Broadway’s Sutton Foster Cast in ABC Family’s ‘Bunheads’

ABC Family has cast Tony Award®-winning actor Sutton Foster in the lead role of the new Amy Sherman-Palladino pilot, “Bunheads.” Foster will play Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man and moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school.

Renowned for her musical theater talents, Foster is currently starring in The Roundabout’s revival of “Anything Goes,” a role that has earned her numerous accolades, including a 2011 Tony Award. Foster has starred in Broadway productions of “Little Women,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Shrek the Musical,” as well as “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” for which she also won a Tony Award.

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Reality Game Show ‘Fort Boyard’ to Debut on Disney XD October 17

Geno Segers (Disney XD’s “Pair of Kings”) and popular British television presenter Laura Hamilton (“Dancing On Ice”) host an exciting competition requiring brainpower, courage and teamwork, “Fort Boyard – Ultimate Challenge,” a 10-part series premiering Monday, October 17 at 8:30 pm ET/PT, with a thrilling finale on Monday, November 7 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on Disney XD. Based on the international game show phenomenon “Fort Boyard,” the series is set in a 19th century sea fort off the coast of France. It introduces six teams — 24 teens from the United States and the United Kingdom — who team up for a tournament where only one team will ultimately get the key to unlock the historic fort’s hidden treasures and win the honor of calling themselves “the conquerors of Fort Boyard.”

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‘Zombies and Cheerleaders’ to be Disney Channel Sitcom Pilot

A few months ago, we reported on some interesting domain name registrations by Disney focusing on the unlikely combination of zombies and cheerleaders — relatively unusual for a family entertainment conglomerate, anyway. Within the past couple of weeks, we began receiving visits through search engines from various people searching for the term, sometimes combining it with Disney and even Disney Channel.

Today we have learned just what the ‘Zombies and Cheerleaders’ project is, thanks to a casting notice placed by Stiner/Block Casting, who routinely cast for Disney Channel projects. According to the casting call, we now know the project to be a pilot for a new Disney Channel comedy.

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ABC Family’s ‘Elixir’ to be Network’s First Movie Musical

ABC Family enters into the world of music with its first movie musical featuring an incredibly talented cast, including Jane Seymour, Chelsea Kane, Sara Paxton, Alexander John, Drew Seeley, Adrienne Bailon and Tom Wopat. The two-hour original movie, “Elixir” (working title), also features a stellar creative team in producer Debra Martin Chase and Terry Rossio, writers Terry Rossio & Jaylynn Bailey, choreographer Michael Rooney and director Sanaa Hamri. The movie will feature unforgettable covers as well as several original songs and show-stopping dance numbers. Principal shooting is scheduled to start September 26 in Pittsburgh, PA. This original movie is slated to premiere on ABC Family in 2012.

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Sneak Peek: ‘Phineas and Ferb’ Celebrity-Filled Halloween Episode

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Halloween is rapidly approaching and it’s high time Phineas and Ferb meet their match and this time, the supernatural foes are out for blood — true blood. It’s all treats and no trick as the Disney Channel favorite stuffs its bag full of celebrity guest stars on the extra spooky episode which debuts Friday, October 7 at 7:00 pm ET on Disney Channel.

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ABC News and United Nations Announce ‘Million Moms Challenge’

Today ABC News and the UN Foundation launch an initiative engaging millions of Americans to support millions of moms across the globe around the critical issues of pregnancy, childbirth and children’s health — moms here helping moms worldwide.

The Million Moms Challenge will be featured on weekly segments on ABC News’ broadcasts including “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline” and “20/20,” as well as other ABC News platforms, including ABCNews.com and ABC News Radio. ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, “ABC World News” weekend anchor David Muir, “Nightline” anchor Cynthia McFadden, “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour and Juju Chang will be among those contributing reports. The initiative will lead up to an hour-long edition of “20/20″ on maternal health anchored by Diane Sawyer on December 16, 2011 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET).

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ABC’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’ to Offer Covergirl ‘Angel’ Mini-Makeovers in Times Square Sept. 21

Have you ever wanted to be an Angel? Here’s your chance! To celebrate one of the most talked about shows of the season, ABC will give fans an opportunity to look and feel like an “Angel” for the day, in the heart of New York. The all-day event taking place on Wednesday, September 21, in New York’s Military Island from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., will bring a taste of Charlie’s Angels Miami Townsend Agency. Professional makeup artists on hand will offer up quick mini-makeovers with Covergirl products to transform passersby into fearless, glamorous “Angels.” Once each alluring transformation is complete, event goers can strike their best “Angels” pose and have their photo taken in a selection of scenes that will appear on the large jumbotron in the middle of Times Square. Participants will receive a branded photo in addition to having their big screen image emailed to them to share with friends and family. “Charlie’s Angels” premieres Thursday, September 22 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on ABC.

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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Results Show to Feature Harry Connick, Jr., LMFAO

A live one-hour special, “Dancing with the Stars: Meet the Cast,” airing Tuesday, September 20 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network, features the most exciting moments from Monday night’s performances, along with commentary from the judges and never-before-seen footage from the teams’ first weeks of training. Following the one-hour special will be the Season Premiere of “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show” at 9:00 pm ET, with musical performances by Harry Connick, Jr. and LMFAO. By evening’s end, the first couple of the season will be sent home.

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Regis Philbin to Toss First Pitch at Yankees-Twins Game, September 19

The New York Yankees have invited television icon and “LIVE! with Regis and Kelly” host Regis Philbin to be honored with the ceremonial first pitch on Monday, September 19, 2011, prior to the 1:05 p.m. game vs. the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are honoring the Emmy-winning New Yorker in recognition of his nearly three decades as host of LIVE, which originated in 1983 as a local New York program. Twenty-nine seasons later, LIVE is one of the most successful shows in daytime television history. The honor comes as Philbin prepares to leave the program, with his last day on air scheduled for November 18, 2011.

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Sneak Peek: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ New Set to Feature ‘Largest Mirror Ball in North America’

Although you will have to wait until the season 13 premiere of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ on Monday, September 19, to see it, ABC has released this featurette with production designer James Yarnell as he discusses the brand new set coming to the popular reality celebrity dance competition.

Among the enhancements to the set, which has been built completely from scratch as opposed to other seasons: the dance floor is raised above the audience and judges and will provide a full 360 degree view; the set size has expanded to exploit the studio space, including the use of three balcony tiers; the celebrities and professionals will make their grand entrance through the center of the stage as opposed to the staircases on the sides; and it will feature what may be ‘the largest mirror ball in North America.’

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