Disney, Pixar, ‘Star Tours’ Among Nominees for 2011 Annie Awards

The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, today announced its nominations for the 39th Annual Annie Awards, recognizing the year’s best in the field of animation.

Pixar Animation Studios finds itself competing for the top honors in the categories for Best Animated Feature, with Cars 2 and La Luna for Best Animated Short Subject. Interestingly enough, although La Luna won’t be formally released until it opens with Brave in 2012, it has been screened enough to satisfy requirements for many awards including the Annie and the Oscar (for which it has been shortlisted for a nod). This means that it’s also competing against The Ballad of Nessie from Walt Disney Animation Studios, which played before Winnie the Pooh (which does not find itself nominated).

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‘Times Square Studios’ Division Announced by Disney/ABC Television Group

The Disney/ABC Television Group today announced the formation of Times Square Studios, an integrated current entertainment programming and development division, following the announcement that Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, will depart the Company at the end of his contract in January 2012. Through that date Mr. Frons will assist in transitioning to the new structure and will be available to provide counsel to the management team.

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‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ Premieres on ABC, January 3

-Five celebrity couples — including an evangelical pastor, a rapper, a rocker, a professional wrestler and award-winning singers and actors — will put a new spin on the critically-acclaimed reality series, “Wife Swap,” in “Celebrity Wife Swap,” premiering Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network.

In this new series, the mothers in two celebrity families with vastly diverse values switch homes (but not bedrooms) — embarking on a journey like no other and revealing the various ways some controversial celebrities live their lives. The two moms are given the chance to see how another celebrity raises their children and deals with life in the spotlight, while allowing both couples the opportunity to re-discover why they love each other and decided to get together in the first place. It’s a mind-blowing experiment that will change their lives forever.

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‘Frenemies’ Original Movie to Premiere on Disney Channel, January 13

Bella Thorne and Zendaya (both of “Shake It Up”), Stefanie Scott (“A.N.T. Farm”), Nick Robinson (“Melissa and Joey”) and Mary Mouser (“Body of Proof”) star in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Frenemies,” an anthology that follows three pairs of friends as they navigate the delicate balance when besties go to worsties, and back again. With themes of staying true to yourself, celebrating family and friendship, and following your dreams, the movie is set to premiere on Friday, January 13 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on Disney Channel.

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Barbara Walters to Present ’10 Most Fascinating People of 2011′ on ABC, December 14

“Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011″ will air as a 90-minute ABC News special highlighting some of the year’s most prominent names in entertainment, sports and popular culture on Wednesday, December 14 from 9:31 – 11:00 pm ET on the ABC Television Network.

Hosted by Barbara Walters, the special includes: American Reality Royalty, the Kardashian family; the always provocative Simon Cowell; breakout stars from television’s hit comedy, “Modern Family,” Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet; MLB star and New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter; American business tycoon/author/television personality Donald Trump; pop singing sensation Katy Perry; and quite possibly the most famous sister in the world — Pippa Middleton. The Number One Most Fascinating Person of 2011 will be announced on the program.

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Pitbull, Hot Chelle Rae Added to Times Square Performers on New Year’s Eve

Pitbull and Hot Chelle Rae will join previously announced Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber as performers, live from New York, on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2012.” Jenny McCarthy will once again join the celebration by reporting live from Times Square with hosts Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest, celebrating 40 years of “Rockin’ Eve” history on Saturday, December 31 on the ABC Television Network. Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas will return to host the Los Angeles-based portions of the specials.

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Picked Up for Third Season; New Episodes Begin January 2

Michael Riley, president ABC Family, announced today that the network has picked up a third season of its hit original series “Pretty Little Liars.” The all new season will consist of 24 one-hour episodes that will start to air mid 2012. “Pretty Little Liars” is set to return on ABC Family with the rest of season two on Monday, January 2nd at 8:00 pm ET/PT.

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‘ESPN Sports Saturday’ to Premiere December 10 on ABC

‘ESPN Sports Saturday,’ a new one-hour show filled with timely news and information on the biggest stories in sports, will debut Saturday, December 10, at 5 pm ET on the ABC television network. The new show will anchor the ‘ESPN Sports Saturday’ block of programming on ABC with ESPN Films, among other ESPN programming, shown from 4-5 p.m.

‘ESPN Sports Saturday’ will combine live news updates with informative debate created exclusively for the show featuring commentators from ESPN programs such as ‘Pardon the Interruption,’ ‘SportsNation,’ ‘First Take,’ ‘Jim Rome is Burning,’ ‘NFL Live,’ ‘SportsCenter,’ ‘College GameDay’ and ‘Mike & Mike in the Morning.’ ESPN anchor Jay Harris will host ‘ESPN Sports Saturday’ in December.

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ABC’s ‘The Chew’ Announces Nationwide Search for Holiday Cookie Recipe

During the Monday, November 28 episode of “The Chew,” ABC Daytime’s new lifestyle series announced the launch of “The Chew Holiday Cookie Swap,” a nationwide search for the most scrumptious and unique holiday cookie recipes. Hosted by “Iron Chef America” stars Mario Batali and Michael Symon, “Top Chef” alum Carla Hall, entertaining & style expert Clinton Kelly and health & wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz, “The Chew” brings viewers a daily dose of food, life and fun, along with information on how to live a more full and healthy life.

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Million Moms Challenge Announces Photo Contest to Award Session with Anne Geddes in Australia

Calling all expectant moms! Today the Million Moms Challenge, in collaboration with ABC News, the United Nations Foundation, Disney Baby and Anne Geddes, launched Imagine Me & You, a photo contest to win a trip for two adults, plus baby, to Australia for a photo shoot with world-renowned photographer Anne Geddes.

The contest, which was announced on “Good Morning America” today, Monday, November 28 is designed to celebrate the universal dream that mothers everywhere have for healthy, happy babies who will grow to reach their full potential. To enter the contest, expectant moms in their third trimester can upload a picture of their “baby bump” on www.Facebook.com/millionmomschallenge, along with an original, creative message written on their bellies capturing their wishes and dreams for life with their little one.

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