New Season of ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’ to Debut Feb 27; Plus New Short-Form Series and Specials

Disney Chanel will debut the third season of its #1 Playhouse Disney series “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 (9:00 a.m., ET/PT). The third season, which brings the series to 100 episodes, will also include the new physical fitness-themed short-form series, “Mickey Mousekersize” and three new primetime specials.

Supporting Disney’s ongoing commitment to helping kids and parents achieve healthier lifestyles by engaging preschoolers in fun physical activity, the 10 new three-minute “Mickey Mousekersize” shorts, hosted by Mickey Mouse, focus on the fun of exercising and encourage kids at home to get up and move along with Mickey and pals. The short form series will debut this fall.

In addition to 31 new music-filled episodes, three brand new primetime specials will be presented. Last October, the series’ first-ever primetime special, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Choo Choo Express,” ranked as TV’s #1 program in its timeslot among its targeted Kids 2-5 demo, more than doubling year-ago preschool ratings in the time period. A family viewing event, 54% of Adults 18-49 viewed the event with a preschooler.

The season launches with an episode entitled “Goofy’s Goofbot” in which Goofy builds a super smart and strong toy robot that looks just like him. Other storylines for season three include an “Indiana Jones”-like adventure, an underwater submarine voyage and a desert journey.

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Production Begins on Playhouse Disney’s ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates'; Series Features Captain Hook

Disney Television Animation has begun production on “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” an interactive 2-D and CG animated series for preschoolers and parents featuring the music and fun-filled adventures of classic characters Captain Hook and Smee, plus a new crew of kid pirates led by the enthusiastic and courageous Jake. The series, which will premiere on Playhouse Disney-branded blocks and channels around the world, is designed to emphasize teamwork. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, senior vice president, Playhouse Disney Worldwide.

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Disney Channel Stars Respond to Haiti Disaster in New ‘Express Yourself’ Interstitial

A new segment of Disney Channel’s “Express Yourself” short form series, one coinciding with kids, families and educators’ discussions surrounding the Haiti earthquake, will premiere TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2 on Disney Channel and Disney XD channels around the world, on Disney.com (including Disney Channel.com and DisneyXD.com) and on You Tube.

The 60-second interstitial, featuring the message, “Join the world as we shine a light on Haiti,” has themes of connection, empowerment, compassion, outreach and being a part of a global community. It features popular Disney Channel stars Selena Gomez (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), Emily Osment, Jason Earles (both of “Hannah Montana”), Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Brenda Song and Doc Shaw (all of “The Suite Life on Deck”) encouraging kids to explore and communicate their feelings and to get inspired to make a difference.

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Disney’s Phineas and Ferb and Common Sense Media Launch Internet Safety PSA

Disney has teamed with Common Sense Media to help kids and tweens safely navigate the internet and other digital platforms and to get parents thinking about how media and technology fit into their family’s life. The initiative includes a PSA and website which feature the characters from Disney’s hit animated series “Phineas and Ferb” and supports Common Sense Media’s “Rules of the Road” for smart and safe use of digital media. The tips include guarding privacy and protecting one’s identity while online, balancing time spent in cyberspace and thinking before texting or posting material online.

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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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