Late Wednesday, news first broke that will please many black-ish fans out there — Freeform is bringing the Yara Shahidi spin-off to life!
Sources confirm that the recently-planted spin-off or the show is heading over the cable network rather than getting a series order on ABC proper. The issue there is one of demographics — the spin-off wasn’t playing all that well with the network’s older viewers, and Freeform is a natural fit. Their viewers are primed for a show like this, and Shahidi is a star on the rise.
This order, plus the arrival of new series like The Bold Type and Famous in Love, prove that this is a network intent working into overdrive. Pretty Little Liars is the flagship show. Its ratings were through the roof for many years, and this buoyed the success of many other shows like Switched at Birth and The Fosters. Entering a new and more-uncertain era, Freeform needs to go big in order to survive. Picking up a show with this established an audience is a great way to do that. Even if this spin-off picks up a mere third of the ratings from the main series, it will be proclaimed an enormous hit. With lower expectations come more opportunities.
Also, consider the social-media implications of the spin-off given that this is where Freeform really shines. Shadowhunters, one of its other flagship series moving forward, is one of the top ten social shows on TV. Pretty Little Liars ruled many Twitter charts for years.
Note that this news is not official just yet, but signs point to something coming out within the next week. The news is also out there about black-ish officially returning for another season, which is hardly a shock to anyone. Next to Modern Family, this is ABC’s most-dominant and most-relevant show. It is also the one with the most awards-show potential at this point in its run.
There is no guarantee that many of their new shows will be hits, but with the black-ish spin-off, Shadowhunters, and other stars like Bella Thorne and Katie Stevens joining the Freeform family, there is clear hope for a future even after the Pretty Little Liars credits roll.
What do you think about the idea of the black-ish spin-off heading over to Freeform? Do you think it’ll work alongside Shadowhunters and so many shows? Share in the comments below! (Photo: Freeform.)