The animated series starring Disney’s first little girl princess, “Sofia the First,” the reigning cable TV series among Kids 2-5, Girls 2-5 and Boys 2-5, has been ordered for a second season on Disney Junior, the daily programming block for preschoolers and parents on Disney Channel, as well as the burgeoning 24-hour channel, Disney Junior. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide. In addition to its regal standing with the youngest viewers, “Sofia the First” is also the #1 preschooler cable TV series in Total Viewers and Women 18-49, a key indicator of parental approval.
“Sofia the First” stories show young viewers just what makes a real princess — the inner character of kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty and grace. Viewers follow as Princess Sofia, an ordinary little girl, learns how to adjust to royal life after her mom marries the king.
Kanter said, “We are so proud of the strong connection our young viewers and their parents have forged with Sofia. While she and her family live in a magical make-believe world, the storytelling and relatable everyday themes have struck a chord with our audience and has created demand not only for more stories, but to extend the ‘Sofia the First’ experience beyond the screen.”
Extensions of the hit series include the illustrated storybook Sofia the First from Disney Press, and the record-breaking TV movie “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess” which will be released on DVD by The Walt Disney Studios today. The “Sofia the First: Story Theater” app has held the #1 spot in the iPad and iPhone Books category five of the seven weeks it has been in the marketplace, and the “Sofia the First” soundtrack from Walt Disney Records is #1 on iTunes Top 10 Children’s Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard’s Kid Albums chart. An exclusive “Sofia the First” product line is in Disney Stores and a full “Sofia the First” line including apparel and toys will launch at major retailers nationwide this summer.
“Sofia the First” is also now a prominent part of the popular “Disney Junior Live on Stage!” attraction at Disney’ Hollywood Studios in Florida and will be added to the attraction at Disney California Adventure later this month. The Sofia character is scheduled to make her Disney Parks debut this summer.
The TV series airs daily during the Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel and on the 24-hour Disney Junior channel. The series stars the voices of Ariel Winter as Sofia, the young princess in training; Sara Ramirez as Queen Miranda, Sofia’s loyal and caring mother; Wayne Brady as Clover, Sofia’s wise-talking rabbit sidekick, and Tim Gunn as Baileywick, the castle’s royal steward. Craig Gerber (“Pixie Hollow Games”) developed the series and serves as executive producer and story editor. Jamie Mitchell (“Special Agent Oso”) is executive producer and director. John Kavanaugh (“Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo”) serves as songwriter/music director and Kevin Kliesch (“Tangled Ever After”) is the composer. “Sofia the First” is a production of Disney Television Animation.
* Source: NTI, U.S. ratings, most current
ABC today announced that ‘The Bachelorette,’ now in its ninth season, will premiere on Monday, May 20th at 9:00 pm ET/PT, before moving to its regular time slot of 8:00 pm ET the following week. The identity of the latest Bachelorette will be revealed during ‘The Bachelor: After the Final Rose,’ which airs live on Monday, March 11 at 10:01 pm ET/PT.
In addition, the new drama ‘Mistresses,’ starring Alyssa Milano will premiere on Monday, May 27 at 10:00 pm ET/PT. Based on the hit UK television series of the same name, ‘Mistresses’ is a provocative and thrilling drama about the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery: Savannah (‘Savi’), a successful career woman working toward the next phase in her life, both professionally and personally; Savi’s free-spirited and capricious baby sister, Josslyn; their friends April, a recent widow and mother of a ten-year-old daughter, and Karen, a therapist with her own thriving practice. These four friends find support and guidance with each other as they brave their turbulent journeys and life’s storms of excitement, secrecy and betrayal, all the while bound by the complex relationships they’ve created.
“Mistresses” stars Alyssa Milano as Savannah (‘Savi’) Davis, Yunjin Kim as Karen Kim, Rochelle Aytes as April Malloy, Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver, Brett Tucker as Harry Davis, Jason George as Dominic Taylor and Erik Stocklin as Sam Grey.
