At the second annual Freeform Summit today in Los Angeles themed “A Stage for Everyone,” Freeform hosted a series of panel discussions focusing on authentic storytelling, inclusion and representation. The summit is guided and inspired by the themes that anchor the network’s original series, which channel the force and momentum of its audience in its quest for progress.
The summit featured leading voices at the forefront of Freeform’s 2019 programming slate, including Kenya Barris, Luka Sabbat, Maia Mitchell, Katie Stevens, Diggy Simmons, Zuri Adele, Dhruv Uday Singh, I. Marlene King, Francia Raisa, Aisha Dee, Emma Hunton, Sherry Cola, Aubrey Joseph, Sasha Pieterse, Eliot Laurence, Joanna Johnson, Josh Thomas and Kayla Cromer. Also in attendance and contributing to the conversations were key influencers, advocates and pop culture titans including Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Gigi Gorgeous, Samantha Fishbein, Hillary Kerr, EJ Johnson, Shaun Ross, Patrick Starrr, Billie Lee, Lala Milan, Nyle DiMarco, Leyna Bloom, Avie Acosta, Geena Rocero and Dexter Mayfield. The event also featured musical performances from Sofia Carson, Diggy Simmons and Trevor Jackson.
Freeform released a new brand-narrative video, dubbed “Dear Society, We’re Breaking Up,” which doubles down on the network’s current brand mantra and its commitment to authentic storytelling. In an anthemic message pointed at outdated societal standards, Freeform has provided a stage for people to stand up, speak out and celebrate how far young adults have pushed society to reexamine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.
Freeform also announced it is diving into animation with two female-focused animated projects in development, including Betches and Woman World.
Based on the insanely popular multimedia brand of the same name, created by three millennial women, Betches is a half-hour, irreverent animated series that will follow 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 have an anything-but-basic life. Rachel Koller (Lady Bits with Lauren Giraldo) will write the pilot and Emma Roberts (American Horror Story), Samantha Fishbein (co-founder of Betches Media), Jordana Abraham (co-founder of Betches Media), Aleen Kuperman (co-founder of Betches Media), Carli Haney, Kesila Childers and Gil Goldschein from Bunim-Murray Productions (Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Real World) are set to executive produce.
Woman World is a half-hour, comedic 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 (The Guild, Geek & Sundry) and written by Aminder Dhaliwal (Pinky Malinky, Close Enough).
Freeform also released the opening title sequence to its highly anticipated witch drama Motherland: Fort Salem, 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.
And the network announced its summer premieres and finales.
Season two of the critically acclaimed Freeform comedy grown-ish returns for summer session on Wednesday, June 5, at 8:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on Freeform. 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, who has just been added as a series regular, the show is a contemporary take on the issues that students face in the world of higher education. grown-ish is produced by ABC Signature Studios and executive produced by Kenya Barris, Julie Bean, Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry, Craig Doyle, Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland and E. Brian Dobbins.
Good Trouble will return for more trouble in its highly-anticipated sophomore season on Tuesday, June 18, at 8:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on Freeform. 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. Good Trouble is executive produced by Joanna Johnson, Peter Paige, Bradley Bredeweg, Christine Sacani, Gregory Gugliotta, Maia Mitchell, Cierra Ramirez, Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina. The season one finale airs Tuesday, April 2, at 8:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on Freeform.
Additionally, Freeform has announced the return of the Good Trouble digital aftershow, The Trouble With, which is produced in partnership with ATTN:. The popular digital series has amassed more than 15 million views in its first season across all platforms.
Siren, Freeform’s fan-favorite mermaid drama, will return Thursday, July 11, at 8:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on Freeform. 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. Siren is executive produced by Eric Wald and Emily Whitesell, who serves as showrunner. Dean White, Brad Luff, Nate Hopper and RD Robb also serve as executive producers.
And Freeform announced today that they will say farewell to fan-favorite series Shadowhunters with an extended two-and-a-half-hour finale on Monday, May 6, at 8:00-10:30 p.m. EDT/PDT. The GLAAD, People’s Choice and Teen Choice Award-winning series that 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.