Nikki Reed Named Vice President of Original Series Development for Disney Channel

Nikki Reed has been named Vice President, Original Series, overseeing live-action development for Disney Channel and Disney XD, it was announced today by Adam Bonnett, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Disney Channel, to whom she will report.

Reed, who has more than 13 years’ experience overseeing feature films and television series development, will be responsible for developing new live-action series geared towards kids, tweens and families on Disney Channel, Disney XD, as well as numerous platforms around the world.

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Production on Final Season of ‘Hannah Montana’ Starts Monday; Season 3 Finale in March

Production begins Monday in Hollywood on the fourth season of the global sensation “Hannah Montana,” one filled with exciting, pivotal story arcs and event episodes. The hit series’ finale episode will air in spring 2011 on Disney Channel U.S. and, shortly thereafter, on Disney Channels around the world, where the total of 101 episodes will continue in daily encore telecasts. Starring Miley Cyrus in the title role, the Emmy-nominated comedy has dominated the kid and tween business and impacted popular culture since its 2006 debut. Its soundtracks are among the biggest, fastest successes the pop charts have seen in years, and the series provided a springboard for the multitalented Cyrus to become an international superstar with projects spanning Disney’s television, music, radio, consumer products and film divisions, including a #1 debut movie that grossed nearly $150 million at the global box office.

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New Contest from Radio Disney Will Leave Winner ‘StarStruck’ with Star Sterling Knight

Radio Disney will give kids the chance to win a family vacation in Hollywood, through local station events beginning SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 through the February 14 premiere of “StarStruck, a Disney Channel Original Movie set in Hollywood.

Events and premiere parties in nearly 40 local markets give kids the chance to enter to win a trip to Hollywood, California, to have lunch with the star of the movie, Sterling Knight (also of Disney Channel’s “Sonny With A Chance”), at a Hollywood hotspot. The winner and his/her guests will also receive a private tour of some of the most famous places in Los Angeles, including Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood. Radio Disney on-air personality Ernie D will announce the winner Friday, February 12.

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Chuggington Set to Thrill on Playhouse Disney January 18 (Video)

Global television hit Chuggington is racing its way into American families’ homes this month. Kids and families can tune into Playhouse Disney, Disney Channel’s preschool-focused programming block, on January 18, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. ET/PT for Chuggington’s U.S. premiere.

The train-centric series invites preschoolers to follow the humorous and educational adventures of three young ‘trainees’ as they learn to ‘ride the rails’ of life. Following the series premiere, Chuggington will air Tuesdays through Fridays at 10:30 a.m. ET/PT and weekends at 7:30 a.m. ET/PT.

Using feature-quality CGI animation, Chuggington’s fast-paced, kid-centric stories highlight a colorful, modern cast of characters and are designed to teach simple, yet important, social-emotional lessons that help preschoolers ‘ride the rails’ through their learning years. Throughout each episode, children climb aboard and follow the trainees as they embark on different adventures where they learn to explore Chuggington, an exciting and safe world.

Chuggington was created by Ludorum, a London-based company whose founders and principals have extensive backgrounds in building and managing some of the most beloved children’s entertainment properties including Bob the Builder, Barney and Thomas the Tank Engine. (more…)

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NY Post: Season Four of ‘Hannah Montana’ Marks Final Encore

It’ll be another 20 years before we’ll learn if she’ll be eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but today we have learned what has long been suspected – Hannah Montana is calling it quits.

The New York Post reports confirmation from Disney that the next season, which begins taping later this month and will debut in the fall of 2010, will be the last for the show that brought a whole new life to the Disney Channel. The report outlines the final season as paralleling the lives of Miley Cyrus and character Miley  Stewart as they each grapple with leaving behind the personas that have propelled them both to fame. The one hour season 3 finale, titled ‘Is Miley Saying Goodbye?’ will air in Mid-March and will reveal what Miley Stewart’s intentions are for her final year.

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Juliet Returns to ‘Waverly Place’ in ‘Wizards vs. Werewolves’ Special, January 22

A climactic, adventure-filled one-hour episode of the Emmy Award-winning comedy series “Wizards of Waverly Place” will premiere FRIDAY, JANUARY 22 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. Guest stars Bridgit Mendler (“Good Luck Charlie”) and Gregg Sulkin (Disney Channel UK’s “As The Bell Rings”) reprise their roles as Justin’s vampire girlfriend Juliet Van Heusen (who’s recently disappeared after being turned into a mummy’s minion) and Alex’s new boyfriend, Mason, in a top-secret storyline entitled “Wizards vs. Werewolves” that’s bound to be the talk among the kid and tween set.

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‘Starstruck’ Disney Channel Original Movie to Premiere February 14

Sterling Knight (of Disney Channel’s hit series “Sonny With A Chance”) and Danielle Campbell (“Prison Break”) star in “StarStruck,” a music and adventure-filled Disney Channel Original Movie about Hollywood pop star Christopher Wilde who, after unexpectedly meeting Jessica Olson, a down-to-earth girl visiting from the Midwest, is faced with either following his heart or doing what’s best for his glitzy career. The movie also stars Brandon Mychal Smith (“Sonny With A Chance”) and Chelsea Staub (of Disney Channel’s “JONAS”). Filmed in Los Angeles at landmark locations including Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, the Hollywood Sign and Grauman’s Chinese Theater, “StarStruck” premieres SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel.

The story follows Jessica and her family as they visit her grandmother in Los Angeles, and she winds up by chance meeting Hollywood pop star Christopher Wilde.  It seems that Christopher has it all – fame, fortune and a big-budget Hollywood movie awaiting him – but after spending time with Jessica, he realizes he’s been missing out on something very important – being himself. As he shows her the city sites, the pair develop a friendship, but their bond is tested when Christopher publicly denies knowing her. Now Christopher must decide what is more important– being true to himself or becoming a movie star.

(more…)

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Handy Manny Educates New Tools in New Playhouse Disney Short-Form Series in January

A new group of tools joins Playhouse Disney with the premiere of the animated short-form series, “Handy Manny School for Tools,” MONDAY, JANUARY 25 (8:25 a.m. ET/PT) on Disney Channel.

Inspired by the Emmy-nominated hit series “Handy Manny,” starring Wilmer Valderrama, the three-minute shorts feature Manny and his trusty tools alongside a set of 11 new tools: Beamer the laser level, Zip the power socket wrench, Pinzas the needle nose pliers, Sneeze the shop vac, Tick and Totts the socket wrenches, Roland the tool chest, Spinner the power drill and a family of crescent wrenches – dad Lefty, mom Lily and son Junior.

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‘Ace of Cakes’ Duff Goldman Guest Stars on Imagination Movers, January 16

The Imagination Movers help baker Ben Boudreaux (Duff Goldman), a.k.a. “the Muffin Man,” remember the secret ingredient for his world famous muffins in a new episode of “Imagination Movers,” SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 (10:00–10:30 a.m., ET/PT).

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Disney XD’s ‘I’m in the Band’ to Premiere Jan 18 After Cardinals’ Kurt Warner Guests on Suite Life

“I’m in the Band,” a music-filled, live-action comedy series for kids and families about a teenager who realizes his wildest dream when he joins his favorite “vintage” rock band, Iron Weasel, will premiere MONDAY, JANUARY 18 (7:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney XD and DisneyXD.com. Kicking off the evening is a new episode of the hit series “The Suite Life on Deck” guest starring Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kurt Warner (6:30 p.m. ET/PT).

(more…)

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