This season’s dynamic lineup of stars — including a country music legend, a figure skating champion, a boxing dynamo, an Olympic Gold medalist and the youngest contestant to ever compete on the show – will perform for the first time on live national television with their professional partners during the two-hour season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” MONDAY, MARCH 18 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
As announced this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America” by “Dancing with the Stars” hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet, the 11 celebrities, with their professional partners, heading to the dance floor this season (in alphabetical order) are:
ZENDAYA COLEMAN — Multi-talented actress and singer Zendaya Coleman stars as Raquel “Rocky” Blue, one half of the comedic duo in the hit Disney Channel series “Shake It Up!,” and is currently recording her debut album on Hollywood Records. Born September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California, Coleman grew up as part of the California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, where her mother works as the House Manager. In addition to training at the theater’s student conservatory program and later performing in numerous stage productions, Coleman helped her mom seat patrons and sell raffle tickets to benefit the theater. While attending the Oakland School for the Arts, she starred as Little Ti Moune in “Once on This Island” at the Berkley Playhouse, and in the breakout role of the male character Joe in “Caroline, or Change” at Palo Alto’s TheaterWorks. She also studied at the CalShakes Conservatory program and at the American Conservatory Theater. Coleman has performed around the world, including at the White House and in the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and she tours select cities with her Z-Swagg Dancers and Singers. The name Zendaya is derived from the word that means “to give thanks” in Shona (a Bantu language native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe). Coleman has been a fashion model for Macy’s, Mervyns and Old Navy, and was also one of the back-up dancers in a Sears commercial featuring Disney Channel star Selena Gomez. She now resides in Los Angeles, California with her family and dog, a giant Schnauzer named Midnight. ZENDAYA COLEMAN partners with VAL CHMERKOVSKIY.
ANDY DICK — Andy Dick is an American comedian, actor, writer, director, musician and producer. Dick grew up in the Chicago area, where he was involved in numerous stage productions. During his senior year of high school, his love of performing proved decisive, as he was elected homecoming king. His first regular television role was on the short-lived but influential “Ben Stiller Show.” Dick was a mainstay on network television from 1995-2006 on NBC’s “NewsRadio” and ABC’s “Less Than Perfect.” In 2001 he wrote, directed, produced and starred in “The Andy Dick Show” for MTV. He has also starred in a number of feature films, including “In the Army Now,” “Employee of the Month” and “The Hebrew Hammer.” In addition he has made memorable appearances in feature films such as “Zoolander,” “The Cable Guy,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Road Trip,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” “Old School” and “Funny People.” Most recently Dick has had guest appearances on NBC’s “Community,” FX’s “Legit,” the Netflix original series “Bad Samaritans” and CBS’ “Two Broke Girls.” He can regularly be seen performing at theaters and comedy clubs across the country. ANDY DICK joins first-time professional partner SHARNA BURGESS.
DOROTHY HAMILL — Dorothy Hamill captured the Gold medal at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria at the age of 19. Overnight she became one of those rare champions who transcends her sport and captures the country’s imagination. Still, she has said she is most proud of her World Championship title in Gothenburg, Sweden, which followed her Olympic win; at the time, everyone advised her to retire from amateur competition, saying that even a second-place finish would tarnish the lustre of her Olympic Gold. Characteristically, once she had set her mind to it, she would not be dissuaded, and she won. As a professional Hamill has skated with many productions, including the Ice Capades for eight years. Four ABC primetime television specials have been produced in her honor, and she has produced and starred in her own touring productions of “Cinderella – Frozen in Time,” “Hansel, Gretel, the Witch and the Cat” and “Nutcracker on Ice.” She won an Emmy Award for her lead role in “Romeo and Juliet.” Hamill has been inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame and the Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She was very proud to run the torch at Olympic Stadium in Salt Lake City in 2002 and to skate the closing ceremonies with vocalist Harry Connick Jr. Recently she released her memoir, A Skating Life: My Story, which made the New York Times bestseller list. DOROTHY HAMILL partners with TRISTAN MacMANUS.
D.L. HUGHLEY — D.L Hughley, one of the most popular and highly recognized standup comedians on the road today, has also made quite an impression in the television, film and radio arenas. First and foremost a standup comedian, his fifth standup special, “Reset,” premiered on Showtime in 2012 and is currently available on DVD. Also in the fall of 2012, Hughley penned his first book. He can be seen in the comedic documentary special for Comedy Central entitled “D.L. Hughley: The Endangered List.” Known for being astute and politically savvy, Hughley served as host of the late-night talk show “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News” on CNN. He was both star and producer of his namesake television show that ran on ABC and UPN, “The Hughleys.” One of the standout comedians of the hit comedy docu-film “The Original Kings of Comedy” and a veteran of numerous talk show appearances, Hughley switched the tables in 2005, hosting his own talk show, “Weekends at the DL,” on Comedy Central. In addition he has headlined several comedy specials, including “D.L. Hughley: Going Home,” “D.L. Hughley Live,” “Shocked & Appalled” and the recent “Unapologetic.” D.L. HUGHLEY partners with CHERYL BURKE.
