The Motivator (and High Ratings) Kick ‘Wipeout’ Into Third Season on ABC

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“Wipeout,” ABC’s outrageously popular reality series, has been picked up for a third season. Twenty-four thrill-seekers will compete in the world’s largest extreme obstacle course designed to provide the most spills, face plants and wipeouts ever seen on television.

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Hot Dog! ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’ Pluto-thon Features New Episode Based on an Old Classic

Playhouse Disney’s #1 preschool series, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” celebrates Pluto with a marathon spotlighting Mickey’s loyal pal, SATURDAY, AUG. 29 (7:00–10:00 a.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. The marathon includes the premiere of a new episode, “Pluto’s Playmate” (9:00 a.m., ET/PT), which was inspired by the original 1941 Pluto cartoon of the same name featuring Salty the seal.

In “Pluto’s Playmate,” Mickey, Pluto and pals teach Clubhouse visitor Salty the seal some new tricks for his debut in Mickey’s Circus. The marathon schedule is:

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Shaquille O’Neal Takes on Other Sports’ Top Competitors in New ABC Competition Series August 18

ABC today announced the premiere of “Shaq Vs.,” a new competition series starring NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. The one-hour series, in which O’Neal will take his athletic prowess beyond the basketball court and strive to become a champion in a new sporting event each week, will debut TUESDAY, AUGUST 18 (9:00- 10:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Over the course of the series, O’Neal will challenge Olympian and World Champion Michael Phelps in swimming; Ben Roethlisberger, Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, in football; reigning U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams in tennis; championship fighter Oscar de la Hoya in boxing; two time NL MVP and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols in baseball; and Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in beach volleyball.

“These athletes may be on top of their game, but I am up for the challenge,” said O’Neal. “I plan to train hard and win, so look out.”

“Shaq is the only one with the athletic skills and personality to carry this unique project,” said John Saade and Vicki Dummer, co-heads of Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night, ABC Entertainment Group. “It’s Shaq versus the best athletes in the world, competitors who aren’t afraid of the challenge… or Shaq’s humor.”

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‘Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana’ Smashes Ratings Records as Disney Channel Dominated with 9.3 Million Viewers

Making it the number one network from 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm last night, the Disney Channel’s crossover event between Wizards of Waverly Place, The Suite Life on Deck and Hannah Montana dominated with a whopping 9.3 million total viewers in 5.8 million households. Disney Channel defeated second-place CBS by over 4 million viewers.

The show became the number one scripted telecast in 2009 in all television in total key demographics of Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 and the number one scripted telecast on cable with total viewers. Only the Super Bowl surpassed the number of Kids 6-11 watching the event in 2009 across [i]all[/i] television. The same records were previously held by the Disney Channel Original Movie, the Princess Protection Program which debuted last month.

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Bye-bye, Spidey! There’s a New Hero in Town on the Next All New Episode of The Spectacular Spider-man

When Venom strikes and turns the town against web-slinger Spider-Man, it’s up to a new superhero to set things straight. But just what is the secret identity of the new Colonel Jupiter? Find out on the next episode of The Spectular Spider-Man premiering Monday night at 7:30 PM ET/PT only on Disney XD.

Check out a sneak preview of the episode titled ‘Growing Pains’ below. And be on the ear-out for Kelly Hu who makes her Spider-Man debut in this episode as Sha Shan Nguyen.

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Disney/ABC Television Group Presents its Breathtaking Line-up at Comic-Con

The Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) makes its mark at the 2009 Comic-Con convention with a diverse slate of series, including repeat favorites, new buzz shows, a hit animated series, an upcoming new holiday animated special, an author’s roundtable, futuristic action-adventure/sci-fi series and a cast reunion.

Perennial Comic-Con fan favorites, “Lost” executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, will participate in their final convention appearance for the series, and ABC’s highly anticipated new drama series “FlashForward” will present its first-ever panel, featuring executive producers David S. Goyer, Marc Guggenheim and Brannon Braga, as well as cast members Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Courtney B. Vance, Christine Woods and Peyton List. Patricia Heaton, star of the upcoming ABC comedy series “The Middle,” makes her Comic-Con debut hosting a sneak peek screening of the series for her fans.

Additionally, DATG will showcase distinctive series across its various divisions over the four days of the event: panels with new ABC series “Eastwick” and “V”; returning Comic-Con favorite “Ghost Whisperer,” produced by ABC Studios, will feature a panel with the complete cast, including star Jennifer Love Hewitt, along with Jamie Kennedy, David Conrad, Camryn Manheim and Christoph Sanders, plus executive producers Ian Sander, Kim Moses and P.K. Simonds; ABC Studios’ syndicated action-adventure series “Legend of the Seeker” will unveil a sneak peek at their upcoming second season; ABC Family’s “The Middleman” will bring Comic-Con fans the first cast reunion since the series’ completion, as well as a table read of the lost 13th episode, “The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse,” which was never produced but has been turned into a graphic novel.

