AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
ABC Family network president Michael Riley had good reason to celebrate the new year. In 2011, after 14 months with Riley at the helm, ABC garnered its best primetime viewership performance ever among total viewers, including key adult 18-34, 18-49 and 12-34 demos--while posting its eighth consecutive year of overall audience increases, according to network officials.
The network also continued to reach its key millennial audience (12-to-34-year-old viewers) in record numbers, despite competition from such rivals as MTV and The CW, with such freshman series as Switched at Birth--which finished its summer run as the most-watched new summer cable show among the demo--and Jane by Design, as well as veteran shows Pretty Little Liars and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Riley sat down with Multichannel News programming editor R. Thomas Umstead to discuss the network's ratings so far, its outreach to the influential millennial audience and what the network has planned in 2012. An edited transcript follows.
MCN: When you came to ABC Family, what were your goals and have you accomplished them?
MR: I would say that coming in, it was such a great time. ABC Family at the time was really just coming up on six years of consecutive growth. They'd had just a tremendous amount of momentum, and I knew that coming in I needed to seize the moment and capitalize on the momentum.
So the first thing we talked about was putting six pilots into production. Our plan was to actually pick up three of them, but as we got into looking at the pilots, all of the storytelling was absolutely fantastic and we …