JACOBY JONES — Jacoby Jones is a professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens, the 2013 Super Bowl Champions. He began his professional career after being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2009 and was signed by the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. Career highlights include matching an NFL record with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Jones is also the first Raven to post multiple kickoff returns for a touchdown in one season, and is the current record holder for the longest touchdown at the Super Bowl. Career honors include AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, AFC Special Teams Player of the Month, the Associated Press first-team All-Pro and the PFW/PFWA first team All-Pro. Jones was recently featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. JACOBY JONES partners with KARINA SMIRNOFF.
WYNONNA JUDD — Five-time Grammy winner and New York Times bestselling author Wynonna Judd has always revolved her career around telling stories. Whether performing alongside her mother as one half of the legendary duo The Judds or pushing the boundaries on her own mega-successful solo path, Judd’s ability to reach the heart of the human spirit through her bold and unflinching honesty is the entertainer’s true gift. Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and to her undeniable talent, Judd’s rich and commanding voice has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide over her epic 29-year career. Charting countless singles, including 20 No. 1 hits and over 60 industry awards, the iconic performer was once dubbed by Rolling Stone “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.” Joined in the studio by her husband, bandleader and producer Michael “Cactus” Moser, Judd’s highly anticipated eighth studio album is scheduled for release this year. This effort, a true labor of love, features her upcoming single “Something You Can’t Live Without,” released by Curb Records. Most recently she published a novel, Restless Heart, and was part of “The Judds” docu-series on OWN. WYNONNA JUDD partners with TONY DOVOLANI.
VICTOR ORTIZ — Victor Ortiz is a living, breathing example of the American dream. From a broken home in a small town in Kansas to the bright lights of the boxing ring, Ortiz has used every obstacle he has encountered along his journey to fuel his strength and attain his dreams. As former Welterweight boxing champion, Ortiz finally found his life’s calling as a world class athlete. The nickname “Vicious” describes Ortiz when he’s in the ring, but his million-dollar smile is a preview to his heart of gold. His ability to connect with people on a human level has kept the spotlight from blinding him. Realizing the importance of hard work, dedication and family at an early age, Ortiz always finds a way to give back. VICTOR ORTIZ partners with newcomer LINDSAY ARNOLD.
KELLIE PICKLER — Kellie Pickler grew up immersed in country music in the small town of Albemarle, North Carolina with the words of Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton shaping her musical footing. At the age of 19 she gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of “American Idol,” and in 2006 signed to 19 Recordings/BNA Records to release her debut, “Small Town Girl,” which went on to sell over 800,000 copies and produce three singles — “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.” In 2008 Pickler released her self-titled sophomore record featuring hits “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” “Best Days of Your Life” (co-written with Taylor Swift and her first Top 10) and “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You.” Having established herself as not only a powerful vocalist but also a songwriter, Pickler released her third studio album, “100 Proof,” last year with famed producer Frank Liddell and Luke Wooten. The album earned recognition as one of the “Best of 2012″ by Rolling Stone and The Washington Post. She has performed on six USO Tours, including one to Afghanistan in December 2012. Newly signed to Black River Entertainment, Pickler is poised to release a new single and album in 2013. KELLIE PICKLER partners with DEREK HOUGH.
INGO RADEMACHER — Soap Opera star Ingo Rademacher is best known to audiences as the charismatic Jasper “Jax” Jacks on ABC’s “General Hospital.” Rademacher originated the role of “Jax,” having first aired on “General Hospital” in January of 1996. His other television credits include “Hawaii Five-O,” “Titans,” “Veronica’s Closet” and “According to Jim.” As an athlete, Rademacher has amassed an extraordinary list of accomplishments: As a youth, he was a ski champion and a competitive equestrian. As an adult, he has competed at a high level in beach volleyball and triathlons (winner of the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, celebrity division, for three consecutive years). He took the pole position in the 2005 Long Beach Grand Prix and he recently completed the grueling 32 mile Molokai to Oahu “Channel of Bones” stand-up paddle board race — all this when he wasn’t on the track racing dirt bikes or street bikes. Rademacher moved to Hawaii in 2012 to pursue his passion for the sport of stand-up paddle board racing. He and his wife, Ehiku, have two sons, Peanut and Pohaku. INGO RADEMACHER partners with KYM JOHNSON.
