Disney XD has ordered “Wasabi Warriors” (working title), a live action comedy set at the Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy, a strip mall martial arts studio and worst dojo in the underperforming nationwide Bobby Wasabi chain. There, a ragtag crew of lovable misfits welcomes a hotshot skateboarder named Jack, who will teach a group of neighborhood goofballs about life, karate and how to just plain kick it. The multi-camera series will begin production in Hollywood in January for a 2011 premiere around the world. The announcement was made today by Gary Marsh, president, entertainment, and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide.
Located in a strip mall, the Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy is in danger of closing until Sensei Rudy recruits Jack, the only person who can restore glory to Bobby Wasabi and vanquish their bitter rival The Golden Dragon. Jack reluctantly joins the dojo and meets his new crew — tough guy and slacker Jerry, awkward yet confident Milton and the lovable and uncoordinated Eddie. These underdogs soon realize their newfound friendship will take them places they never quite imagined.
Marsh said, “By weaving martial arts into the fabric of a traditional situation comedy, we’ve created a completely unique sitcom form. Plus, by pairing our star Leo Howard — a real life black-belt martial artist — with a brilliant comedian like Jason Earles, we’ve tipped the scales towards success.”
Starring are Jason Earles (“Hannah Montana”) as Rudy, Leo Howard (Disney Channel’s short-form series “Leo Little’s Big Show”) as Jack, Mateo Arias (“Cold Case,” “Hannah Montana,”) as Jerry, Dylan Riley Snyder (“Life During Wartime”) as Milton, Alex Jones as Eddie and Olivia Holt (“Black & Blue”) as Kim.
The series was created by Jim O’Doherty (“Grounded for Life,” “3rd Rock from the Sun”) who, with Marc Warren (“JONAS L.A.,” “Cory in the House,”"That’s So Raven”), serves as Executive Producer. Joey Scott (“Growing Pains”) is the producer. “Wasabi Warriors” is produced by It’s A Laugh Productions, Inc.
A new segment of Disney Channel’s “Express Yourself” short form series, one coinciding with kids, families and educators’ discussions surrounding the Haiti earthquake, will premiere TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2 on Disney Channel and Disney XD channels around the world, on Disney.com (including Disney Channel.com and DisneyXD.com) and on You Tube.
The 60-second interstitial, featuring the message, “Join the world as we shine a light on Haiti,” has themes of connection, empowerment, compassion, outreach and being a part of a global community. It features popular Disney Channel stars Selena Gomez (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), Emily Osment, Jason Earles (both of “Hannah Montana”), Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Brenda Song and Doc Shaw (all of “The Suite Life on Deck”) encouraging kids to explore and communicate their feelings and to get inspired to make a difference.
Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said the new interstitial is all about empowering kids. “Our hope is that we can encourage kids all over the world to share their feelings in positive ways — and simultaneously be heartened by the world’s response to those who need help.”
Established in January 2001, “Express Yourself” is designed to effectively reach Disney Channel’s audience of kids age 6-14 with a wide array of messages relevant to their demographic. The series does not reference details about specific tragedies, but includes messages that address feelings of fear and anxiety caused by world events and is instructive on how kids can deal with those feelings.
Production begins Monday in Hollywood on the fourth season of the global sensation “Hannah Montana,” one filled with exciting, pivotal story arcs and event episodes. The hit series’ finale episode will air in spring 2011 on Disney Channel U.S. and, shortly thereafter, on Disney Channels around the world, where the total of 101 episodes will continue in daily encore telecasts. Starring Miley Cyrus in the title role, the Emmy-nominated comedy has dominated the kid and tween business and impacted popular culture since its 2006 debut. Its soundtracks are among the biggest, fastest successes the pop charts have seen in years, and the series provided a springboard for the multitalented Cyrus to become an international superstar with projects spanning Disney’s television, music, radio, consumer products and film divisions, including a #1 debut movie that grossed nearly $150 million at the global box office.
“’Hannah Montana’ has defined a generation of kids and tweens – not just as a television event, but as a significant moment in pop culture history. This fourth season is an expression of Miley Cyrus’ personal commitment to ensuring that ‘Hannah’ will live forever in the hearts and minds of kids everywhere,” said Gary Marsh, Chief Creative Officer and President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide.
A two-part cliffhanger, “Miley Says Goodbye?,” will conclude the current season SUNDAY, MARCH 7 and SUNDAY, MARCH 14 (7:30 p.m., ET/PT both nights) on Disney Chanel. In the episode, which will also be available on DVD from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Miley Stewart faces the biggest decision of her life – whether to say goodbye to her life in Malibu or to listen to her heart and return to her Crowley Corners ranch and beloved horse Blue Jeans in Tennessee. Meanwhile, Jackson (played by Jason Earles) moves into his own apartment, Lilly (played by actress and recording artist Emily Osment) is contemplating what to do after her mom accepts a job in Atlanta, and Oliver (played by actor and recording artist Mitchel Musso) must decide whether to stay with his two best friends or go on the road to pursue his fledgling music career.
The fourth season, debuting on Disney Channel in summer 2010, will introduce all-new songs, music videos and sets. The storyline finds Miley Stewart questioning whether she has the best of both worlds and if she can continue with her alter-ego, Hannah Montana, or leave it all behind forever to be an ordinary girl. The season will include guest stars Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas”) and Angus T. Jones (“Two and a Half Men”), among others.
In anticipation of the Blu-ray and DVD release of Hannah Montana The Movie on August 18, we are pleased to bring you this sneak peek at some of the hilarious bloopers that occurred while making the film.
Despite accidentally eating some chicken feed that flew into her mouth while filming a scene, Miley found a new BFF in her fine feathered co-stars, even wanting to take one home with her. Miley said, ‘Other stars walk around Hollywood with little dogs under their arms, but I want to walk around with my little chicken!’ For the record, Miley also confessed that chicken feed tastes disgusting, so please don’t try it at home.