Family (TV channel): Wikis


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Family Channel Logo.svg
Family logo
Launched September 1, 1988
Owned by Astral Media
Slogan Never A Dull Moment
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Formerly called Family Channel
Website Family
Bell TV Channel 556 (East)
Channel 557 (West)
Channel 549 (Playhouse Disney)
Shaw Direct Channel 540 (East)
Channel 541 (West)
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary.

Family, sometimes referred to as Family Channel, is a Canadian premium television service marketed to children and teenagers. It is owned by Astral Media. It is similar to the American TV channel Disney Channel and airs their original programs.



Family was licensed as a pay TV service by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1987 as a joint venture between Allarcom Pay Television (later acquired by Western International Communications) and First Choice (by then a division of Astral Communications), with both companies owning a 50% stake in the service. It launched as Family Channel on September 1, 1988. In 2000, Corus Entertainment acquired WIC's stake in the service and subsequently sold it to Astral in 2001.

The Family logo from 1997 until 1999. The "Channel" font was a different font prior to 1997, even though it was the same logo.

Originally offered by cable companies as a stand-alone channel, beginning in October 1997 most cable and satellite providers started offering the channel as part of a package with that year's wave of new specialty channels. While Family initially continued its "pay" format, including broadcasts of older Disney movies which would be repeated several times a month, it soon changed its programming practices such that it now operates as a de facto specialty channel, much like similarly-themed channels such as YTV. However, in line with CRTC regulations for premium channels, no commercials are shown on this channel, aside from promos for other programs aired between shows; some advertisers work around this rule by co-sponsoring contests which are then promoted on the channel. Dance Fever, which aired on Family in 2003, was the first program to have ever taken breaks during the show. Family was the last English-language children's network in Canada to switch to a 24/7 broadcast schedule, finally eliminating its off-air hours on July 1, 2007.

In February 2007, Family began airing short shows and commercial-style breaks from Disney Channel, such as Disney's Really Short Report, Meet the Family, and the returning feature Movie Surfers, alongside their own interstitial segments, such as music videos ("FamJam"), contest promotions, and movie interviews from corporate sister The Movie Network. In 2008, Family began using commercial breaks during programs on weekend mornings, although these breaks are consist of the same content from breaks between programs during other programs.


Relationship with The Family Channel (U.S.) / ABC Family

The existence of a United States cable channel, itself long known as The Family Channel, and now known as ABC Family, has occasionally led to the presumption that the two channels are affiliated. The two channels have co-commissioned some programming in the past (and some of Family's original series have aired on Disney Channel in the US), and both currently have a significant connection to The Walt Disney Company (which acquired the U.S. channel in 2000).

However, the two channels developed separately in each country, and as such neither channel can be considered a foreign version of the other. Allarcom and First Choice had first proposed using the "Family Channel" name in 1987.[1] The American channel, initially controlled by televangelist Pat Robertson, adopted the "CBN Family Channel" name in August 1988, one month before Canada's Family Channel signed on, dropping the reference to CBN two years later. Even with the current relationship via Disney, most of ABC Family's original series air in Canada on channels other than Family, likely due to the close association between the latter and the Disney Channel.

Nevertheless, some American cable providers have used the Canadian channel's "Paint and Sun" logo to represent the U.S. channel on program guides, and occasionally the reverse has occurred with the Robertson-era U.S. logo appearing in some Canadian listings


Family airs its own original programming, as well as many series and original movies from U.S. service Disney Channel, along with some series from Nickelodeon and ABC Family. It also airs theatrical films.

The channel operates two time shifted feeds: East (Eastern Time) and West (Pacific Time).

Family runs episodes of their programming by production code order, instead of the order of their original broadcast run on American and other foreign channels. Many times this does place episodes out of order storyline wise, as many shows film episodes out of order.

Original programming

Family gets its shows from Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Nickelodeon mostly, but it also airs its own original programming. The original programs are:

Featured movies

Family airs movies on Fridays and weekends. It airs three movies on Friday nights, with the first one sometimes being a featured movie, such as Kim Possible: So the Drama or High School Musical. The second movie a PG, PG-13, or 14A rated movie. An example of this would be Double Teamed. The third movie of the Friday night would be in the rating ranges of General to Restricted. An example of the third movie would be RocketMan. Family shows four movies for Saturdays and Sundays each, with two during the afternoon and two at night, with one of the Sunday afternoon airings sometimes a repeat of Friday's featured movie. Prior to September 2005, Family also aired a movie on Monday-Thursday nights.

Programming blocks


Family began their own Jetix block on September 10, 2006, replaced the "Power Box" block. The original Canadian Jetix block includes Get Ed, Oban Star Racers, Yin Yang Yo, Pucca, Power Rangers: Mystic Force, Power Rangers: Jungle Fury, and Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive. Jetix airs from 6:03 a.m. EST through 7:45 a.m. EST on weekend mornings.

Power Box

Until 2006, Family showed an early morning programming block of Japanese-themed fighting shows including W.I.T.C.H., Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, Oban Star Racers, and S.R.M.T.H.F.G. that started at 6 a.m. EST. In 2006, Power Box programming was dropped and replaced with Jetix.

Family Jr.

It airs shows specially designed for preschoolers every weekday morning at 4:30 a.m. and it ends for the day at 11:25 a.m. EST. As of February 2009, these are the shows that currently air:

Mad Dash

It airs mainly Disney animated shows for kids and pre-teens every weekday afternoon from 11:49 a.m. EST until 5:03 p.m. EST. Notable shows currently airing are: Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, Cory in the House, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Phineas and Ferb, Recess, and The Replacements.

Non Stop

It airs mostly live-action sitcoms every weekday evening & all weekend long. Notable shows currently airing are: The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, The Suite Life on Deck, Hannah Montana, Cory in the House, Sonny With a Chance, Wizards of Waverly Place, Life with Derek, Zoey 101, Zeke and Luther, Aaron Stone, The Latest Buzz, Jonas, and Overruled!.

Non Stop Weekends

Every Saturday and Sunday, Family runs a series of "Non Stop" programming until 9:00 p.m. EST

Multiplexes and related services

Family OnDemand

Family OnDemand is a video on demand service featuring programming from Family, available to subscribers of the network.

Playhouse Disney Canada


A local version of Playhouse Disney was launched as a multiplex of Family on November 30, 2007, a commercial-free channel carrying programs aimed at preschool-aged children, 24 hours a day. Unlike Family, Playhouse Disney has only one national feed operating from the Eastern Time Zone. For satellite, it is exclusively carried on Bell TV.

Because Family is licensed as a premium service, no additional licence is required to launch the channel. Existing subscribers of Family will automatically be eligible to receive Playhouse Disney free of charge, subject to carriage by their cable or satellite provider; however, it is not available on a standalone basis. The use of a premium service licence also means that the channel can compete directly with Canada's existing preschooler-aimed speciality channel, Treehouse TV, despite the format protection guidelines for speciality channels.

Family Extreme

On April 24, 2009, the CRTC announced that it had approved a licence for a new Category 2 specialty channel to be known as Family Extreme. The new channel will "offer programming from around the world devoted to entertainment, humour, travel, games, science and technology and targeted toward children aged 6 to 17 years and their families."[2]

International distribution

Outside of Canada, Family is seen on some cable systems in the Caribbean:

  • Jamaica - distributed on Flow Cable systems.[3]
  • Bahamas - distributed on Cable Bahamas systems.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Decision CRTC 87-905, 1 December 1987
  2. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-215". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. April 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-02.  
  3. ^ Flow Cable channel lineup
  4. ^ Cable Bahamas channel lineup

External links


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