8:00am PT by Alyse Whitney
'Pretty Little Liars' Stars Explain What Freeform Means
When Pretty Little Liars returns for the second half of season six, it’s not only jumping five years forward and setting the Liars up in a whole new world, but the show's home is also getting a major makeover.
ABC Family officially takes on its new name, Freeform, on Jan. 12. The name change comes as the younger-skewing Disney-owned cabler is courting a new generation of what it has dubbed "Becomers": the evolved millennials who are an estimated 69 million strong and reflect the "firsts" that exist in the post-college decade — think car, job, heartbreak — between who viewers are and who they want to become.
Confused? So were some of the stars of flagship drama Pretty Little Liars, the show that the former ABC Family is launching Freeform around. THR caught up with the cast to explain how they define Freeform.
"We were all a little confused by it. I think it’s just more free to do more adult things?” Ashley Benson said. “More mature things? Just more mature subject matter.” Lucy Hale agrees, chiming in that it’s going to be “edgier.”
Troian Bellisario offered her take on the network’s plan — and even pitched her own alternative name.
“I think people had a lot of preconceived ideas about what a show on ABC Family was like, and I think that was really tough for our show and a lot of other shows," Bellisario said. "As a network, they did want to do edgier things, but because it had 'Family' in the title, they inevitably had to keep it pretty tame. I think they really wanted to revamp. I don’t know where they got Freeform — I told them 'SchmachBO,' but they didn’t go for it."
Click here to hear Freeform president Ascheim's take on the rebranding. Pretty Little Liars returns Tuesday. Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. on Freeform.