ABC Family Halloween Rant

To say that I love ABC Family is pretty much an understatement. They show previous seasons and have in syndication some of my favorite shows of all time: “Everwood,” “7th Heaven,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “Full House,” just to name a few. However, there is something that has been bothering me lately.

During the month of October, ABC Family runs a series of scary movies and shows that they call “13 Nights of Halloween.” I guess this doesn’t bother me as much considering that the movies or shows start around 8 p.m. What I don’t understand is why they show the commercials for these movies during the day! They are showing movies like Stephen King’s “Misery” and a marathon of the television show “Scariest Places on Earth.”

Now, let me explain how this affects my family. We have a small television in the kitchen — I know what you must be thinking, but please stay with me on this. When my daughter and I eat lunch together, I usually turn on ABC Family. I know that they show quality family programming during the day so I don’t have to worry, right? Well, that was true until they started showing ads for this “13 Nights of Halloween” thing. During the ads, they show bits from some of the movies and features. It is ridiculous. Today, for example, we were sitting at the kitchen table watching “Full House.” A commercial comes on and it shows a part of the movie “Misery” where Kathy Bates goes to chop off the foot of some guy she has tied to a bed (I’ve never seen it so I don’t know who it is, but I think it’s James Caan.). Of course, they switch scenes before they actually show her cutting off the foot. My daughter, who is not yet two, gasps and says “Oh no! What happened?” And then in another part of the ad, they show part of an ABC Family original movie called “The Initiation of Sarah.” A girl says, “Sometimes sisters do horrible things to each other,” as they flash to a scene with a girl who has a knife in her hands which she then plunges down. I kid you not.

ABC Family is supposed to be a family-oriented channel — day and night. I appreciate that they are trying to show movies for everyone, and I respect that they are waiting until the prime time hours to show these features. I do not appreciate, however, the fact that they are showing these graphic commercials during the day! They are scary and inappropriate for a family-oriented television channel. I would immensely dislike having to alter my daytime television schedule — limited though it is — but if that is what it takes for me to protect my daughter during the month of October, then so be it.

To leave feedback for ABC Family, click here. I certainly did. Have a happy and safe Halloween!