Environmental Group Applauds Disney Cruise Line’s ‘Crappy’ Attitude

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In issuing its second report on the environmentality of several cruise lines, grassroots environmental watchdog group Friends of the Earth has distinguished Disney Cruise Lines as being ‘most improved’ for its improvements in sewage treatment over the past year. Continuing to use its odd letter-slash-pass/fail system to rate large cruise lines and their ships, Disney Cruise Line rose to a C- rating from a solid F in last year’s report.

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Disneyland to Play Host to MLB’s All-Star Red Carpet Parade on July 13

Major League Baseball announced today that on July 13, the Disneyland Resort will welcome the MLB All-Star Red Carpet procession into the Disneyland Park.

An approximately 6,000-square-yard red carpet stretching three-quarters of a mile from the corner of South Harbor Boulevard at Convention Way to Disney Way, where the public portion concludes, will feature professional baseball players from the 81st annual MLB All-Star Game, their families and members of the coaching staffs. The parade then will continue through Disneyland to Main Street U.S.A. for guests in the park.

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‘LOST’ Series Finale to be Simulcasted Around the Globe

In purported efforts to thwart online piracy and spoilers, Disney Media Distribution has announced that 59 countries around the world will be allowed to air the series finale of ABC’s LOST (titled ‘The End’) up to 48 hours after its original United States airing, a move that schedules the program several days ahead of its normal schedule in many of the countries.

In addition, viewers in some countries  such as Canada, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom will be able to watch a simulcast of the show’s final episode in sync with the US west coast feed.

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Phineas and Ferb Return to Nintendo DS with New Adventures, Gadgets and Rides!

'Phineas and Ferb Ride Again' for the Nintendo DS by Disney Interactive StudiosDisney Interactive Studios has announced Phineas and Ferb: Ride Again for Nintendo DS™. In this new game inspired by the hit Disney XD and Disney Channel television series, players will enter the world of Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher where they will adventure through the depths of Atlantis and outer space, not to mention their own backyard, to build the most wicked rides ever.

“With the success of the first video game, we are excited to offer a new Phineas and Ferb video game to fans this summer,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “True to the Disney Channel series, Phineas and Ferb: Ride Again will bring the humor and sense of adventure from the show home to fans of all ages.”

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‘Disney Sing It: Family Hits’ to be Released August 3; Now Available for Pre-Order

'Hakuna Matata' from Disney Sing It: Family EditionAmazon.com  now lists Disney Sing It: Family Hits as being released for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii on August 3, 2010.

The game features 30 songs from Disney and Pixar animated classics, allowing up to eight players to compete in karaoke in family mode. The game also features performance tips from Anika Noni Rose from The Princess and the Frog.

For more information, see the original announcement here. There are also additional screenshots from the game, such as the one featured here, on Amazon.com.

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Schedule and Map for 2010 Star Wars Weekends Weekend #1 Now Available

The guidemap for the first weekend of the 2010 Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World resort has now been made available online.

Half the park is split between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire as usual with the Star Wars Weekends merchandise shops finding themselves amongst the Siths. At Boba’s Bounty, one will find merchandise exclusive to the event while Darkside Depot will offer more traditional fare.

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‘Under the Same Moon’ Director Patricia Riggen to Direct Disney Channel’s ‘Lemonade Mouth’

Award-winning film director Patricia Riggen, who directed the critically acclaimed “La Misma Luna” (aka “Under the Same Moon”) and this week presents her short film, “Revolución” at Critics’ Week in Cannes, will direct the music-driven “Lemonade Mouth,” a Disney Channel Original Movie.

The “Lemonade Mouth” script was written by April Blair based on the popular novel by Mark Peter Hughes. Executive-produced by Debra Martin Chase (“Just Wright,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” Disney Channel’s “The Cheetah Girls” movies), it will begin production in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in July.

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ABC Owned Television Stations Group President Walter Liss Retires; WABC President Rebecca Campbell Named Successor

Esteemed television executive Walter Liss today announced his retirement as President, ABC Owned Television Stations Group.  He will immediately move into a consultancy role for the Station Group to assist in the transition.

In commenting on the announcement, Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company said, “I’ve worked with Walter for almost 25 years, and I know him to be a one of a kind person: a great executive who knows his business well and has always had a passion for it. He is a no-nonsense guy, who ran the best station group in the country, and loved every minute he spent in the station business! We are all grateful for his leadership, his contributions and his friendship, and we are thankful for ensuring our stations are so well-positioned for the future. Although he has definitely earned the right to retire, he will be sorely missed.”

