31 Nights of Halloween
|Network||Fox Family (1998–2001)|
ABC Family (2002; 2004–2015)
|Launched||October 19, 1998|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Formerly known as||13 Days of Halloween (1998–2001)|
13 Nights of Halloween (2002–2017)
|Format||Horror films and Halloween-based programming|
|Running time||Nightly, annually from October 19 to October 31 (until 2017)|
Nightly, annually from October 1 to October 31 (starting in 2018)
31 Nights of Halloween (formerly 13 Days of Halloween and 13 Nights of Halloween) is a seasonal programming block on Freeform. It originally began airing in 1998, after the Family Channel became Fox Family, and was continued through the channel's change into ABC Family, and later, Freeform. The 31 Nights of Halloween block was created mainly due to the success of the channel's 25 Days of Christmas, which had started two years earlier. The special lasted from October 19 until Halloween night, covering the thirteen days before the holiday. Starting in 2018, the special will air throughout the whole month of October.
From 1998-2004, the block consisted mainly of made-for-TV movies aimed at an older audience, such as Casper: A Spirited Beginning, The Haunting of Seacliff Inn, Lost Souls, The Spiral Staircase, When Good Ghouls Go Bad, Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare, Tower of Terror, The Hollow, and Grave Secrets: The Legacy of Hilltop Drive, and Halloween themed specials such as Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Stories.
Then starting in 2006, the lineup shifted more towards feature films aimed at a younger audience such as Hocus Pocus, The Haunted Mansion, The Addams Family and its sequel, Monsters, Inc., and the Harry Potter film series.
The programming block was not aired in 2003 as ABC Family's new executives decided not to air the block for reasons that remain unclear, but it returned in 2004. Over the following years, the block focused more on family-oriented feature films and away from specific Halloween-based programs.
In 2011, ABC Family switched the focus of the programming block to its original purpose (primarily Halloween/Horror related films), while still remaining appropriate for children and families. Films that air during the lineup are usually edited for time constraints and for profane content, such as language or sexuality, to appeal towards all audiences.
With the launch of Freeform in 2016, the block remained largely the same, continuing to show Halloween-based family films.
On May 15, 2018, Freeform announced that the block will be re-named to 31 Nights of Halloween, meaning the lineup will start on the very first day of October rather than the 19th.
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 2012'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 dramatically from previous years.
ABC Family rebranded itself as Freeform in 2016, but continued airing 13 Nights of Halloween.
13 Nights of Halloween lineup was released on September 14, 2016. The 2016 line up features films such as Hocus Pocus, Corpse Bride, Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Monsters University, Practical Magic, and Death Becomes Her. The line up for Halloween day includes Steven Spielberg's classic The Goonies, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, and two back to back airings of Disney's cult 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.
13 Nights of Halloween lineup was released on September 12, 2017. The schedule includes films such as Eddie Murphy's The Haunted Mansion, The Addams Family, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Bewitched. A Tim Burton film marathon and a Hocus Pocus marathon on Halloween were also included in the schedule.
Starting in 2018, the special will air throughout the whole month of October. The full lineup includes classics like Edward Scissorhands, Toy Story of Terror!, ParaNorman, The Witches of Eastwick, Monster House, Hotel Transylvania, Monsters, Inc., Monsters University, The Haunted Mansion, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Clue, and The Addams Family. The entire marathon will then conclude with six back-to-back screenings of Hocus Pocus on Oct. 31. There will also be several nostalgic flicks with no Halloween tie-in featuring Mulan, Bolt, The Goonies, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frozen, The Breakfast Club, Jurassic Park, Big Hero 6, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Parent Trap and Mrs. Doubtfire. Multiple Halloween themes episodes of The Middle will also air.  A Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash special is set to premiere on the network on October 20, as part of the 31 Nights of Halloween lineup. Original stars from the movie, Bette Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy and more will all be joining the special. Vanessa Hudgens and Jordan Fisher hosted and there are special performances by Dove Cameron, Jordin Sparks and more. On October 14, the Decorating Disney: Halloween Magic special premiered with 932,000 total viewers tuning in to the show, hosted by Cierra Ramirez from Freeform's The Fosters and Good Trouble, that gave viewers a look on how Disney parks and ships are decorated for Halloween overnight.
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