Edgier programming by the Disney-owned ABC Family channel may have boosted ratings and advertising, but many parents are angry about the changes. New series, particularly The Secret Life of the American Teenager, have sparked debate about whether the offerings are truly family programming, reports the Los Angeles Times. Parents concerned about the risqué themes in the hit show claim the network has betrayed its target demographic.
"When you call something 'family,' it gives the impression that it's safe for all members of the family, even young children," said one parent. ABC executives insist the programs are simply evolving with their viewers. "The best way to resonate with your audience is to be authentic," said the president of the Disney-ABC Television Group. "You're only authentic if you are holding up a mirror to your audience and saying, 'I see you.'" (Read more ABC Family stories.)