ALEXANDRA RAISMAN — Just 18 years old, Alexandra Raisman captained the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team to its first team Gold medal since the 1996 Olympic Games. She added the United States’ first ever Gold medal in the floor exercise and also won a bronze on the balance beam, making her the most decorated American gymnast in London. A respected leader, Raisman backboned the women’s victory in the team event at the 2011 World Championships, where they upset Russia to win Gold for the first time since 2007. In her career Raisman has accumulated 19 international medals and eight U.S. Senior National Championship medals, earning a reputation as one of Team USA’s most consistent performers. The eldest of four kids in her family, she comes from a Jewish background and famously performed her Gold medal-winning floor exercise to the traditional Jewish wedding song, “Hava Nagila,” for which she earned worldwide recognition in the Jewish community. Since returning from London, she has been named Bostonian of the Year by The Boston Globe, was a presenter at the “Video Music Awards,” appeared on “Fashion Police” and most recently won an award at the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards. In her free time, Raisman can be found shopping, reading fashion magazines, hanging out with friends and family, or listening to some of her favorite music. ALEXANDRA RAISMAN partners with MARK BALLAS.
LISA VANDERPUMP — Hailing from London, restaurateur, designer, author, philanthropist, producer and television personality Lisa Vanderpump moved to the United States eight years ago. Vanderpump is best known for “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” which she joined in 2010. In 2013 Bravo launched her reality television show, “Vanderpump Rules,” exploring the intricacies of owning SUR, a sexy, unique restaurant in West Hollywood. The show follows Vanderpump as she balances her motherly instincts with a shrewd business sense while keeping the passionate and volatile staff at her West Hollywood restaurant in line. After years as a restaurateur, Vanderpump showcased her passion for food, decor and lifestyle in her bestselling book, Simply Divine: A Guide to Easy, Elegant and Affordable Entertaining. Vanderpump serves as a contributor to Beverly Hills Lifestyle magazine. She lives in Beverly Hills with her husband, Ken Todd, and their four dogs. They have two grown children, Pandora and Maxfield. LISA VANDERPUMP partners with newcomer GLEB SAVCHENKO.
“Dancing with the Stars” and “Dancing with the Stars: the Results Show” returns this season with new surprises and all the performance elements viewers have come to know and love. “Macy’s Stars of Dance,” featuring some of the best choreographers and performers from the different styles of dance who offer viewers performances that represent the pinnacle of achievement in their genres, will return.
The show also welcomes the return of the “AT&T Spotlight Performance,” which features and celebrates people whose lives have been changed forever by dance. AT&T is also helping the search to find these performers by allowing fans to nominate potential dancers.
Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday night during and up to 60 minutes after the “Dancing with the Stars” performance shows. AT&T customers may also vote by texting the word “VOTE” and entering the number that corresponds to the team they want to support (message and data rates may apply). Online voting at www.ABC.com is open from the start of each episode on the East Coast and closes at 11:00 a.m., ET / 8:00 a.m., PT on Tuesday mornings. Additionally, fans can again vote on Facebook www.facebook.com/dancingwiththestars. A custom Facebook app sponsored by AT&T will let fans vote, share who they voted for and why, as well as see who friends voted for. They can also access the “Dancing with the Stars” Social Scene page, and the “AT&T Spotlight Performance” and Casting Call from the app.
ABC Family will celebrate spring with the world premiere of the original movie Lovestruck: The Musical (formerly known as Elixir), premiering on April 21 at 8:00 pm ET/PT. Lovestruck: The Musical also features a stellar creative team in producer Debra Martin Chase and Terry Rossio, writers Terry Rossio & Jaylynn Bailey, choreographer Michael Rooney and director Sanaa Hamri.
Lovestruck: The Musical tells the story of Harper (Jane Seymour), one of the best dancers to hit Broadway. But an injury caused her to leave the spotlight, become a choreographer, and raise her daughter, Mirabella (Sara Paxton). When Mirabella, the star of Harper’s next big production, decides to quit the show to get married, her mother is determined to put a stop to the wedding and show Mirabella that she cannot give up her career for love, especially to marry playboy Marco (Alexander DiPersia). After the long flight to the Italian wedding site, Harper takes a swig from a strange bottle that is supposed to dull the pain of an old dance injury. Instead, the elixir magically turns Harper 30 years younger.
Harper’s younger appearance (Chelsea Kane plays Young Harper) allows her to secretly infiltrate the wedding – only to confront a huge obstacle in Mirabella’s father, Ryan (Tom Wopat), who can recognize his ex-wife in any form. After he too experiences the reverse-aging effects of the elixir (Drew Seeley plays Young Ryan), Ryan teams with Harper to reverse the damage she’s done to Mirabella and Marco’s relationship, hopefully in time to save the wedding.
A digital only soundtrack will be available featuring the cast covering pop hits, including Lady Gaga’s ‘Just Dance,’ Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin,’ Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ and Usher’s ‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love,’ among others, as well as original songs. The soundtrack will be available on iTunes in advance of the movie’s premiere.
