Disney Channel Orders Fourth Season of ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ Plus Movie Sequel

Disney Channel has ordered a fourth season of its Emmy Award-winning sitcom “Wizards of Waverly Place,” and is in development on the sequel to “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie,” cable TV’s second-highest rated scripted telecast of all time in Total Viewers (13.5 million), Kids 6-11 and Tweens. The announcement was made today by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. Production on the fourth season is scheduled to begin in August with show runners Vince Cheung and Ben Montanio (“Married…with Children,” “Greetings from Tucson”) executive-producing. Todd J. Greenwald (“Hannah Montana,” “Saved By the Bell: The New Class”) is the series creator and also an executive producer.

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ABC Family Launches ‘Pretty Little In-Crowd’ Loyalty Program Online

ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars'ABC Family is launching a brand new loyalty program on its website to coincide with the launch of the network’s new original series, “Pretty Little Liars.” The social media initiative, “Pretty Little In-Crowd,” will reward show fans who discuss, interact with and spread the word about the upcoming series (premiering Tuesday, June 8). The online initiative launches today.

“We knew going into this program that our Millennial viewers are incredibly passionate about our programming and are constantly looking for ways to participate in online discussion and share information about their favorite shows,” says Beth Johnson, Vice President, Digital, ABC Family. “Creating unique and rewarding viral experiences is an essential component in keeping our fans fully engaged and excited about coming to our site.”

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‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’ to Air on ABC September 1

2010 Country Music Association Music FestivalSummer heats up when ABC heads to Nashville to take you to the hottest music event of the year – “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock.” Filming Thursday through Sunday, June 10-13, today’s most exciting Country Music stars will hit the stage during a four-day party and celebration of America’s music for a special that will air WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

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Disney Consumer Products Confirms Stitch Kingdom Report on Upcoming ‘Toy Story Toons’

It’s disguised as a report on how many billions Disney Consumer Products is hoping to rake in with products inspired by Toy Story 3, but this report from Reuters has another item on its agenda: Toy Story shorts.

The article confirms what we first speculated back in early March, that the highly successful CARS Toons series was being tailgated by a set of toons inspired by our Toy Story pals. A recent video on Pixar Canada all but confirmed that the new studio would be producing the series, but the Reuters story lays it it all out.

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ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Wins 2010 Silver Clio Award for Innovative Media

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” was awarded a SILVER CLIO in the Innovative Media category for its partnership project with Warner Brothers’ film “The Informant,” as the two teamed up to create “Guillermo in the Informant.” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was recognized with its award in the digital gallery of the Skylight Studios Soho in New York during last night’s CLIO Awards presentation of Interactive & Innovative Awards.

The CLIO Awards is one of the world’s most recognized awards competitions for advertising, design and communications, celebrating creative excellence, honoring a powerful form of communication and its impact on modern culture.

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Newcomer Anthony Ingruber Joins Cast of Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Avalon High’

Anthony Gruber, courtesy of AnthonyGruber.comFormer WETA Workshop assistant Anthony Ingruber has recently joined the cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie, Avalon High, which is now shooting on location in New Zealand.

A graduate of Wellington Performing Arts Centre, this will be Ingruber’s first on-camera role. In the film, Ingruber will portray the role of Sean, a football player whose identity plays in to the modern day Camelot tale.

On joining the film based on the book by noted author Meg Cabot, Ingruber states ‘it is clear from the caliber of cast and crew they have assembled, that Disney is aiming to make something very special, and I’m honored to be a part of it.’

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New ABC Gameshow ‘Downfall’ Takes Drama to All New Heights; Premieres June 22

“Downfall,” a unique, high-stakes and adrenaline-pumping game show, puts contestants on top of a 10-story building to see who has the focus and fearlessness to avoid his/her own ‘downfall’ — literally. Along the way, they’ll have the chance to win $1 million and a slew of incredible prizes, such as a pair of jet skis, a grand piano, a trip to Paris or a brand new car. The larger-than-life game show from FremantleMedia North America (“The Price Is Right,” “Family Feud,” “Let’s Make a Deal”) will premiere TUESDAY, JUNE 22 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

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ABC to Air ‘Miley Cyrus: Live from London’ June 18

Leading up to the worldwide release of her latest CD, “Can’t Be Tamed,” the internationally renowned and multi-platinum selling Miley Cyrus will appear in the one-hour special, “Miley Cyrus: Live from London,” FRIDAY, JUNE 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. The concert was filmed at the famed O2 Arena in London during her sold-out worldwide tour and contains excerpts from her live show. The program captures how Miley, who has grown up in the public eye, has grown as an artist, and reveals her natural progression and sophistication. The concert is gleaned from the full-length concert that will be available for sale June 22 on the deluxe version of Miley’s album.

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ABC Family to Offer Broadcast Exclusive First Looks of ‘Toy Story 3′ During Pixar Presentations

Spend two weekends catching up with all your favorite “Toy Story” friends, including Woody and Buzz Lightyear, during ABC Family’s premieres of Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2” and “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins,” starting on Saturday, June 5th, Sunday, June 6th and continuing on Sunday, June 13th. The two-weekend event will include three “broadcast exclusive first looks” at this summer’s highly-anticipated film “Toy Story 3” (in theaters on Friday, June 18). The first “broadcast exclusive first look” at the upcoming movie will debut during the network’s presentation of “Toy Story,” premiering Saturday, June 5th; the second “broadcast exclusive first look” will debut during the Sunday, June 6th premiere of “Toy Story 2”; then on Sunday, June 13th, viewers can tune in for a full day of “Toy Story” programming, including sneak peeks at some of the new toy characters being introduced in “Toy Story 3,” as well as a third “broadcast exclusive first look” airing during the “Toy Story” telecast.

The upcoming theatrical release “Toy Story 3” welcomes Woody (voice of Tom Hanks), Buzz (voice of Tim Allen) and the whole gang back to the big screen as Andy prepares to depart for college and his loyal toys find themselves in…daycare! These untamed tots with their sticky little fingers do not play nice, so it’s all for one and one for all as plans for the great escape get underway. A few new faces — some plastic, some plush — join the adventure, including iconic swinging bachelor and Barbie counterpart Ken (voice of Michael Keaton), a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants (voice of Timothy Dalton) and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (voice of Ned Beatty). Directed by Lee Unkrich (co-director of “Toy Story 2” and “Finding Nemo”), produced by Pixar veteran Darla K. Anderson (“Cars,” “Monsters, Inc.”), and written by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine”), “Toy Story 3” is a comical new adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D.

(more…)

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Commercial: ‘American Idol’ Winner Lee DeWyze is Going to Disney World

Following in the footsteps of former American Idol winners Kris Allen and David Cook, newly crowned Idol Lee DeWyze muttered the famous phrase just moments after the announcement: ‘I’m going to Disney World!’

The commercial is a tradition that dates back to 1987 and has featured mostly athletes from professional sports (as well as the Olympics) but began featuring American Idol winners in 2008 in honor of the opening of the ‘American Idol Experience’ at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

Below is the commercial provided courtesy of Disney Parks:

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