Let's be blunt, Family Channel is just as bad as Disney Channel is. Back when I was a boy, Family catered to more wider audience. They aired preschool programming during the day, kid shows in the afternoon, and ACTUAL family-oriented shows in the evenings. Nowadays, it's tween-trash central: a couple of family-friendly shows and movies and a handful of animated shows intermixed with a collection of uninspired kidcoms.
Even their own original programming was affected by this; for every smash-hit like Life with Derek, we get copypasta like Really Me. I would suspect that the only reason why The Next Step was produced was because Family got the message that they should leave the kid-pandering crap to YTV, but the rest of the channel is still unwatchable; your guess is as good as mine.
Let's keep in mind that Family Channel is a premium service - like The Movie Network, Movie Central and Super Channel - and Disney Channel also evolved in similar fashion. Sadly, this shameless trend is the norm for kids networks, especially those who can't or won't use traditional advertising. "Target the tweens and leave the kiddies (and their families) in the dust." Really, a nationalist would have blamed Disney Channel for the reason why Family sucks because, as long as they're the only place in Canada to watch Disney Channel shows, Family Channel is in the clear.
What makes me exited of the acquisition by DHX Media in this article, was the following quotes: “The hope is that it will become a more Canadian channel, more Canadian programming, that is our general ambition. If we can increase that, I would personally feel that it’s accomplished something. What I would like is for the animation industry in Canada, which truly is a world leader, to be more recognized as such; and for Canadians to realize that there is this creative industry in this area of animation,”
That's what I'm talking about. Family Channel can still broadcast Disney Channel shows but, if Disney isn't going to step up with it's original content, Family should. Adding more canadian programming should be a top priority when it comes to turning Family around, and DHX is a player when it comes to cancon. Just to name a few of my favorites: Rainbow Fish, King, The Save-Ums and The Adventures of Paddington Bear. You know what else would help turn things around? Some ACTUAL family-oriented shows. Not family-friendly, family-oriented. Family should take notes from Good Luck, Charlie (and maybe Dog with a Blog) the next time they decided to spend $200 making another kidcom. ...And before you bring it up, ABC Family is stuck with the name; they would have changed it a long time ago if ABC Spark was any indication.
So, here's to hoping DHX Media will breathe new life into the ironically-named Family Channel.