Joe D’Ambrosia has been named Vice President, Programming, Disney Junior, it was announced today by Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Disney Junior Worldwide, to whom D’Ambrosia reports. D’Ambrosia joins Disney after nearly two decades of writing, producing and developing children’s television programming and family films at companies including Murray Hill 5 Productions, which he co-founded, Nickelodeon and Sony Pictures Family Entertainment.
For the newly branded Disney Junior (currently branded Playhouse Disney), D’Ambrosia oversees production and programming strategies and creative development of entertainment and learning-based television properties including the upcoming animated adventure series “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” featuring new kid pirates alongside Disney’s classic “Peter Pan” characters Captain Hook and Mr. Smee, and current hits “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Special Agent Oso.” D’Ambrosia is also developing new full length and short-form series, including a series starring Minnie Mouse and “Sofia the First” (fka “Little Princess”), a series set in the storybook world of the classic Disney Princesses.
Kanter said: “Joe is one of the most well-liked and well respected people in the business, and we are thrilled to have him join our team. His past experience as a movie executive working with a wide range of writers and producers will open up new creative possibilities for Disney Junior.”
D’Ambrosia said: “I’m excited to introduce a whole new generation to the magic of Disney storytelling. It is an honor and a privilege to create exciting new stories for such classic characters as Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Captain Hook, and some new characters too.”
D’Ambrosia began his career at Nickelodeon where he launched their family film division, serving as the development and production executive on their first live action feature, “Harriet the Spy,” and their first animated feature, “Rugrats, The Movie.” He also oversaw development of the films “Rugrats in Paris” and “Snow Day.” D’Ambrosia left Nickelodeon to help launch Sony Pictures Family Entertainment, overseeing the development and production of numerous family films and television series, including the movie “Land of the Lost” and The KidsWB! television series, “Phantom Investigators.” Recently, with his Murray Hill 5 Productions partner Tom Teves, D’Ambrosia developed, wrote and produced “Astro Boy” for Sony Pictures Television, which aired in 20 countries. The duo also created “Golden Bridges,” based on the classic book series “Golden Books,” for The Learning Channel. Additional credits include the feature films “Mother of Invention” for Walt Disney Pictures, “Motel Galileo” and “Hello, I Love You” for Wind Dancer Films and “Escape from Island X” for Wildbrain Entertainment, and the television series “Undercover 101″ for Lifetime Television, “Come Spy with Me” for ABC Family and “Blood+” for Sony Television.