern day take on Charles Dickens’ holiday classic story of A Christmas Carol.
In addition, in an ABC Family Premiere, “The Santa Clause,” starring Tim Allen, will air on Thursday, December 2 (7:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), and the Academy Award®-winning animated film (Best Animated Feature Film) “WALL•E” will air on Monday, December 17 (8:30-10:30 PM ET/PT).

Harry Potter movie madness ensues during the network’s annual holiday marathon running on Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5. The marathon features the first five installments of the “Harry Potter” film franchise. Other franchise marathons include “The Santa Clause” franchise on Saturday, December 11, including all three installments, as well as “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” airing back-to-back on Sunday, December 19.

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Lea Thompson, Constance Marie and Katie Leclerc Cast in ABC Family’s ‘Switched at Birth’

ABC Family has cast Lea Thompson, Constance Marie and newcomer Katie Leclerc in the key role of Daphne, in “Switched at Birth,” a pilot that is currently in pre-production for the network.

“Switched at Birth,” a one-hour scripted drama, tells the story of two teen girls who discover that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and two brothers, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing as a child due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a poor neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls. Lizzy Weiss (“Blue Crush”) will serve as executive producer and writer.

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ABC Family Orders Four Additional Pilots, More ‘Melissa & Joey’

ABC Family has given the production greenlight to four more pilots and ordered additional episodes of its new hit comedy series, “Melissa & Joey,” it was announced today by Michael Riley, president, ABC Family.  The pilots are “Untitled Brenda Hampton Project,” “What Would Jane Do,” “The Lying Game” and “The Great State of Georgia.”

The network has also given a back-order to “Melissa & Joey,” starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, bringing its first season order to a total of 30 episodes. The original comedy series currently premieres on Tuesday nights at 8:00PM ET/PT.

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ABC Family and Starz Media to Premiere ‘The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation’ on November 28

ABC Family and Starz Media will once again celebrate the holidays together this season, with the network buying the U.S. cable TV rights to the new live-action holiday movie, “The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation,” as part of its November “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas” programming event. A Starz Media presentation, the two-hour original movie, a sequel to last year’s “The Dog Who Saved Christmas,” makes its worldwide premiere on ABC Family on Sunday, November 28 at 8:00 PM ET/PT. Jeffrey Schenck and Barry Barnholtz are executive producers on the film, which was written by Michael Ciminera, Richard Gnolfo and Peter Sullivan, from a story by Schenck, Sullivan, Ciminera and Gnolfo. Michael Feifer directed the movie.

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ABC Family Orders Pilots for Three New Original Dramas

In its first order for the season, ABC Family has given the production greenlight to three pilots, it was announced today by Michael Riley, president, ABC Family. The network just concluded a record-breaking summer that included the debut of its new hit series “Pretty Little Liars” and “Melissa & Joey,” and the return of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Make It or Break It.” The pilots are scheduled to go into production this fall.

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ABC Family Details Schedule for 12th Annual ’13 Nights of Halloween’ Programming Event

For the 12th consecutive year, ABC Family scares up 13 NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN with programming filled with ghosts, ghouls and a few laughs, too! The popular programming event, starting Tuesday, October 19, and concluding on Sunday, October 31, includes the basic cable premiere of “The Spiderwick Chronicles, the ABC Family premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and a special Halloween episode of ABC Family’s hit original series, “Melissa & Joey,” along with the massive mix of Halloween-themed programming airing on the 13 nights leading up to Halloween.

The following is a listing of programming thrills and chills taking place October 19-31 during ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween.

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Disney Channel, ABC and ABC Family Offer High-Definition TV Per-Episode Rentals via iTunes (Details)

iTunes 10As expected, Apple today announced that television programs in HD format will now be available for rent through iTunes 10, which is now available for download. Apple promises thousands of episodes, many of which will be available the day after broadcast. The Disney/ABC Television Group is well represented in the initial offering, with shows from ABC, ABC Family and Disney Channel joining shows from Fox and BBC America.

Each episode rental costs $.99 and can be viewed on Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod Touch and Apple TV. You’ll have thirty days from rental to begin watching the episode and 48 hours from that point to complete watching it before the rental period expires.

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Radio Disney’s Michael Riley Named President of ABC Family Network

Respected television and radio executive Michael Riley has been named president, ABC Family, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks & president, Disney/ABC Television Group, to whom he will report.

In this new position, Riley will have oversight of ABC Family’s original programming and acquisitions, franchise management, marketing, sales and operations, and be responsible for the overall strategic and creative direction for the channel.

In making the announcement, Sweeney stated, “Michael’s talent and drive are eclipsed only by the enthusiasm and passion he brings to every opportunity. I’m confident his unique set of skills and experience will help us further ABC Family’s amazing momentum.”

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Video: Behind-the-Scenes of Recording ‘Huge’ Season Finale Song, ‘Ghost to You’

In the following featurette, Nikki Blonksy, the star of the ABC Family hit ‘Huge’ takes us behind the scenes with co-star Ari Stidham and Emmy® Award Winning Music Producer W.G. Snuffy Walden as they record Ghost to You, a song Will (Blonksy) pens in the season’s finale.

Video removed due to agreement with ABC Family

In the final episode of the season, titled ‘Parents Weekend — Part Two,’ while Dr. Rand and the campers continue to face the challenges of connecting with the parents, hearts break as a shocking and unexpected romance develops. The season finale will air Monday, August 30th on ABC Family at 9 pm ET/PT.

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ABC Family to Air NBC’s ‘Friday Night Lights’ Weeknights Starting September 7

Fans can relive every triumph, tragedy and touchdown from the very beginning when “Friday Night Lights” comes to ABC Family on weeknights beginning Tuesday, September 7th (6:00 – 7:00 PM ET/PT).

Expanding on the hit feature film and best-selling book “Friday Night Lights,” the award-winning show centers on life in Dillon, Texas, where high school football brings the community together—and the drama of small town life threatens to tear it apart. Coach Eric Taylor must lead his Dillon Panthers through the highs and lows of high school football, as well as the curve balls that life outside of the game throws at them. Through it all, the Panthers try to achieve greatness on and off the field.

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