Freeform's 13 Nights of Halloween (formerly known as Fox Family's 13 Days of Halloween and ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween) is a programming special on Freeform (formerly ABC Family), which originally began airing in 1998 after The Family Channel became Fox Family, two years after their "25 Days of Christmas" special premiered. The "13 Nights of Halloween" special was created mainly due to the success of the latter. The special lasts from October 19, until Halloween Night.
The programming block since its creation has consisted of ABC Family original programming, airing with their holiday programming. In 1998, they aired specials such as Casper: A Spirited Beginning, then starting in the 2000s (decade), the lineup shifted towards films, such as Hocus Pocus, The Haunted Mansion, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, and "Harry Potter Weekends" (consisting of the first six Harry Potter films). The programming block was not aired in 2003 as ABC Family's new programming executives decided not to air the block for reasons that remain unclear, but the programming block returned in 2004 after a one-year hiatus. In 2011, ABC Family switched the focus of the programming block to its original purpose (primarily Halloween/Horror related films). With more appropriately themed content airing during the programming block. Films that air during the lineup are usually edited for time constraints and profane content, such as language or sexuality, to appeal towards all audiences.
13 Nights of Halloween has been a staple for ABC Family for 17 years. The 2015 lineup was released to the public on September 2. Freeform's first Halloween lineup schedule was released on September 14, 2016.
The following are films and specials which have previously aired as a part of the lineup, but have since been removed.
In 2008, viewers averaged 1.2 million. For 2009, the lineup averaged 1.4 million viewers, up from the previous year. Hocus Pocus drew record numbers of near 2.5 million, while Edward Scissorhands drew over 1 million viewers. Total viewers dropped in 2010, averaging just 1.2 million viewers. In 2011, Pretty Little Liars Halloween themed episode, "The First Secret", at the time, the lineup's most watched program. The special episode aired with more than 2.5 million viewers. Viewers for the entire lineup broke record, averaging 1.6 million viewers in 2011, thanks to debuts such as Coraline. The October 29 airing of Hocus Pocus drew the 13 Nights of Halloween's highest viewers ever, with 2.8 million.
In 2012, the second Halloween-themed episode of Pretty Little Liars, "This is A Dark Ride" guest-starring former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert drew 2.8 million viewers. ABC Family announced that the episode had become the lineup's most watched programming in their key demographics in the block's fourteen-year history. Due to the success of previous years airings of Hocus Pocus, multiple airings were scheduled throughout the 2012 lineup. The first initial broadcast of the film on October 23 was watched by 1.6 million viewers. Broadcasts of the film on the nights of October 28 and October 31 were watched by 1.9 million and 1.3 million viewers respectively. The network premiere of the film The Sorcerer's Apprentice on October 28 was watched by 2.1 million viewers. Overall viewers for the 2012 season were down from the previous year, with an average of 1.5 million viewers.
ABC Family released the 2014 schedule on September 10, 2014.
The popular programming event, now in its 16th year, started October 19 and concluded on October 31. The schedule features brand-new Halloween-themed episodes of Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy, an all-new Pretty Little Liars fan appreciation special, plus the scary prank specials Freak Out. The stunt will also include the network television premieres of Dark Shadows and ParaNorman, and prime time airings of Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and Monsters Inc.
Ratings for the 2014 event were generally even across the board with prior years. October 19, the first day of the event, held ratings of Harry Potter, 1.5 million viewers, Toy Story of Terror, 1.7 million, and a prime time airing of Monsters Inc. gaining 1.7 million viewers. The Pretty Little Liars special airing October 21 had 1.3 million viewers while Melissa and Joey registered 1.1 million. The network airing of Dark Shadows on October 24 registered a mediocre 1 million viewers. An airing of The Adams Family had a decent 1.21 million viewers while a Halloween airing of Casper had 1.4 million viewers. The highest rated programs of the event were Monsters Inc at, 1.7 million on October 19, and Hocus Pocus on October 26, also at 1.7 million.
The 2015 line up was released on September 2.
The highest rated event for 2015's 13 Nights of Halloween was the premier of Monsters University at 2.081m viewers, up from 2014's high of 1.7m. Hocus Pocus, which aired a staggering ten times during the event saw its highest rated showing at 1.7m viewers, even with previous years. The Adams Family highest rated showing peaked at 1.6m viewers. Overall the rest of the event peaked around 1 million viewers. The 2015 lineup averaged 1.1905m viewers, down dramaticly from previous years.
ABC Family rebranded itself as Freeform in 2016, but has confirmed that it will continue airing 13 Nights of Halloween.
Freeform's 13 Nights of Halloween lineup was released on September 14, 2016. The 2016 line up features film classics such as Hocus Pocus, Corpse Bride, The Adams Family, Scooby-Doo, Monsters University, Practical Magic, and Death Becomes Her. The line up for Halloween day includes Steven Spielberg's classic The Goonies, Scooby-Doo, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, and two back to back airings of Bette Midler's classic Hocus Pocus.
Ratings for 2016's 13 Nights were overall down. Hocus Pocus was the highest rated film, with its highest viewing at 1.308M on October 23rd. The rest of the Hocus Pocus airings stayed around 1.000M consistently. Monsters University gained 1.234M on that same date. The highest rated showing of the Addams Family was 1.116M on October 20th.