Those old enough to remember know that Freeform has gone through a number of name changes over the years. From Fox Family to ABC Family to Freeform. No matter the name though, one thing remained consistent: their original programming that keeps audiences guessing. They gave us everything from Melissa Joan Hart‘s third hit series to the phenomenon that was Pretty Little Liars.
Now we’re counting down the best Freeform shows (including some from past network names) from the bottom to the top. See where your favorites landed on the list! Do you agree?
25. Moolah Beach (2001)
Back in the early ’00s, there was absolutely nothing more fascinating in television that watching people stranded on an island. That was all thanks to Survivor over on CBS, but obviously this teen-oriented network had to put its own spin on the phenomenon. Since the CBS version couldn’t very well let kids on, Freeform (Fox Family at the time) had to think of their own show. It was far less dangerous but still just as dramatic as the grown-up version. Over-the-top egos and showmances were still aplenty Moolah Island, which was aired on ABC Family once the network was sold in 2001!
24. 10 Things I Hate About You (2009 – 2010)
There was a reason this didn’t last long. No one ever wanted anyone to touch the Heath Ledger classic and nobody really cared about this one. Teen movies work so well because they are, indeed, movies. The 10 Things I Hate About You movie was pretty much perfection — a great story, an amazing cast and a satisfying resolution. The show though? We didn’t need it. Also, We didn’t want it, either.
23. Famous In Love (2017 – )
Whether you love or hate Bella Thorne, there did seem to be potential for this Freeform show. It was based on a book, had a sexy cast and seemed like it had enough drama and intrigue to last a couple seasons. Unfortunately, though, anyone who watched the first few episodes was pretty easily bored. Maybe it was the not-so-great acting or the fact that Bella’s off-screen actions are more interesting than anything she could do on-screen — but basically, it just really wasn’t anything special.
22. S Club 7 in LA (2000)
Boy and girl bands were all the rage as we hit the year 2000, but S Club 7, an IRL English band, didn’t see gender. They let anyone with talent into their pop star group. They were bigger in the UK than they were in the States, but that didn’t stop them from having a show based on fictionalized versions of themselves air on Fox Family. Set in Los Angeles, bet you didn’t know that The Exorcist‘s Linda Blair played their landlord on the show!
21. I Was a Sixth Grade Alien (1999 – 2001)
Old school Degrassi fans will recognize the two stars of this show. Yup, that’s Ryan Cooley and Daniel Clark otherwise known as J.T. and Sean taking up a spot on this Fox Family show. Well before they were attending Degrassi High, they were just an alien and his human BFF. The show lasted two seasons with 39 episodes — not too shabby in comparison to some of the others!
20. State of Grace (2001 – 2002)
This show features another pair you may know. This time they’re from Arrested Development. Sometime before Alia Shawkat and Mae Whitman were playing characters in the cult classic, they were pint-sized kiddos playing besties in Chicago. While often compared to The Wonder Years, State of Grace didn’t have the same momentum and only lasted a couple of seasons on Fox Family.
19. Chasing Life (2014 – 2015)
Chasing Life was a pretty good show that still only lasted two of seasons on ABC Family. Centered around a sprite 24-year-old journalist looking to get ahead in her career who gets diagnosed with cancer, it hit home to a lot of viewers. Sadly no one ever got a real ending to April Lauren Carver’s story, which is pretty cruel if you asked us.
18. Huge (2010)
Many rejoiced seeing a show with Nikki Blonsky at the lead. Huge was about her Willamena and her summer at a weight loss camp. Like most teen dramas, she encountered romances as well as enemies along the way. Based on a novel by the same name, Huge only managed to keep people interested for one season. That was a bummer because it was a show that many needed to see. The plot was written by the same brain behind My So-Called Life, so it should’ve been good… just didn’t really attract viewers.
17. Make It Or Break It (2009 – 2012)
Every two years we are glued to our television sets thanks to the Olympic Games. Whether it’s the summer or winter games that are your favorites, you’ve got to admit the summer games have a little something special. The hot men diving and swimming are great, there is no denying that, but women’s gymnastics? OH. HELL. YES. Make It Or Break It took advantage of the obsession and took us on a three-season journey of elite female gymnasts going for gold. Inspired by the 2006 teen flick, Stick It, we got to see all the drama going down when a team is working hard towards their Olympic goals.
16. Edgemont (2001 – 2005)
There is something addictive about watching the drama unfold in a high school setting. It’s why we watched Degrassi in the ’80s (also during the ’00s and now), Beverly Hills, 90210 in the ’90s and The O.C. in the mid-’00s. We watched all five seasons of Edgemont like it was our job. Spot any familiar faces?
15. Bunheads (2012 – 2013)
Wait, what? Yes, this show only lasted one season. It wasn’t watched by many, but it’s so high on the ranking because of all that missed potential. Hello, it was about a showgirl who has to leave her life in Las Vegas after getting married and then goes on to teach at a ballet school. Also, if you want to talk potential — it was co-created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, a name you should know because she created Gilmore Girls, and we all know how great that show was.
14. Twisted (2013 – 2014)
All of the above center around drama and Twisted had its fair share of that, but it was also Freeform taking a big step into the murder-mystery realm which could’ve been great. Starring Avan Jogia as a teen with a dark past having gone to jail for murdering his aunt, it had people coming up with conspiracy theories left and right. Unfortunately, we were left in the dark after it was canceled too soon after just one season. Was Vikram the real killer?! We’ll truly never know! (Unless they give us a reboot, of course!)
