Playhouse Disney Favorite ‘Chuggington’ Goes Full Steam Ahead Towards Second Season

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Ludorum plc, a leading specialist in the creation of global pre-school children’s IP, announced today that it has licensed the second season of 13 half hour episodes of Chuggington, its successful train-based, CGI-animated series, to Disney Channel for its Playhouse Disney programming block in the United States. The acquisition of the second season follows the success of the first season of 26 half hours which commenced broadcast on Playhouse Disney in January 2010 and currently airs seven days a week. The channel has acquired all U.S. television rights to the property.

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Rita Ferro Named Executive VP of Disney Media Sales and Marketing

Rita Ferro, an executive with a strong track record in advertising sales and promotions, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Disney Media Sales and Marketing, effective June 28. Ms. Ferro will relocate to New York from Miami, where she’s been an integral part of Disney and ESPN’s Latin America business since 1997. She succeeds Tricia Wilber who was recently named Chief Marketing Officer, The Walt Disney Company, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In her new role, Ferro will lead the integrated sales team that represents and maximizes advertising sales, marketing and promotions across The Walt Disney Company’s media platforms serving kids, moms and families, including its kid-driven, family inclusive TV channels, its wide-range of online offerings, its mom-focused publishing business, and its kid- and mom-focused radio platform. The portfolio, consists of Disney Channel, Disney XD, Playhouse Disney (soon to re-brand to Disney Junior), plus over 20 Disney Online properties serving kids, families and/or women including Disney.com, DisneyFamily.com, DisneyChannel.com, RadioDisney.com, Kaboose.com and FamilyFun.com, among others.

Ferro will report to three business unit leaders – Carolina Lightcap, president, Disney Channels Worldwide; Paul Yanover, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Disney Online, and Russell Hampton, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide.

Ms. Lightcap said, “Rita has a great reputation in the advertising community and a strong background in generating strategic opportunities for diverse clients in a dynamic multichannel, multi-brand business.” She continued, “I am excited to be working closely with her again, and know our integrated ad sales team stands to benefit enormously from her keen insights, strong relationships and leadership skills.”

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New Season of Playhouse Disney’s ‘Tasty Time with ZeFronk’ Starts July 19; ‘Imagination Movers’ Get Healthy

Supporting Disney’s ongoing commitment to helping kids and parents achieve healthier lifestyles, Disney Channel will premiere the second season of Playhouse Disney’s popular animated short-form series for parents and preschoolers, “Tasty Time with ZeFronk,” on MONDAY, JULY 19 (9:25 a.m., ET/PT), with new episodes every day throughout the week. Beginning July 6 www.playhousedisney.com will feature all of ZeFronk’s recipes, which are simple creations that kids and their parents or caregivers can make together at home. Kids are also invited to craft personalized recipe books.

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Got leche? Handy Manny to Become Next Spokesperson for Milk

Beginning June 8, Playhouse Disney’s Handy Manny will become the next celebrity to sport a milk mustache as part of the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP)’s ‘Got Milk?’ ad campaign. Print ads will first run in English in magazines such as Disney FamilyFun and People. Later this year, in conjunction with ‘Hispanic Heritage Month,’ Handy Manny will appear in milk ads in Spanish.

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Brad Garrett Joins Second Season of Playhouse Disney’s ‘Special Agent Oso,’ Premiering July 10

Buffo the Buffalo as voiced by Brad Garrett on Disney Channel's 'Special Agent Oso' © DisneyAcademy Award-winning comedy legend Mel Brooks, Emmy Award-winning Brad Garrett and famed Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz guest star in the second season of Disney Channel’s Emmy-nominated Playhouse Disney series, “Special Agent Oso,” starring Academy Award nominee Sean Astin. The season premieres on SATURDAY, JULY 10 (8:00–8:30 a.m. ET/PT), with new episodes every Saturday throughout July and August.

The season will include the introduction of two new special agent characters: Buffo the water buffalo, voiced by Brad Garrett, is a slightly clumsy and excitable inventor charged with creating all of Oso’s special agent gadgets. And Oso finds a new sparring partner in special agent Musa, a mysterious stuffed animal ninja who has taken a vow of silence and dons a traditional keikogi.

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David Arquette Joins Cast of Playhouse Disney’s ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’

David Arquette has joined the cast of Disney Television Animation’s upcoming “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” an interactive series for preschoolers that follows the adventures of classic characters Captain Hook and Smee, along with a new crew of kid pirates led by the enthusiastic and courageous Jake. Arquette will voice the role of Skully, the lookout pirate parrot who helps Jake and crew foil Captain Hook’s plans. “Modern Family’s” Ariel Winter lends her voice to the recurring role of Marina the mermaid. The series will premiere on Playhouse Disney-branded blocks and channels around the world in 2011.

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Disney Channel Orders Third Season of ‘Imagination Movers’, New Album Out June 8

Disney Channel has ordered a third season of its Emmy Award-winning Playhouse Disney series, “Imagination Movers,” starring New Orleans’ favorite alternative rock band for preschoolers. Production on the third season of music-filled episodes will resume in New Orleans in June 2010. The season will also include the first-ever Imagination Movers concert special. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, senior vice president, Playhouse Disney Worldwide.

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Disney Channel Orders Second Season of Playhouse Disney’s ‘Jungle Junction’

A second season of the Playhouse Disney animated series “Jungle Junction” has been ordered by Disney Channel. Produced by Spider Eye Animation in the UK, the season will consist of 26 colorful and interactive new episodes which will begin rolling out on Playhouse Disney platforms around the world in 2011. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, senior vice president, Playhouse Disney Worldwide.

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Disney Channel to Offer Green-Themed Programming Starting April 17

Disney Channel celebrates Earth Day with green-themed episodes of its hit series, each conveying the importance of conservation, recycling and using sustainable natural resources, beginning SATURDAY, APRIL 17.

For the youngest viewers, Disney Channel will present a new episode of “Handy Manny,” an Environmental Media Association Award-winning series, guest starring eco-crusader “Sustainable Dave” Chameides and Lance Bass, and new eco-themed episodes of “Special Agent Oso” and “Imagination Movers.” PlayhouseDisney.com will launch a new “Special Agent Oso” game entitled “Recycling is Forever,” on THURSDAY, APRIL 1, in which kids can help Oso identify, sort and properly place recyclable items in the correct bins to earn a special recycling Digi-Medal.

For older kids and tweens, Disney Channel will feature encore eco-conscious episodes of “Phineas and Ferb,” “Hannah Montana,” “The Suite Life On Deck” and “Wizards of Waverly Place.”

New Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green on-air messages featuring multi-platinum recording artists and actors Joe Jonas (“JONAS”) and Demi Lovato (“Sonny With A Chance”), stressing the importance of protecting the planet’s oceans and waterways, will debut on Earth Day. Kids can add to the more than 1.5 million Friends for Change “pledges” that have already been made by visiting Disney.com/ProjectGreen and committing to help local habitats.

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Handy Manny and the Tools Race to New Primetime Special with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Lance Bass

Handy Manny in 'Handy Manny Big Race'Playhouse Disney’s hit Emmy-nominated series, “Handy Manny,” puts the pedal to the metal with the premiere of the series’ second primetime special, “Handy Manny Big Race,” starring Wilmer Valderrama and guest starring NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. and N’Sync’s Lance Bass, SATURDAY, MARCH 20 (7:00-7:25 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. In this exciting primetime event for preschoolers and parents, Manny and the tools hit the motor speedway as a pit crew for the highly anticipated Wood Valley 500. The announcement was made today by Earnhardt and Valderrama at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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