Disney Channel and Disney XD Announce New and Returning Series at 2011 Upfronts

After delivering a year of best-ever ratings across each of its kid-driven, family inclusive platforms, and deepening its strong connection with kids and parents, especially moms, Disney showcased an unprecedented amount of new programming that’s to come — an expanded slate of 13 new original series (part of 435 total original episodes in 2011, a 30% increase from last year, not including acquisitions) and additional new titles in the blockbuster Disney Channel Original Movie franchise at its annual presentation to advertisers today at New York’s Gotham Hall.

At the event, themed “Time to Shine,” Carolina Lightcap, President, Disney Channels Worldwide, highlighted the expanded programming slates, ratings momentum and unique emotional connection to kids and families that’s delivered by each brand in Disney’s portfolio – which includes Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior and Radio Disney.

Disney’s new and returning programming was showcased by Gary Marsh, President, Entertainment and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide; and Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide.

Rita Ferro, Executive Vice President, Disney Media Sales and Marketing, presented Disney’s powerful media sales enterprise, through which marketers can reach kids, tweens and moms across every engagement point where they are spending their time: TV, online, mobile and radio. Ferro also highlighted the strength of the flagship Disney Channel in bringing kids and families together — 2011 to date, it reaches more kids, tweens and Moms in primetime than any other cable network.

Hosted by Radio Disney’s Ernie D., the event included a performance by teen superstar Selena Gomez (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), the performance debut of actress and newly signed Hollywood Records recording artist China Anne McClain (“ANT Farm”), a martial arts performance by actor Leo Howard (“Kickin’ It”), a boisterous song by Bones and Sharky of The Never Land Pirate Band (“Jake and the Never Land Pirates”), an appearance by actress Debby Ryan (“Jessie,” “The Suite Life on Deck”) and a high energy dance number by the cast of “Shake It Up” — TV’s #1 series among Kids 6-14: Bella Thorne, Zendaya, Adam Irigoyen, Davis Cleveland, Kenton Duty, Roshon Fegan and Caroline Sunshine.

Highlights of new and returning programming are:

(more…)

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First Look: Neil Patrick Harris on ‘Take Two with Phineas and Ferb’

FERB, NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, PHINEAS (DISNEY XD/RICK ROWELL)

Star of the hit sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother’ on CBS, Neil Patrick Harris, shows off a few tricks on an upcoming episode of ‘Take Two with Phineas and Ferb.’ The episode is set to premiere around 9:30 pm ET/PT on the Disney Channel on March 18, 2011 with re-airings on Disney XD to follow.

Disney XD has provided us with these first look photos of Neil entertaining the boys on their show. We will add video as it becomes available closer to the air date.

Photos courtesy and © Disney XD

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First Look: Jackie Evancho Guests on ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’

JACKIE EVANCHO, SELENA GOMEZ (DISNEY CHANNEL/ERIC MCCANDLESS)In the episode of ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ titled ‘Back to Max,’ America’s Got Talent’ runner-up Jackie Evancho sings at Tribeca Prep’s ‘Spirit of America Play,’ giving Harper a run for her money as she takes the stage for the first time. Meanwhile, Alex and Justin have to find a way to change Max back to himself before Professor Crumbs discovers they accidently turned him into a little girl.

BILL CHOTT, JACKIE EVANCHO (DISNEY CHANNEL/ERIC MCCANDLESS)Disney Channel has provided us with these first look photos of Jackie Evancho who guest stars on the show along with Bailee Madison returns as Maxine Russo in the all new episode, ‘Back to Max,’ premiering on Disney Channel on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm ET/PT.

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ESPN Remains Top Channel According to Cable Operators

In Beta Research Corp.’s 2010 Cable Operator Study, ESPN retained its number one status for the 11th consecutive year as the network with the most perceived value. ESPN2 placed second for the sixth straight year in this category with the Disney Channel in fourth and ESPNU tying with the NFL Network for seventh.

“From the depth of programming to the many platforms available for fans to consume content, the Disney and ESPN networks continue to help our affiliates drive their businesses,” said David C. Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. “To have four of our networks recognized in the top ten is an honor and we continue to look for new ways to innovative and provide value to our affiliate partners.”

