Freeform’s second annual Freeform Summit is underway, with select members of the network’s casts and crews meeting with fans to discuss upcoming seasons and TV events. The network hosted a series of panel discussions that focused on storytelling, inclusion, and representation in television, and Freeform announced premiere dates and changes that fans have to look forward to this year.
Once again, Freeform is hoping to lead network television in providing authentic and diverse content for the young-adult demographic. The new slate of series and seasons that were announced today focus on empowerment, highlighting unique struggles in our culture, and aim to provide inspiration and outlets for YA viewers that are impacted by hate and bigotry. Freeform is quickly becoming the network of change, and hopefully the excitement behind the network is infectious.
Freeform released a new brand-narrative video, named “Dear Society, We’re Breaking Up,” which doubles down on the network’s current brand mantra and its commitment to authentic storytelling. In a message pointed at outdated societal standards, Freeform has provided a stage for people to stand up, speak out and celebrate how far young adults have pushed society to reexamine cultural norms. The new campaign continues to celebrate the power of youth culture and is meant to give a voice to their viewers’ pursuit for inclusion—on and off screen.
“At Freeform, our programming is meant to inspire, empower and celebrate the possibility of youth culture—we are in service to an audience that is paving the way and fighting for a more inclusive tomorrow and we are so honored to be representing them on and off screen,” said Tom Ascheim, president, Freeform.
One of the new series announced this year was “Betches,” based on the popular multimedia brand of the same name. The new series is a half-hour animated show that follows three best friends and roommates as they navigate early adulthood in New York City together. The three women loudly try to figure out who they are in their careers and in love. They make almost every mistake in the book along the way, but they’re doing their best to make sure they live an anything-but-basic life.
Rachel Koller (“Lady Bits with Lauren Giraldo”) will write the pilot and Emma Roberts, Samantha Fishbein, Jordana Abraham, Aleen Kuperman, Carli Haney, Kesila Childers, and Gil Goldschein will serve as executive producers.
“Woman World” is another half-hour animated series based on Aminder Dhaliwal’s graphic novel of the same name. The pilot playfully answers the question “what would our world look like if men became extinct?” This community of women leans on each other for survival as they search for love and their identity in this ladies-only existence. The pilot is executive produced by Felicia Day and written by Aminder Dhaliwal.
A big hit with attendees was the reveal of the opening title sequence to “Motherland: Fort Salem,” the witch drama from “Claws” creator Eliot Laurence.
Set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution nearly 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country, “Motherland: Fort Salem” follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world—but with supernatural tactics and weapons.
Ashley Nicole Williams joins the cast as Abigail Bellweather, a driven and courageous witch who is excited to join the ranks of the witches’ army. The series also stars Taylor Hickson, Jessica Sutton, Amalia Holm, and Demetria McKinney, rounding out the cast of series regulars. “Motherland: Fort Salem” is executive produced by Eliot Laurence, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Maria Maggenti and Steven Adelson.
Getting back to the already popular series, season two of “grown-ish” returns on June 5th. After a cliffhanger spring finale, Zoey (Yara Shahidi) and her friends find themselves at dramatic crossroads in their relationships, academics and adulthood. The second half of the season continues to explore important topics, including cultural appropriation, mental health, academic scandal and more.
Starring Yara Shahidi, Trevor Jackson, Francia Raisa, Emily Arlook, Jordan Buhat, Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Luka Sabbat, Deon Cole and Diggy Simmons, the show is a contemporary take on the issues that students face in the world of higher education.
The wildly popular series “Good Trouble” will return for season 2 on June 18th. “Good Trouble” follows Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) as they embark on the next phase of their young adult lives in Los Angeles, as Mariana tackles the male-dominated world of tech and Callie faces the harsh realities of the federal legal system clerking for a federal judge. After moving to The Coterie in Downtown Los Angeles, Callie and Mariana realize that living on their own is not all that it’s cracked up to be.
“Good Trouble” stars Maia Mitchell, Cierra Ramirez, Tommy Martinez, Sherry Cola, Zuri Adele and Roger Bart. If you want to set a reminder, the season one finale airs April 2nd. Additionally, Freeform has announced the return of the “Good Trouble” digital aftershow, “The Trouble With,” which is produced in partnership with ATTN:.
Fans of “Siren” will get new episodes on July 11th. Season 2B picks up with Ben and Maddie feeling uncertain about the mermaids’ future after the deadly consequences of the attack on the oil rig. With the mermaids returning to sea, Ben and Maddie are left feeling lost without Ryn. Once Helen learns she’s not the only one of her kind, she discovers theirs a dark side to her people’s past.
The series stars Eline Powell, Alex Roe, Fola Evans-Akingbola, Ian Verdun and Rena Owen.
A big surprise for “Shadowhunters” fans was that the series is extended for a two and a half-hour finale on May 6th. The series followed the adventures of half-angel, half-human demon hunters and their downworld allies. Passionate fans rallied together to raise money for The Trevor Project in honor of the show’s message of inclusion, compassion and acceptance. In celebration of “Shadowhunters” and the series fan base, Freeform also announced that they and their parent company, Disney, have matched the fan donations by giving The Trevor Project $25,000. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
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