ABC.com Adds Commentaries to Online Shows from Experts; Invites Viewers to Create Their Own

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Dedicated to expanding its network and channel brands across multiple platforms and connecting viewers with their favorite shows anytime and anywhere, Disney/ABC Television Group will unveil ABC Social: Episode Commentary, a new feature of ABC.com’s Full Episode Player integrated with Facebook Connect, which allows online viewers to create their own commentary tracks to ABC episodes and share the experience with friends. The new Episode Commentary will be available beginning this Saturday, November 7, for the first episode of ABC’s new series “V,” and will feature expert commentary from “V” executive producers Scott Peters and Steve Pearlman. This new feature will roll out across other series on ABC.com over the coming weeks.

“ABC Social: Episode Commentary is great example of how we are continually pushing the envelope to create ‘what’s next’ and use our digital platforms to further engage the core fans of our series,” said Alexis Rapo, vice president, Digital Media, ABC Entertainment. “Now online viewers at ABC.com can not only take part in a world class viewing experience, but also engage with ‘show experts’ and share their own viewer-created commentaries seamlessly within our player – the result is a rich, social experience that can only be found on our site.”

Expert commentary featured in the Full Episode Player will vary from episode to episode and may include insights from a series’ producers, writers and directors, stars of the series, production and costume designers, music supervisors and network executives, among others.

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ABC Announces New Celebrity Comedic Dance Show Hosted by Kathy Griffin

Two-time Emmy Award winner and NY Times best-selling author Kathy Griffin (“My Life on the D-List”) will host “Let’s Dance,” a new, comedic dance series from “American Idol” producers FremantleMedia North America that features stars competing for charity as they pay homage to some of the most famous movie, musical and pop video dance routines of all time. “Let’s Dance” will kick off its five-episode run with a live 90-minute premiere episode on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23 (9:30-11:00 p.m., ET) following the Season 9 finale broadcast of “Dancing with the Stars” on the ABC Television Network. Additional episodes will air on Monday, Nov. 30, Mon., Dec. 7 and Mon., Dec. 14 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) with the finale on Tues., Dec. 15 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET).

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REVIEW: ‘Disney’s A Christmas Carol’ is a Thrilling Ride in Digital 3D

There’s just no beating around the bush about this one: one of the most thrilling action movies this year was written by Charles Dickens in 1843. The only questions that remain are just how good is this movie that Disney has been promoting in over the top ways? And what should you know about this movie before you see it?

Check out our review of Disney’s newest film for all the sordid details.

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The Walt Disney Company Reports China OKs Shanghai Disneyland Project

BURBANK, Calif. — The Walt Disney Company today announced that the Project Application Report (PAR) for a Disney theme park in the Pudong district of Shanghai has received approval from the relevant authorities of the central government of China.

“China is one of the most dynamic, exciting and important countries in the world, and this approval marks a very significant milestone for The Walt Disney Company in mainland China,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

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Photo Call: Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ World Premiere in London

The world premiere of Disney’s A Christmas Carol took place today in London, kicking off the holiday season with a spectactle of events. Walt Disney Studios has graciously provided us with photos of the premiere itself which we’d like to share with you.

All photos by Gareth Cattermole, Ian Gavan and Marco Secchi for Getty Images, courtesy of Disney.

As always, clicking on the thumbnail below will show a larger version of the photo.

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Hilary Duff to Star, Executive-Produce ABC Family Original Movie ‘The Business of Falling in Love’

Burbank, CA (November 3, 2009) – Hilary Duff (“The Story of Bonnie and Clyde,” “A Cinderella Story”), Matt Dallas, (“Kyle XY,” “Eastwick”), Michael McMillan (“True Blood,” “What I Like About You) and Chris Carmack (“Drop Dead Diva,” “The OC”) have signed to star in the ABC Family original production “The Business of Falling in Love.” The two-hour original movie will begin principal photography this month in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is set to premiere on ABC Family in spring 2010.

“The Business of Falling in Love,” based on the book Diary of a Working Girl by Daniella Brodsky, stars Duff as Lane Daniels, a bright effervescent fashion journalist whose career and love life come together in a smashing way when she pitches the article “Switching Careers to Find Love” to Cosmopolitan magazine – her favorite magazine and ultimate career aspiration. Lane can’t believe her luck when the editor goes for it in a big way, handing her the professional opportunity of a life time – a potential cover story!

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REVIEW: Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed In at the House of Mouse

It’s Christmas Eve and the entire Disney gang is trapped inside the House of Mouse but not a creature is moping — except for Donald that is. Can Mickey help remind Donald of the Christmas spirit and still keep his customers entertained? Or is it just one big snow job? Read our review to find out more.

 

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Composer Randy Newman and the Classic Sounds of New Orleans Celebrated on New Walt Disney Records Soundtrack The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog - The Original Motion Picture SoundtrackBURBANK, Calif. — Walt Disney Records will release the soundtrack for The Princess and the Frog, available digitally and in stores on November 23, 2009. The Princess and the Frog marks the return to traditional hand-drawn 2D animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements, with music by Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman. The Walt Disney Pictures film takes place in New Orleans, whose sounds of jazz, Zydeco, blues and Gospel present the perfect musical setting for the film. Multi-platinum, 3-time Grammy Award-winning Def Jam recording artist Ne-Yo contributes “Never Knew I Needed,” the featured end credit song of the film. The soundtrack features performances by Dr. John, the film’s Anika Noni Rose, Jim Cummings, Keith David, Michael Leon-Wooley, and Jenifer Lewis, with performances on trumpet by Terence Blanchard.

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Magic Kingdom’s SpectroMen Will Light up the Night in All New Costumes

Leading the (arguably) best ‘regular’ parade Walt Disney World has to offer, the SpectroMen and SpectroTrumpeters have haunted the memories of young children and many adults for years in the night-time extravaganza SpectroMagic. It wasn’t too long ago that they got their last makeover in late 2007, shedding the masks in favor of faces and fibery-opticky multi-colored hair.

SpectroTrumpeters in SpectroMagic donning the often-cited-as-creepy masks A makeover in 2007 lost the masks and added fiber-optic treated hair

Now the SpectroMen are set to shock the World once more as they don new costumes and lighting effects as they lead SpectroMagic throughout the Magic Kingdom. Pictured below are photos we acquired of the new costumes (SpectroMen on left, SpectroTrumpeter on right):

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Disney Interactive Studios Starts a New Holiday Tradition with Disney’s A Christmas Carol Video Game

'A Christmas Carol' for the Nintendo DS by Disney Interactive StudiosBURBANK, Calif. — For the first time a new generation of fans will use a stylus and mic to guide Scrooge on a thrilling adventure and help him discover the true meaning of Christmas. Disney Interactive Studios today announced Disney’s A Christmas Carol video game is available now at all major retailers. Exclusive to the Nintendo DS™, Disney’s A Christmas Carol is an exciting storybook adventure inspired by “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” the Charles Dickens tale re-imagined by Robert Zemeckis as a major feature film starring Jim Carrey.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol video game brings a holiday classic everyone knows to a fun new interactive platform,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “The game is sure to provide hours of festive entertainment this holiday season for the entire family.”

In the game, players experience narrated animated scenes inspired by the film that unfold like an interactive storybook with amazing beauty and detail. The game utilizes many of the unique Nintendo DS features. Players will experience Scrooge’s adventure by blowing and speaking into the microphone and using the Nintendo DS stylus to pull, shake, drag and tap the different environments. The English version of the Charles Dickens book is also included in the game, so that fans can read the original text while they play. The rest of the game can be enjoyed in English, Spanish, or French.

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