Pour a Butterbeer out for the loss of this epic TV tradition.
2017 seems to be testing our patience all the way to its final days and Freeform's Harry Potter weekend-long marathons are now apart of the reasons why. In an upsetting turn of events, Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family) has announced that they no longer own the rights to air Harry Potter movies. According to Collider, NBCUniversal has promised to bring the Harry Potter films to HBO beginning January 1st, which means 2018 sets off a new exclusive licensing window for the franchise leaving Freeform and all it's loyal Potter fans behind.
Those who grew up watching ABC Family were heartbroken after the Freeform rebrand back in January of 2016—but viewers always returned to the network for two reasons: Harry Potter weekend marathons and the 25 Days of Christmas lineup. Betrayed ABC Family enthusiasts still take to Twitter to express their contempt:
Remember when "abc family" changed to "freeform" and everyone swore we'd "get over it?" It's been 3 years... I'm still not over it
— Benjamin Savick (@Savick_3) December 2, 2017
I’ll be honest. Part of me died the day ABC Family became Freeform.
— Andy Blanchard (@AndyTheBlanch) December 2, 2017
It seems inevitable that the coveted Harry Potter weekends would die along with ABC Family. Moral is definitely down with viewers—it's almost like we are all going through a bad breakup with the network and Twitter agrees:
Freeform: No more Harry Potter weekend after January 1
— Zaza (@tvfanatica1) November 30, 2017
— HelloGiggles (@hellogiggles) November 30, 2017
— Allison Rose (@allison_rose16) December 6, 2017
Although HBO subscribers are amongst the least affected, the news still stings. The charm of turning on the TV during a snow day to find a Harry Potter movie marathon waiting for you are over—although its legacy always remains. We will stay tuned to see how Freeform fills this major gap in their network. According to EW.com, Freeform plans on airing one last Harry Potter marathon from Dec. 28th to Dec. 31st—we plan on tuning in tissues and Butterbeer in hand.