ABC Family Adds Two New Dramas to Line-up: ‘Huge’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’

Paul Lee, president, ABC Family, today announced the pick-up of two one-hour dramas, “Huge” and “Pretty Little Liars.” Each series has been given a 10-episode order and is scheduled to premiere in 2010.

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Disney’s Phineas and Ferb and Common Sense Media Launch Internet Safety PSA

Disney has teamed with Common Sense Media to help kids and tweens safely navigate the internet and other digital platforms and to get parents thinking about how media and technology fit into their family’s life. The initiative includes a PSA and website which feature the characters from Disney’s hit animated series “Phineas and Ferb” and supports Common Sense Media’s “Rules of the Road” for smart and safe use of digital media. The tips include guarding privacy and protecting one’s identity while online, balancing time spent in cyberspace and thinking before texting or posting material online.

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Disney to Kick Off ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Promotion Across Three Networks, Super Bowl Ad

Not quite mad as a hatter with anticipation for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland yet? You will be.

Beginning January 31, Walt Disney Studios will begin offering 60-second first looks across three networks, each providing its own exclusive sneak peek at the film, all culminating to a spectacular ad during the Super Bowl titled Tick-Tock.

You can catch ABC’s version during Desperate Housewives on January 31 and The Bachelor on February 1; ESPN’s version during the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl on January 31 and during the NBA Nuggets-Lakers game on February 5; and ABC Family’s during Greek on Febuary 1 and The Parent Trap on February 6.

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Nikki Reed Named Vice President of Original Series Development for Disney Channel

Nikki Reed has been named Vice President, Original Series, overseeing live-action development for Disney Channel and Disney XD, it was announced today by Adam Bonnett, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Disney Channel, to whom she will report.

Reed, who has more than 13 years’ experience overseeing feature films and television series development, will be responsible for developing new live-action series geared towards kids, tweens and families on Disney Channel, Disney XD, as well as numerous platforms around the world.

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‘Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil’ to Premiere February 13 on Disney XD

Disney XD will premiere a new original 2-D animated series “Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil,” a comedy about an extraordinary kid named Kick who is determined to become the world’s greatest daredevil, on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 (8:30 a.m. ET/PT).  Produced by Disney Television Animation, the series premiere will air between two brand new episodes of the hit animated series “Phineas and Ferb.”

“Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil” follows Clarence “Kick” Buttowski, an extraordinary kid living in the world’s most ordinary town. Determined to become the world’s greatest daredevil, Kick rebels against the mundane and knows that when life throws him an obstacle, his only choice is to jump it. Small in stature but big in heart, Kick makes the most out of his suburban surroundings by devising such stunts as riding down Dead Man’s Drop on an ironing board or racing the school bus with a soda-powered jet pack. If one of his stunts goes awry, Kick responds with his customary “I’m good!” then picks himself up and tries it again. Aided by his loyal sidekick, Gunther, Kick takes on every stunt with unwavering enthusiasm.

Leading up to the premiere, DisneyXD.com will launch a “Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil” show page featuring action-packed games, activities and videos, including “Loco Launch-o,” a high energy game where users help Kick perform the ultimate daredevil jump.  Beginning Saturday, February 13, kids can create their own Kick Buttowski catch phrase by submitting their favorite saying customized with a selection of backgrounds, props, sound effects and graphics; some of the catch phrases may be selected to appear on-air.

“This series embodies the new Disney XD brand.  It delivers the perfect mix of action and comedy that our audience wants,” said Eric Coleman, Senior Vice President, Original Series, Disney Television Animation.

“Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil” stars Charlie Schlatter (“Kim Possible,” “Loonatics Unleashed”) as Clarence “Kick” Buttowski; Matt L. Jones (“Breaking Bad”) as Gunther; Danny Cooksey (“Tiny Toon Adventures,” “Dave the Barbarian”) as Brad; John DiMaggio (“Futurama,” “Chowder”) as Mr. Vickle and Eric Christian Olsen (“Brothers & Sisters”) as Wade.

The series was created by Sandro Corsaro and is executive-produced and directed by Chris Savino. “Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil” is produced by Disney Television Animation.  It carries a TV-Y7 parental guideline.

Full episode previews will be available free of charge on iTunes beginning Friday, January 29 and via Disney XD VOD beginning Friday, February 5. The series will air regularly on Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT.  Following the linear premiere, episodes will be available on DisneyXD.com

(more…)

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ABC Teams with CafePress.com to Allow Fans to Create Unique Authorized Merchandise

ABC Entertainment Group and CafePress, the online epicenter for user-designed apparel and gifts, today announced a licensing agreement that allows TV fans to design and sell authorized show merchandise. Fans of the hit ABC shows – Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs and Schoolhouse Rock along with Legend of the Seeker (from ABC Studios) – can unleash their creativity to design custom apparel and gifts by following the official guidelines. Fans can visit CafePress.com to create products and purchase merchandise designed by other fans fully encompassing fan engagement within this merchandise platform. In addition, CafePress will be launching a shop featuring official Schoolhouse Rock merchandise.

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ESPN Acquires Vistas Unlimited, Developer of Live Digital Advertisement Insertion

ESPN has acquired technology development company Vistas Unlimited, Inc., located in Plano, Texas.  The acquisition will augment ESPN’s innovative use of virtual technology across its multiple platforms.  Under this agreement, ESPN will continue to employ a majority of Vistas’ employees.

“This acquisition represents ESPN’s dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation and technology development,” said Chuck Pagano, executive vice president, ESPN technology.  “The team that is joining ESPN brings a wealth of knowledge on developing cutting-edge virtual components that enhance the fan’s enjoyment of a game telecast.”

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Production on Final Season of ‘Hannah Montana’ Starts Monday; Season 3 Finale in March

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.

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New Contest from Radio Disney Will Leave Winner ‘StarStruck’ with Star Sterling Knight

Radio Disney will give kids the chance to win a family vacation in Hollywood, through local station events beginning SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 through the February 14 premiere of “StarStruck, a Disney Channel Original Movie set in Hollywood.

Events and premiere parties in nearly 40 local markets give kids the chance to enter to win a trip to Hollywood, California, to have lunch with the star of the movie, Sterling Knight (also of Disney Channel’s “Sonny With A Chance”), at a Hollywood hotspot. The winner and his/her guests will also receive a private tour of some of the most famous places in Los Angeles, including Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood. Radio Disney on-air personality Ernie D will announce the winner Friday, February 12.

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Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, ‘When in Rome’ Stars Among Grammy Presenters

Earlier today, The Recording Academy announced a first-round list of celebrities who will act as presenters during the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards taking place January 31 in Los Angeles.

Disney stars are overwhelmingly represented by way of Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. Additionally, Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel of the upcoming film When in Rome are included on the list. Even TRON (Legacy) veteran Jeff Bridges is getting in on the act. Other presenters named include Justin Bieber, Norah Jones, Ke$ha, LL Cool J, Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana and Ringo Starr.

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