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First Look: Regis Philbin on ‘Take Two with Phineas and Ferb’

DAN POVENMIRE (CREATOR AND PRODUCER,

Television legend Regis Philbin assumes the role of guest (and host?) on the next episode of ‘Take Two with Phineas and Ferb.’ The episode is set to premiere around 9:15 pm ET/PT on the Disney Channel on February 25, 2011 with re-airings on Disney XD to follow.

Disney XD has provided us with these first look photos of Regis lending his decades of hosting experience to Phineas and Ferb.

Photos courtesy and © Disney XD

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Disney Channel Casts Pilot for Musical Comedy ‘Madison High’

A favorite star from “High School Musical” will be joined by six multitalented performers in a new music and dance-driven comedy pilot, “Madison High” (working title). The series pilot introduces a troupe of theater students led by the melodramatic drama teacher Ms. Darbus, a beloved character from the cultural sensation “High School Musical.” Production on the pilot begins in March in consideration for a Disney Channel series to premiere in early 2012.

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Celebrities Line Up to Join Phineas and Ferb’s Third Season Beginning March 4

The remarkable lineup of stars who’ve recorded upcoming episodes of Disney Channel’s ‘Phineas and Ferb’ includes iconic actor and producer Michael Douglas, who guest stars along with his 10-year-old son, Dylan Michael Douglas, when Danville’s scariest haunted house opens for the neighborhood kids; Jane Lynch guest stars as Jeremy’s mother, Mrs. Johnson; Tina Fey plays an eager buyer who seeks to purchase the building which headquarters Doofenshmirtz Evil, Incorporated; Michael J. Fox pays tribute to the cult hit “Teen Wolf” with the Werewolf Michael role; Anna Paquin (“True Blood”) again plays a star-crossed lover in a vampire/werewolf storyline; Joan Cusack guest stars as a train conductor whose can-do attitude just might convince Candace to give up trying to bust her brothers; and renowned chef Jamie Oliver (ABC’s “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”) judges Danville’s meatloaf competition.

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First Look: Taylor Swift on ‘Take Two with Phineas and Ferb’

TAYLOR SWIFT, PHINEAS (DISNEY XD/RICK ROWELL)

Disney Channel has provided us with these first images from the upcoming episode of ‘Take Two with Phineas and Ferb’ featuring special guest, Grammy-award winning recording artist Taylor Swift.

The episode will premiere on Disney Channel on February 18 at 9:25 pm ET/PT and will also air on Disney XD.

Images courtesy and © Disney Channel

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Mickey and Minnie Mouse Light Up Times Square in Anticipation of Disney Junior

Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Times Square (Lou Rocco/Disney Channel)Hearts of New Yorkers felt a bit of warmth this morning as lovebirds Mickey and Minnie Mouse took to the heart of chilly Times Square. The couple were celebrating Valentine’s Day a few days early in anticipation of the launch of the Disney Junior programming block which begins February 14 on Disney Channel and Radio Disney, with a whole new 24-hours network launching in 2012.

Madison Pettis with Mickey and Minnie Mouse (Lou Rocco/Disney Channel)The A-list couple were also joined by Disney starlet Madison Pettis who joined in on the early celebration. Pettis, who is no stranger to any Disney Channel viewer, provides the voice of Izzy on the Disney Junior original animated series, ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates.’

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Build-A-Bear Workshop Introduces ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ Bear and Accessories

Wizards of Waverly Place Fan Bear from Build-A-Bear-WorkshopBuild-A-Bear Workshop has recently debuted a line of Disney-licensed merchandise centering on the Disney Channel hit comedy, ‘Wizards of Waverly Place,’ which stars Selena Gomez, David Henry and Jake T. Austin in the title roles.

Pictured here is the #1 Fan Wizards of Waverly Place Bear which consists of the 16″ Wizards of Waverly Place bear itself, a 2-piece Wizards of Waverly Place outfit, silver sparkle flats, the Wizards of Waverly Place scarf and the Wizards of Waverly Place bag, all of which are also available separately.

For more information or to purchase the new Wizards of Waverly Place-inspired collection from Disney and Build-A-Bear Workshop, visit BABW online.

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