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What's in a name? For ABC Family, its name is its albatross. Boxed in by a family-centered niche, one that's contractually mandated by cable ops, ABC Family's strategy has been seemingly simple: Target kids in the ayem, teens 'after school and adults in the evening.
But with no breakout hit, subpar ratings and an obligation to keep it clean when racy fare like "Nip/Tuck" and "Sex and the City" is what sells, the fledgling cabler is stuck without an identity. It's been tough justifying the $5.2 billion pricetag Disney paid for it--a figure critics consider unusually high.
"If you're down in the hole a ton of money and then someone says you need to spend another $100 million to put on original programming, it's just hard to …