DATG, Hearst Corp and NBC Universal Announce Joining of A&E Networks and Lifetime Entertainment

New York/Burbank, August 27, 2009 – The Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal today announced an agreement for A&E Television Networks to acquire Lifetime Entertainment Services. The parent company will retain the name A&E Television Networks, LLC (AETN), and its subsidiary will retain the name Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Abbe Raven, president and chief executive officer of AETN, will serve as head of the combined company following the closing. Raven has been recognized with numerous industry awards for building some of the most prominent brands in media including A&E Network, History and The Biography Channel, and for spinning them off into successful global franchises. Andrea Wong, president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, will continue to head the Lifetime Networks and will report to Raven following the closing. Robert DeBitetto, president and general manager, A&E Network and The Biography Channel, and Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager, History and History International, will both continue to report to Raven and run their respective networks.

The new agreement will, upon closing, consolidate three of the nation’s top cable networks under single management while preserving the distinct brand identities of each network. In addition, the combined company will be a global media content company reaching over 250 million homes worldwide in more than 140 countries around the globe. AETN will now include: A&E Network, History, Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Bio, History International, Lifetime Real Women, History en Español, Military History and Crime & Investigation Network. Combining the resources, libraries and multiple platforms of 10 brands, including more than 20 Web sites, the new company will be well positioned to create new opportunities for expansion and cross-promotion, as well as build upon the record of success and strengths across a broad variety of audiences, platforms and programming. The combination of these businesses is also expected to yield substantial cost efficiencies.

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Review: Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie

The cast of Wizards of Waverly Place the MovieFor the most part, the movie takes place during a family vacation at the Caribbean resort where Jerry Russo (David DeLuise) and Theresa (Maria Canals-Barrera) first met years before. With the absence of a studio audience (and their fits of timely laughter), the movie can take additional liberties including a slew of special effects, which it does spectacularly well particularly in the beginning of the movie when Alex (Selena Gomez) selfishly and comically puts herself first, openly defying her parents’ wishes (i.e., par for the course).

Things go horribly wrong for the Russo children, however, when a heated argument between Alex and her mother causes Alex to say things she doesn’t mean including the wish that her parents had never met. Enter the first lesson: be careful what you wish for.

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ESPN to Test Broadcasting Football Games Live in 3D in September

According to the Associated Press, ESPN will be using seven 3D cameras developed by Vince Pace and James Cameron to broadcast the September 12 game between USC and Ohio State in 3D. While the game will be simulcast on ESPN/ESPNHD, the 3D version will be beamed to three theaters located in Los Angeles, Dallas and Columbus with free tickets to be distributed via the local ESPN radio affiliate.

This is the third 3D broadcast of a football game in the US, but the first for ESPN.

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‘Dancing with the Stars” Donny Osmond to Appear (and Dance!) at D23 Expo on September 10

Donny Osmond — singer, entertainer, longtime Disney collaborator and Season Nine cast member of the ABC hit show, “Dancing with the Stars” — will join the all-star lineup at “The ABCs of Disney,” a special presentation at the D23 EXPO, September 10, at 3:00 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center arena.

In a first for “Dancing with the Stars” fans, Osmond will be joined by his professional ballroom partner, Kym Johnson, and preview his dance abilities for D23 EXPO goers long before his televised premiere on September 21 on the ABC Television Network.

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Future Candace Busts Phineas and Ferb as They Time Travel in 2-Part Episode on September 21

In “Phineas and Ferb’s Quantum Boogaloo,” Phineas and Ferb travel to the future to find a tool that hasn’t been invented yet, and run into future Candace.  Seeing an opportunity to finally bust her brothers, she follows them back through time to catch them building their rollercoaster, and exposes their antics to her mom.  In the process, she accidentally foils Agent P’s defeat of Dr. Doofenshmirtz, starting a chain reaction that turns the future into a dystopian society.

Guest starring is Jennifer Stone (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) as Amanda, Moises Arias (“Hannah Montana”) as Fred and Jennifer Grey (“Dirty Dancing”) as the Librarian.This episode of “Phineas and Ferb” airs MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 (8:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney XD.

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Disney Channel to Present World Premiere of ‘Selena Gomez and the Scene’s’ Music Video August 28

Disney Channel will present the world premiere of Selena Gomez and The Scene’s first music video, “Falling Down,” from their upcoming debut album, “Kiss & Tell,” FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 following the premiere of “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie.” “Falling Down,” the band’s first single, will debut as a Radio Disney Planet Premiere FRIDAY, AUGUST 21.

The music video for the energetic pop-rock song was directed by Chris Dooley (Jewel “Stand,” The Scissor Sisters “Land of a Thousand Words”) and features Gomez and her four member all-guy band on a black circular stage rocking out in front of a large projection of patterned animated images towering in the background. “Falling Down” was written by Ted Bruner, Trey Vittetoe and Gina Shock.

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Disney Family Movies, the New Subscription Video-On-Demand Service, to Offer Free Preview

Disney Domestic TelevisionBURBANK, Calif., Aug. 18  — The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, Disney Family Movies, has partnered with content providers Comcast, Charter, Cox, AT&T U-verse, Suddenlink and Verizon FiOS to offer a special preview nationwide from Thursday, September 3 through Monday, September 7.

Disney Family Movies offers the ultimate in family entertainment from one of the world’s largest film libraries, giving customers unlimited access to a selection of classic and contemporary films and animated shorts from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney Family Movies is entertainment the whole family can enjoy together from beloved hits to new popular favorites. Each title remains in rotation for about a month, with new movies added weekly.

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D23 Expo Details the ABC Television Pavilion Featuring ‘The ABCs of Disney’

Want to be among the first to watch ABC’s new series? Would you like the chance to see some of television’s biggest stars in person? Fans will have those opportunities and many more at the inaugural D23 EXPO, where the entire world of Disney comes together under one roof, Sept. 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

ABC proudly presents “The ABCs of Disney,” an exclusive D23 EXPO event in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, September 10 at 3:00 p.m. Hosted by Emmy®-nominated Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos”), “The ABCs of Disney” presentation features Steve McPherson, President of the ABC Entertainment Group, unveiling sneak peeks at many of the fall TV season’s most anticipated new shows.

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Tom Bergeron to Host Panel on ABC Television at D23 Expo with Steve McPherson

Not too many details have been released yet, but Tom Bergeron (host of America’s Funniest Videos and Dancing with the Stars) is set to host a panel titled The ABCs of Disney at the D23 Expo on Thursday, September 9 at 3 pm. Alongside Tom will be Steve McPherson, president of the ABC Entertainment Group, who will be introducing Expo attendees to sneak peeks at upcoming ABC television series.

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‘Imagination Movers” Warehouse Mouse to Star in Short-Form Series on Disney Channel

Disney Channel will premiere a new short-form series, “Where is Warehouse Mouse?,” starring the popular puppet character from the hit Playhouse Disney series “Imagination Movers.” Four episodes debut MONDAY, AUGUST 24 (8:25–10:00 a.m., ET/PT). The series spotlights Warehouse Mouse as he tries his hand at creative problem solving like his mentors, the Imagination Movers.

“Where is Warehouse Mouse?” follows Warehouse Mouse as he goes through his daily routine in and around his lair, located in the Imagination Movers’ Idea Warehouse. Each episode finds Warehouse Mouse with a problem that requires a creative solution. Some of his adventures include trying to peel a banana, get an empty can into a large recycling bin and tackle a cuckoo clock that is keeping him awake. After a series of misfires, he manages to solve the problem and enjoy the fruits of his success.

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