“I’ve been in this wonderful business for over 50 years.   More than 30 of those years have been with the best Company in the world…The Walt Disney Company,” added Mr. Liss.  “Early next year I’ll go to work on my golf game.  All those guys on the Champions Tour better watch out.”

Walter C. Liss was appointed president, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, in May 1999.  In this role he had chief management responsibility for the 10 ABC owned television stations and for the Group’s ABC National Television Sales rep firm.

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ESPN Signs on Playdom to Develop ESPN-Branded Sports Games for Social Media Networks

ESPN Interactive today announced that it has reached a two-year agreement with Playdom, one of the leading social gaming companies, to develop ESPN-branded sports genre games for social media platforms.  The first two in development are slated to launch this Fall.

“Our deal with Playdom marks ESPN’s first major presence into the social gaming space,” said Raphael Poplock, vice president, games and revenue strategy and development for ESPN Digital Media.  “The sports genre for this category of games has gone virtually untapped thus far, and through this agreement, we have an opportunity to be in front of a highly engaged audience and at the forefront of what is currently the fastest growing games category out there.”

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ABC Unveils 2010-11 Primetime Schedule

NEW FALL AND MIDSEASON SERIES – DRAMA

“BODY OF PROOF”
Dr. Megan Hunt (Dana Delany) was in a class of her own, a brilliant neurosurgeon at the top of her game. But her world is turned upside down when a devastating car accident puts an end to her time in the operating room. Megan resumes her career as a medical examiner, determined to solve the puzzle of who or what killed the victims. Her instincts are sharp, but she’s developed a reputation for graying the lines of where her job ends and where the police department’s begins. It turns out her career isn’t the only thing that will need to be rebuilt; Megan’s family has taken a backseat to her ambition, and now she’s discovering there’s a lot of work to do when it comes to dissecting her relationships with the living.

Dana Delany stars as Dr. Megan Hunt, Jeri Ryan as Dr. Kate Murphy, Geoffrey Arend as Dr. Elliot Gross, John Carroll Lynch as Detective Bud Morris, Windell Middlebrooks as Dr. Curtis Brumfield, Nic Bishop as Peter Dunlap and Sonja Sohn as Detective Samantha Baker.

“Body of Proof” is from ABC Studios. Christopher Murphey wrote the pilot, which was directed by Nelson McCormick. Murphey and Matt Gross serve as executive producers.

“DETROIT 1-8-7”
What does it take to be a detective on America’s most dangerous streets? Get ready to be part of the action when a documentary crew rolls with some of Detroit’s finest, offering an insider’s glimpse behind the curtain of a Homicide Unit. The cameras unearth the crisis and revelation, heartbreak and heroism of these inner city cops — moments of raw exposure when they address us directly, as well as private moments when they forget they’re being filmed.

There’s the damaged but driven Detective Louis Fitch, a wily homicide vet who is the most respected — and most misunderstood — man in the division; Detective Damon Washington, Fitch’s new partner, who finds the first day on the job is a trial by fire, complicated by the imminent birth of his first child; Detective Ariana Sanchez, sexy, edgy and beautiful, who has emerged from a rough background to become a rising star in the department; Narcotics undercover cop John Stone, a streetwise smooth talker, clever and quick with a smile made for the movies, who is teamed with Sanchez — a combustible pairing rife with conflict and sexual tension; Sergeant Jesse Longford, a 30-year veteran struggling with his impending retirement from the force and the city he loves, who, together with his partner, Detective Aman Mahajan — a fully Americanized son of Indian immigrants — form an amusing mismatch of experience and enthusiasm, intellect and instinct, old school and new world, but whose combined skills have never encountered a case that couldn’t be cleared; and all are headed by Lieutenant Maureen Mason, a strong-willed single mom struggling to balance home and work.

The men and women of Detroit Homicide are as smart and tough as they come. They have to be, working the neighborhoods of the once and future Motor City, a rebounding bastion of middle America still saddled with the highest murder rate in the country.

“Detroit 1-8-7” stars Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) as Detective Louis Fitch, Jon Michael Hill as Detective Damon Washington, James McDaniel (“NYPD Blue”) as Sergeant Jesse Longford, Aisha Hinds (“True Blood”) as Lieutenant Maureen Mason, Natalie Martinez as Detective Ariana Sanchez, D.J. Cotrona as Detective John Stone and Shaun Majumder as Detective Aman Mahajan.

The series is produced by ABC Studios. The pilot was written by Jason Richman. Executive producers are Richman, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and David Zabel. Jeff Nachmanoff directed the pilot.

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