On March 23, 2012, Disney Channel will launch Disney Junior, a 24 hour network dedicated to programming aimed at the pre-school market. The network will feature current favorites as well as classics from when the Disney Junior programming block was known as Playhouse Disney and even all new series. To celebrate the new channel, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Channel teamed up earlier this week to present ‘Disney Junior’s Got Super Stars’ at the 109th Annual International Toy Fair in New York City. The event, which previewed the new season of shows along with upcoming toys based on the franchises, welcomed ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ stars David Arquette (voice of Skully) and Sharon Osbourne (voice of upcoming character Mama Hook) to the stage along with other surprise guests.
ABC Family, the Millennial-skewing network, continues to expand its original programming slate, giving the greenlight to the new drama series “Bunheads” (working title), it was announced today by Michael Riley, president, ABC Family.
Executive-produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) and headlined by Tony Award®-winning actor Sutton Foster, “Bunheads” is the tale of a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school. “Bunheads” joins ABC Family’s recently announced new original series, “Baby Daddy” and “Beverly Hills Nannies.” All three series will begin production in Spring 2012.
Disney’s hugely popular duck-billed, beaver-tailed, teal-colored character Perry the Platypus, as seen on “Phineas and Ferb,” the #1 animated series for kids and tweens, will be the main attraction on Platypus Day, Saturday, March 3. The celebration includes the introduction of “The Platypus Walk,” a catchy spy-surf-rock song and dance designed to encourage fun physical activity as part of Disney’s commitment to inspire kids and families to lead active lifestyles. The day also includes 11 hours of “Phineas and Ferb” programming including two new Perry-focused episodes on Disney Channel and Disney XD, an interactive website dedicated to Perry the Platypus, a fun giveaway and special Platypus Takeover at all Disney Stores in the U.S. & Canada and events via local Radio Disney stations across the nation.
ABC Family, the Millennial-skewing network, continues its record breaking momentum as it grows its line-up of groundbreaking original programming. Michael Riley, president ABC Family, announced the first portion of the network’s programming slate today. The network has given the greenlight to the new comedy series, ‘Baby Daddy,’ which is the highest testing comedy pilot in the network’s history, and is jumping back into the reality space with ‘Beverly Hills Nannies.’ Additionally, ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager,’ starring Golden Globe® nominee Shailene Woodley, was greenlit for a record breaking 5th season, taking it into over 100 episodes.
Disney Channel celebrates Black History Month beginning WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1 with young viewers expressing what Black History means to them, in a new installment of the original interstitial series “This Is Me.” Filmed at the Challengers Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles, the interstitials feature kids sharing their thoughts about what inspires them, their hopes and dreams and how they want to change the world.
“We are proud to commemorate Black History Month with programming content that empowers kids to express themselves and share how they are already making a difference in the world,” said Ron Pomerantz, Vice President, Marketing and Creative, Disney Channels.
This past weekend, Disney Junior held a special red carpet screening for its upcoming primetime special, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns’ in which Peter Pan returns to Never Land only to lose his shadow. On hand to celebrate the return of Peter Pan were cast members Colin Ford (Jake), Madison Pettis (Izzy), Jonathan Morgan Heit (Cubby), Loren Hoskins (Sharky) and Adam Wylie (Peter Pan).
Also in attendance were ‘Jessie’ stars Skai Jackson, Cameron Boyce and Karan Brar; Leigh Allyn Baker and Mia Talerico from ‘Good Luck Charlie;’ Radio Disney’s Hallie; and Bradley Pierce, whose extensive credits as a voiceover actor include Chip in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Via its official YouTube channel, Disney XD has released the following promo which highlights new and returning series in 2012. The new series being teased amongst the clips include ‘TRON Uprising,’ ‘Motorcity,’ ‘Lab Rats’ and ‘Ultimate Spider-Man.’
In ‘TRON Uprising’ — which takes place between both of the films, one young man named Beck (Elijah Wood) must join forces with the legendary hero Tron to free his home city when the computer world of The Grid is taken over by an evil tyrant. Under Tron’s tutelage, Beck will take on a secret identity to fight back, bringing a superhero sensibility to the world of Tron. Also starring in ‘TRON Uprising’ are the vocal talents of Mandy Moore, Paul Reubens and Bruce Boxleitner as Tron. According to the junior novelization description on Amazon.com, the animated film will premiere in spring, followed by the series in summer.
Nine excited bachelorettes travel to the exotic tropical country of Panama, but two nervous women – Blakeley and Rachel – face the dramatic two-on-one date where one of them will be sent home immediately. How will the Bachelor handle his heartbreaking decision at the end of the night? Ben soars in a helicopter with Kacie B. over Panama City and the Caribbean, landing on a deserted island where they spend the day, but she makes a stunning disclosure which demonstrates her ability to really open up to Ben. The six women on the group date trek with the Bachelor through the Panamanian jungle and end up at a small village, communicating with their inhabitants, the Emberas. But this week’s drama is ratcheted up when Chris faces off with Casey S. about a bombshell disclosure she has failed to reveal to anyone, on “The Bachelor,” Monday, February 6 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network.
Disney legend Dick Van Dyke recently recorded his guest appearance for an upcoming episode of Disney Junior’s ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.’ Van Dyke will be playing the role of Goofy’s long-long Grandpappy, Captain Goof Beard.
‘Anytime it’s Disney, I’m ready — I always show up,’ Van Dyke said. ‘I’ve worked with Donald once and I think I’ve worked with the seven dwarfs at one point down at Disneyland, but this is the first time I’ve ever worked with Goofy and I’m playing — of course — his grandfather. I’m a pirate. Nobody ever knew Goofy’s grandfather was a pirate before. They did tell me I was gonna have to sing, but I don’t have to sound like Goofy. ‘Cuz I said that I can’t do.’
Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in a new Hallmark Hall of Fame film, Firelight, premiering Sunday, April 22 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network. Darnell Martin (Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Lost Valentine) directs from a script by Ligiah Villalobos (Under the Same Moon).
Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Dwayne Johnson (‘DJ’), a counselor at a youth correctional facility. The incarcerated girls and young women come from troubled — often violent — backgrounds. Many of them belong to gangs and have been involved with illegal drugs – as users and/or dealers. In the words of DJ, ‘They come in [here] so broken…These are girls who’ve been abused and objectified their whole lives.’