Photo: Former ‘Bachelor’ Jake Pavelka and ‘Dancing With the Stars” Chelsie Hightower at Magic Kingdom

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Jake Pavelka (second from left), star of ABC's "The Bachelor," strikes a dance pose March 13, 2010 with his fiancee, Vienna Girardi (left) while Mickey Mouse poses with professional dancer Chelsie Hightower (right), star of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," at the Magic Kingdom (Matt Stroshane/Disney)Jake Pavelka (second from left), star of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” strikes a dance pose March 13, 2010 with his fiancee, Vienna Girardi (left) while Mickey Mouse poses with professional dancer Chelsie Hightower (right), star of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Pavelka and Hightower are partners on the new season of “Dancing with the Stars” which premieres March 22, 2010. Pavelka, Girardi and Hightower were vacationing this weekend at Walt Disney World Resort. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

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Justin Bieber to Guest Two Days in a Row on ABC’s ‘The View’

For the first time in the 13-year history of ABC’s Emmy® award-winning talk and entertainment program, “The View,” a featured musical guest will make two consecutive appearances this March, Bill Geddie, executive producer, announced today.

Canadian Pop/R&B sensation Justin Bieber is familiar with screaming girls and mayhem. Bieber is one of the hottest young stars on the music scene today and is set to make history on “The View” as the first artist to make back-to-back appearances/performances on the show, live, MONDAY, MARCH 22 and TUESDAY, MARCH 23 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET). He will perform an acoustic version of “Never Let You Go” and then, with his band, perform his new single, “Baby,” off his forthcoming second album, “My World 2.0″ (set to drop of March 23). Bieber will also be interviewed by the show’s five hosts.

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ABC to Debut ‘ESPN Sports Saturday’ Programming Block Beginning April 3

ESPN Sports Saturday on ABCESPN Sports Saturday, a new block of sports programming on ABC, will launch Saturday, April 3, from 4-6 p.m. ET, it was announced by John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. The two-hour window will consist of a new 60-minute, highlight-driven series titled Winners Bracket and a mix of some of ESPN’s most distinctive offerings, including films from the acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series, episodes of ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine E:60 and installments of the interview-focused Homecoming with Rick Reilly.

ESPN Sports Saturday will generally be featured Saturdays from 4-6 p.m., from April through mid-August, and will return for another round of shows December through August 2011. For certain weeks, as the schedule dictates, ESPN Sports Saturday may be less than two hours.

ESPN Sports Saturday is a creative way to mix more high quality sports product with ABC’s strong live event lineup,” Skipper said. “Winners Bracket will review the sports week using a fresh and fun approach, while some of the very best ESPN series will provide an extremely compelling companion.”

Bill Hoffman, vice president, general manager, WSB-TV in Atlanta and the chair of the sports committee for the ABC Affiliate Board of Governors commented, “We are excited about this brand new sports offering from such a trusted brand. This program comes as a result of great creative thinking and collaboration between the ABC Board and ESPN.”

(more…)

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ABC Launches ‘LOST’ Fan Promo Contest; Winner to Attend Series’ Finale Party

With less than three months until the final episode of “Lost,” ABC celebrates the series’ dedicated fans, providing them with the opportunity to become a part of “Lost” history. Sponsored by Kia Motors, the Ultimate “Lost” Fan Promo Contest gives fans the tools to express and share their passion for the groundbreaking hit drama series through the production of an original promo which will air on the ABC Television Network the week prior to the highly anticipated finale, airing on a special night, Sunday, May 23 (9:00-11:00 p.m.), preceded by a recap special from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET, on ABC.

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ABC Announces Celebrity Pairings for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 10; New Dancer to Debut

An all-new cast of celebrities and their professional partners hit the dance floor on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” with the highly anticipated two-hour season premiere, MONDAY, MARCH 22 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

In alphabetical order, and with their professional partners, the 11 stars making their ballroom dancing debut are:

* BUZZ ALDRIN, legendary astronaut, partners up with ASHLY COSTA (formerly DelGrosso), who returns for her fourth season.

* PAMELA ANDERSON, actress and model, joins professional dancer DAMIAN WHITEWOOD, who makes his “Dancing with the Stars” debut this season.

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ABC Announces Line-up for Tenth Season of “Dancing with the Stars’

During the final moments of The Bachelor‘s season finale, ABC revealed its line-up of competitors for the next season of its popular series Dancing with the Stars via perennial host and emcee Tom Bergeron with some assistance from fromer Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars contestant Melissa Rycroft.

Celebrity contestants announced for the series are:

  • Pamela Anderson
  • Chad Ochocinco
  • Aiden Turner
  • Erin Andrews
  • Shannen Doherty
  • Buzz Aldrin
  • Niecy Nash
  • Nichole Scherzinger
  • Evan Lysacek
  • Kate Gosselin
  • Jake Pavelka

The new season of Dancing with the Stars premieres on ABC on March 22, 2010.

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WABC-TV New York Launches Retrans Offensive Against Cablevision

As we first reported back in December, WABC-TV, a member of the Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) had begun preparing for a standoff with Cablevision in New York as its retransmission contract comes up for negotiations by registering for a series of domain names which had inadvertently put its agenda on public display for a couple of hours until we brought to the public’s attention.

Tonight, just before the season finale of The Bachelor began, WABC-TV ran a commercial in New York City taking an offensive stance, showing a montage of television programming carried by the station, including local news, which would potentially be lost if Cablevision opts to remove WABC-TV from its lineup.

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Report: Kate Gosselin to Join Cast of ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Television columnist Lisa de Moraes of The Washington Post reports that the former co-star of TLC’s Jon and Kate + Eight-turned occasional The View co-host stand-in will be announced as one of the new cast members of the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars when ABC reveals the list throughout the season finale of The Bachelor on Monday night.

In related news, ABC has announced that on March 1, Jimmy Kimmel will interview one of the new celebrities set to compete in this season’s competition as well as the new Bachelorette.

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Adventures by Disney and HarperCollins Announce Winners in ‘Flat Stanley’ Contest

Adventures by Disney and HarperCollins Children’s Books today announced three winners from “The Search for Flat Stanley’s Next BIG Adventure” contest. Children, ages 7 to 12, had the opportunity to win an Adventures by Disney vacation by creating a specially-themed Flat Stanley and a 150-word story describing his “Next BIG Adventure.”

Following hundreds of creative entries crafted from all sorts of material, including glitter, sand, yarn, construction paper and even jeweled stickers, three winners have been chosen from the following age groups:

  • 7-8 yr-old winner Lauren Shepard from Tennessee sent Flat Stanley to Australia for a great adventure “Down Under”
  • 9-10 yr-old winner Adia Chaney of Maryland designed a European-style Flat Stanley; her story highlighted the Queen of England
  • 11-12 yr-old winner Destiny White from Texas captured her win with an Asian-inspired Flat Stanley and an unforgettable adventure to the Great Wall of China

(more…)

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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.

The affiliates are noticeably upset over recent moves by Disney-owned ESPN taking several sporting events away from the affiliates, most notably several NASCAR events. It’s believed that ESPN, which has been producing all sports for the ABC network since 2006, is being handed carte blanche from the parent corporation in terms of which events it can air exclusively because it helps justifies the already industry-high retransmission fees from cable operators. The affiliates fear a significant loss in programming and local ad revenue as a result.

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