ABC Affiliates, Advertisers Cry Foul over Actions by ESPN and ABC News

Disney has been driving on thin, black ice lately when it comes to their ABC affiliates and their advertisers.

Two separate events are threatening the financial stability of the ABC network’s affiliate stations, most notably throughout the southern region of the United States.

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ABC to Premiere New Drama ‘Happy Town’ on April 28

ABC has announced the premiere date of its new drama, “Happy Town,” WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET). The residents of the sun-splashed town of Haplin, Minnesota — also known as “Happy Town” — have enjoyed an uneasy peace for the past five years — but that is about to change. Still haunted by a number of unsolved kidnappings, Haplin now faces a disturbing new crime that brings all of its unresolved fears to the surface. Has the elusive “Magic Man” – who many believe is responsible for the bizarre abductions — returned to claim yet another innocent victim? As Haplin’s mysteries are revealed, many of its prominent citizens’ motives come under scrutiny as their own secrets and personalities are peeled back one layer at a time.

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ABC News to Begin Offering Content on Hulu

ABC News today announced that ABC News programming from its platforms and shows will be featured on a branded page on Hulu, an online video service. The site will feature short form news content and long form programming from morning to night — including “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline,” “This Week,” “20/20? and “Primetime” limited series.

“We’re happy to be able to provide our audience with another way to watch ABC News,” said David Westin, President, ABC News. “We look forward to sharing our reporting with users on one of the top video destinations on the Internet.”

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Alyssa Milano Returns to ABC in ‘Romantically Challenged’ This Season

Production has begun in Studio City, California on “Romantically Challenged,” an ensemble comedy about four friends trying to find love and happiness, coming to ABC this season.

In “Romantically Challenged,” Alyssa Milano stars as Rebecca, a very recently divorced mom of two who hasn’t gone on a date since President Clinton was in office. Rebecca’s best friend since childhood, Perry, is a romance-aholic who falls in love with women 20 minutes after meeting them. Perry lives with his BFF Shawn, a struggling writer who has depended on Perry for financial stability since the turn of the century. Rounding out the group is Rebecca’s younger sister Lisa, a sweet kindergarten teacher who tries to hurt every man before he can hurt her.

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Official ‘LOST’ Cast Photos Now Available for Purchase

As audiences prepare to watch the unveiling of the final episodes of “Lost,” beginning with the season premiere on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network, fans of the series will be able to purchase exclusive photo images to keep as their own personal “Lost” memorabilia from a specially created website. The official “Lost” Photo Gallery, www.officialLostphotos.com, is the sole home of all of the cast images from every season of “Lost” going back to the series premiere in 2004. Available on the site are more than 25 unique photo selections featuring the cast in different settings, including the various lush Hawaiian backdrops that became the series’ signature palette. The public can purchase their favorite photos either framed or unframed. The website will be available through the airing of the series final episode in May 2010.

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ABC to Announce New Cast of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ During ‘The Bachelor’ Season Finale

In a special Monday night event, the new cast of “Dancing with the Stars” will be announced by “Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron in interstitials airing throughout the highly anticipated dramatic two-hour finale of the popular romance reality series, “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love,” on MONDAY, MARCH 1 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Immediately following each cast member’s unveiling during primetime, ABC.com will post the updated list online.

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Robert Pattinson, Emilie De Raven to Sparkle on ‘The View’ March 2

Robert Pattinson, undeniably one of today’s most recognizable, popular and most sought-after stars, takes his first “bite” out of ABC’s Emmy(r) award-winning talk show, “The View, live, TUESDAY, MARCH 2 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network, in his first-ever appearance on the show. Pattinson will appear along with Emilie De Raven, his co-star in the upcoming film “Remember Me.”

Set for release in March 2010, “Remember Me” stars Pattinson as unruly New York college student Tyler who is dealing with a personal tragedy and falls in love with Ally (Emilie De Raven).

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ABC Invites Viewers to ‘The Bachelor: Jason and Molly’s Wedding’ Special on March 8

Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, the first “Bachelor” couple to ever walk down the aisle, will share a dramatic new chapter of their love story with millions of viewers when ABC televises their much anticipated wedding on “The Bachelor: Jason and Molly’s Wedding,” MONDAY, MARCH 8 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

The couple, who announced their engagement in October, will let viewers in on all the exciting festivities – from Molly’s dress fitting for her dazzling custom-made gown to Jason and Molly planning the big day with their wedding planner and event designer. Then it’s on to their bachelor and bachelorette parties, and the next stage of their romantic journey with a beautiful wedding ceremony in the perfect location.

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Disney to Kick Off ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Promotion Across Three Networks, Super Bowl Ad

Not quite mad as a hatter with anticipation for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland yet? You will be.

Beginning January 31, Walt Disney Studios will begin offering 60-second first looks across three networks, each providing its own exclusive sneak peek at the film, all culminating to a spectacular ad during the Super Bowl titled Tick-Tock.

You can catch ABC’s version during Desperate Housewives on January 31 and The Bachelor on February 1; ESPN’s version during the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl on January 31 and during the NBA Nuggets-Lakers game on February 5; and ABC Family’s during Greek on Febuary 1 and The Parent Trap on February 6.

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ABC Teams with CafePress.com to Allow Fans to Create Unique Authorized Merchandise

ABC Entertainment Group and CafePress, the online epicenter for user-designed apparel and gifts, today announced a licensing agreement that allows TV fans to design and sell authorized show merchandise. Fans of the hit ABC shows – Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs and Schoolhouse Rock along with Legend of the Seeker (from ABC Studios) – can unleash their creativity to design custom apparel and gifts by following the official guidelines. Fans can visit CafePress.com to create products and purchase merchandise designed by other fans fully encompassing fan engagement within this merchandise platform. In addition, CafePress will be launching a shop featuring official Schoolhouse Rock merchandise.

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