ABC has given its streaming service a major overhaul, and granting all viewers—even those without cable or satellite subscription—free access to full seasons of more than three dozen older shows and seven new digital short-form series.
The network has relaunched its ABC streaming app with seven new digital shortform series and full seasons of 38 classic series (what the network is calling "throwback" shows) like Felicity and Ugly Betty.
The series and digital shorts are available on ABC.com and via the ABC apps without signing in, though as usual, users will need to be authenticated to access some of the apps other features, including livestreaming in some markets, and access to new episodes the day after they air.
While the app has been redesigned for iOS devices, including Apple TV, the new content will be available on all devices.
"All of this allows us to expand beyond the bounds of our linear schedule and extend ABC storytelling to viewers across screens and platforms," said Karin Gilford, svp of digital media for ABC, in a statement.
The new ABCd (ABC digital) comedy and lifestyle digital series were developed by ABC Comedy Development, ABC Daytime and ABC Digital Media. The network says it is developing more than 40 other series, and new programs will be rolled out monthly.
The digital series include All My Gay Friends Are Getting Married (about a single woman who sits down with gay couples to talk about their wedding ceremonies); Boondoogle (starring Ty Burrell as himself, and his "non-tourage" of friends who enjoy the perks of his starring on a new show); Forever 31 (comedian Iliza Shlesinger and her friends deal with adulthood); Tastemade's Get Cookin' (sponsored by Hefty, in which three chefs share cooking techniques and tips); I Can Find $3,000 In You Home ("eBay millionaire" Linda Lightman explains how to turn trash into cash); Newborn Moms (a comedy about, yes, two new mothers); and On the Record (songwriters perform an acoustic version of their song and talk about the inspiration behind it).
"We hope this will be an opportunity for our existing talent to flex their creative muscles, and also an opportunity for audiences to discover and champion new emerging content creators," said Samie Falvey, evp, comedy and international scripted development for ABC Entertainment, in a statement.
The "throwback" series—a mix of shows that are aired on ABC and were produced by Disney's in-house production companies—include Felicity, My So-Called Life, Schoolhouse Rock, Sports Night, Ugly Betty, Body of Proof, Brothers & Sisters, Ellen, Samantha Who? (which featured Melissa McCarthy alongside star Christina Applegate) and Trophy Wife.
The older series and new digital shows will air with ads, as is the case with all of ABC's digital content, while Tastemade's Get Cookin' will also be sponsored by Hefty.
As part of the updated app features, ABC has extended access to its 24-hour network livestream for authenticated users to 14 Hearst Television ABC markets (include Boston, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque-Santa Fe and Milwaukee), for a total of 20 markets in all.