13. So Little Time (2001 – 2002)
Uh oh, major flashback alert. So Little Time was actually the last TV show the Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen starred in together. It’s weird to think this show was only around one season (there was a four month hiatus midway as Fox Family turned into ABC Family), but alas, all good things must end. Of course, after So Little Time, the girls continued to film movies together and even act apart. But TV-wise, this was the final show. Now people just want to see at least one of them on Fuller House.
12. Melissa & Joey (2010 – 2015)
Do you ever think about a show and cry? That’s how I am with Melissa & Joey It was so wonderfully written that mixed one part ’90s nostalgia with two parts sexual innuendo. Seriously, some of the things they said on that show would make you blush! At the end of the day though, this is the one show we definitely miss a lot!
11. Lincoln Heights (2007 – 2009)
It’s been a minute since we’ve thought of Lincoln Heights. It’s not too often you get a show set in LA that’s not about the glitz and glamour Hollywood life. Thankfully this show existed to show that there’s a whole other side to LA separated from celebrities and incredible wealth. It showcased what reality is like for a lot of Angelenos.
10. The Bold Type (2017 – )
Many writers who came up in the New York City scene have praised this show for several reasons. The Bold Type is not too far from fiction though since it was inspired by Joanna Coles, the former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief. Focusing on three besties working at a women’s magazine in the Big Apple, people don’t only love it for the premise, but also for the A+ representation of unconditional female friendship. It’s amazing to see the ins and outs of women doing it for themselves and this would pass The Bechdel test with flying colors.
9. Shadowhunters (2016 – )
Take any YA novel, make it a series and BAM! Fans of the books not only tune in but you bring in a whole group of new people who just love a good show. Based around The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Shadowhunters brought a heavy dose of the supernatural to Freeform. Two seasons in, the third is slated to premiere in April 2018 and their fanbase is nothing but loyal.
8. Young & Hungry (2014 – )
Sometimes we can see why something’s wildly popular and sometimes we can’t. We’re placing Young & Hungry this high all because of the fans. People *freaking* love this show. IPerhaps it has something to do with Hannah Montana‘s Emily Osment in the lead character spot, Jesse McCartney making waves as a two-season recurring character, or Ashley Tisdale and Keegan Allen guest starring. Either way, it’s a five-season hit (so far!).
7. Greek (2007 – 2011)
With so many shows about teens and high school, Greek was a break from the norm. Felicity was probably the only one to do it before — as most TV shows that were set in college had started out as high school dramas. But when it came to Greek, this show was all in. Focusing on the frat and sorority life on college campuses, plus all the drama, romance and politicking that comes with, Greek had something for everyone. Fans were obsessed with that Greek life that just kept you guessing.
6. Kyle XY (2006 – 2009)
Even if you didn’t watch this show, everyone knew very well about it. He didn’t have a belly button for crying out loud! For a lot of young people, this was their first step into the sweet, sweet world of sci-fi. Many fans thank Kyle XY for introducing them to the genre! It was ABC Family’s highest rated original series for two years before The Secret Life of the American Teenager came along and stole the crown.
5. Baby Daddy (2012 – 2017)
Who else is still bitter that Baby Daddy was canceled? All of your hands better be up because this show was hilarious. The Wheeler brothers’ love triangle with Riley was killer, but it was Tahj Mowry and Melissa Peterman who brought the comedy of the show to the next level. We sure hope Freeform regrets their decision and gives us at least a special in a few years. We need to know how Riley and Danny’s baby is doing. (Also can we talk about how the poster for This is Us‘s fictional show The Manny looks a hell of a lot like the one for Baby Daddy…. I’m just sayin’ it’s really got that Freeform-y feel to it, too!
4. The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008 – 2013)
Speaking of the end of Kyle XY‘s reign, The Secret Life of the American Teenager premiered about a year before MTV started to capitalize on pregnant 16-year-olds. Far from a reality show, Secret Life followed the life of a teenager who, you guessed it, becomes pregnant. That teen was none other than Shailene Woodley. Critics and fans alike loved the show. Which is why it did amazing during its five-year run.
3. Switched at Birth (2011 – 2017)
Five seems to be the magic number because that’s how many seasons Switched at Birth ran as well. One of the most celebrated shows to ever appear on the network, Switched at Birth won an honorary Peabody Award in 2013. Of course, we all know from the title what the premise was. Two girls switched at birth. Though there are a lot of twists, the show has been praised for its depiction of the deaf community — with several scenes happening entirely in American Sign Language.
2. Pretty Little Liars (2010 – 2017)
Have you been wondering where Pretty Little Liars was? You knew it was coming! Out of all the shows on this list, none caused quite the hysteria that PLL did. The teenage theatrics paired with a murder mystery… we totally get why people tuned in with such dedication and were just as saddened to see it go! Luckily (or sadly, depending on how you look at it) a spin-off of Pretty Little Liars has been given the green light.
1. The Fosters (2013 – )
When it comes to celebrated TV shows, we obviously had to give this show a top spot. The Fosters has won a Teen Choice Award, two GLAAD Media Awards and several others since debuting in 2013. Centered around a girl in the foster care system with her brother, the two land in the home of a lesbian couple. The women decide to take the two kids into their family for good (already made up of one biological son and a pair of adopted twins), but not without any hurdles. In fact, anything that can go wrong often does in their world. All that aside, this show receives a lot of praise for tackling sensitive and serious issues that not many other teen shows do — such as what it means to be transgender, society’s racial problems and more.