After last year’s standing room only panel, television’s #1 animated series for kids, Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb,” returns to Comic-Con. This year creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, as well as cast members Vincent Martella, Olivia Olson and Tyler Mann, will participate in a Q&A session, preview a sneak peek of new episodes and offer the chance to win “Phineas and Ferb” prizes.

The holiday special “Prep & Landing,” ABC’s first-ever collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios, will receive a special preview at an animation panel headlined by Academy Award winner and executive producer John Lasseter.

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Enter for Your Chance to Host Your Very Own ‘Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie’ Island Magic House Party

Beginning FRIDAY, JULY 17 through MONDAY, AUGUST 3, at www.houseparty.com/wizardsofwaverlyplace, parents of kids and tweens can register for an exclusive Party Pack to create and host a magical island-themed party for the premiere of the highly anticipated “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie,” on Friday, August 28. Sponsored by Disney Channel, the kits include a CD soundtrack, a treasure hunt game, decorations, floral accessories, notebooks, sling bags and posters for party guests. Additional party planning tools and downloadable invitations will be available August 5 at www.houseparty.com to help young party hosts create their own “Wizards of Waverly Place Island Magic House Party” for friends and family.

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Ashley Tisdale Volunteers for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s Get on the Bus Campaign

“EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION” HELPS A FAMILY WHO MADE ROOM IN THEIR BIG HEARTS AND TINY HOME FOR FOUR MORE KIDS ON ONE HOUR’S NOTICE

On July 14, 2009,”Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” traveled to Green County, Missouri to tell the eight members of the Hampton family – all living in a cramped one-bedroom, one-bath cottage, 792 sq. ft. total – that they’ll have a new home in seven days. The original family of four doubled in size not long ago after a fateful phone call from a social services agency. Chris and Niki Hampton were told they had just one hour to decide if they would take in their four nieces and nephews or let them go to foster care.

Chris and Niki didn’t hesitate to open their hearts and home to young Gage, Kira, Lexi and Jacob, who now range in age from two to eight years old. Squeezing out the space for them, together with eleven-year-old son Dakota and eight-year-old daughter Hannah, has been the real challenge. Currently the three boys share one set of bunk beds in the dining room, and the three girls share another set of bunks in what used to be a utility closet. Since the cottage has no closets, plastic storage bins are stacked floor-to-ceiling in every room. Dinner is served assembly line-style, and everyone sits on the floor except for the youngest children in booster seats.

What the family lacks in comfort and space, they more than make up for in love. The children are incredibly close – literally and figuratively – and Chris and Niki look forward to the day when they move beyond full legal custody of their nieces and nephews to become their adoptive parents. Chris, a land surveyor, basketball and football coach, and president of the Missouri Family Rodeo Association (MFRA), and Niki, a saleswoman and MFRA secretary, also have rescued six horses that live on their five-acre farm along with three dogs.

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Disney/ABC Television Group Scores 60 Primetime Emmy Nominations

The Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) captured 60 Primetime Emmy nominations, it was announced today by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This total reflects nominations for ABC Television Network, ABC Studios, ABC.com and Disney Channel programming.

The ABC Television Network received 56 nominations, including a Drama Series and Writing in a Drama Series nomination for previous Emmy winner “Lost,” produced by ABC Studios, and key nominations in the acting categories: Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Sally Field for “Brothers and Sisters”; Christina Applegate captured a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series nomination for her starring role in “Samantha Who?”; Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson both were recognized in the Supporting Actress Drama category for their roles on “Grey’s Anatomy”; “Lost’s” Michael Emerson, a past Emmy winner for a guest appearance on “The Practice,” captured his third straight Supporting Actor nomination as the mysterious Benjamin Linus; William Shatner was recognized with a Supporting Actor nomination for the last season of “Boston Legal,” along with his co-star Christian Clemenson; Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nominations went to previous Emmy nominees Kristin Chenoweth for “Pushing Daisies” and Vanessa Williams for “Ugly Betty.”

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‘Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie’ Premieres August 28; Special Programming Beginning August 24

Manhattan’s magical wizard siblings Alex, Justin and Max Russo accompany their parents on a Caribbean vacation where Alex’s inadvertent magic spell makes it so her parents have never met. When they learn the only thing that will reverse the spell is the magical Stone of Dreams, they embark on a quest through the jungle to find it, with time running out to save their family, in “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie,” an adventure comedy complete with over 350 special effects, premiering FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) as part of the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise.

Filmed in San Juan Puerto Rico, the movie stars Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera and David DeLuise in the roles they made popular in the hit series “Wizards of Waverly Place.”

In anticipation of the movie, www.DisneyChannel.com will present an exciting two-part game, “Journey to the Cave of Darkness” and “Quest for the Stone of Dreams.” Users can also upload their own photo to become part of the Russo family vacation snapshot, as well as explore and collect hidden objects and unlock bonus behind-the-scenes footage from the movie.

In the week leading up to the movie premiere, Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin and Jennifer Stone will introduce their favorite “Wizards of Waverly Place” episodes in a “Wand Picked Wizards” programming event. All 16 episodes will air Friday, August 28. The premiere schedule follows. All times ET/PT: (more…)

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