Michael Riley, president, ABC Family, today announced the pick-up of two reality series, ‘Dancing Fools,’ which will be hosted by Melissa Peterman, star of the network’s hit comedy series, ‘Baby Daddy,’ and a docu-soap, ‘The Vineyard’ (working title). Production on both series will begin this spring.
‘Dancing Fools’ is a half-hour unscripted comedy hosted by Melissa Peterman, who also stars in ABC Family’s ‘Baby Daddy’ and in the upcoming ABC reality series, ‘Bet on Your Baby.’ Created and executive-produced by Phil Gurin (‘The Singing Bee,’ ‘Oh Sit’), the series is produced by the Gurin Company.
‘The Vineyard,’ a dramatic coming-of-age docu-soap, follows a handful of 20-somethings in Martha’s Vineyard for the summer. Tight quarters, new friends and new rivals, all living, working and playing together, make this picturesque playground ripe for mischief and romance. ‘The Vineyard’ is created and executive-produced by Dave Broome (‘Biggest Loser’) and Brian Smith (‘Masterchef’). The series is produced by 25/7 Productions.
Both reality series will premiere this summer with the recently announced one hour dramas ‘The Fosters,’ from executive producer Jennifer Lopez, and ‘Twisted,’ from executive producer Gavin Polone.
TOY FAIR: Mattel Previews ‘Planes,’ ‘Cars,’ ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Sofia the First,’ ‘The Little Mermaid’ and More
Just ahead of the American International Toy Fair in New York City, Mattel has shared some upcoming product information offering glimpses into some of its upcoming 2013 products from the Disney universe.
Disney/Pixar Cars Fast-Flip Raceway. Kids can take their Micro Drifters vehicles — featuring their favorite characters from Disney/Pixar’s Cars — from Radiator Springs to the Piston Cup Race with this new track set! With a press of a button the action is started, launching vehicles around Willy’s Butte, where they can race, drift and swarm — just like in the movies. Time it right, and the set will flip to reveal the Piston Cup Race. It”s a perfect way for kids to catch the drift! MSRP: $24, Available July 2013
Disney/Pixar Toy Story 4-Inch Basic Figure Playset. Kids can blast off to planet fun with this tabletop play set! Inspired by Buzz Lightyear’s Spaceship, the item opens up to reveal a multi-level play set. Kids can battle enemies with working projectiles, hold prisoners in the collapsible jail and enjoy space jaunts with the space walking wire. An elevator and Captain’s cockpit add creature comforts for the crew. MSRP: $29.99, Available July 2013
Disney Planes Pilot Pals™ Dusty Crophopper Remote Control Plane. Kids can have high-flying fun recreating the action seen in Disney’s Planes with this RC vehicle that offers role-play remote control, which means the plane moves when they do! Push the button to set its propeller spinning and move it forward, then use the two controllers — one for each wing — to tilt the wings and control its movement through mimicry. Sounds and phrases amp up the action for a thrilling air-venture! MSRPL ARP: $39.99, Available August 2013
Disney Planes Sky Track Challenge™ Track Set. It’s an air-venture for Planes fans! The five-feet of track on this set includes obstacles like a mountain tunnel and crash zone. Planes clip in to the tracks with universal plugs and can be launched for side-by-side racing action with amazing speed and impressive barrel rolls. The first to complete the race is automatically diverted to the winner’s circle -– with a giant shiny trophy –- triggering the checkered flag! Includes one Planes vehicle. MSRP: $29.99, Available August 2013
Disney Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends. Wearing her very special amulet from the King, Sofia can understand and talk with animals — just like in the Disney Jr. series. Dressed in her signature princess gown, this Sofia 10 1/2″ doll can recognize and talk with three of her best animal friends: Clover the Rabbit, Robin the Robin and Mia the Bluebird. When girls bring each animal close to Sofia’s amulet, it glows, and Sofia can recognize and talk to each beloved friend and get unique responses in return! With multiple character-specific phrases from Sofia and her animal friends, it’s endless interactive friendship fun! MSRP: $39.99, Available July 2013
Disney Sofia the First Magical Talking Castle. With so many play areas and hidden surprises, the Magical Talking Castle is the perfect place for the charming Sofia the First to call home. When girls place Sofia or Clover the Rabbit on the castle’s special base, they can ‘magically’ hear phrases said in each character’s voice. But that’s just the beginning: Bring in other 3″ dolls and figures from across the line to bring Sofia’s world to life and unlock even more character phrases. Girls can extend an outdoor play level and footbridge to Enchancia and explore the castle grounds, or take Sofia and Clover on a picnic. Inside the castle, Sofia can glide down the staircase, enjoy royal dancing and dining in the ballroom, or find Clover hiding in the window seat. With another day of princess training about to end, all that’s left for Sofia to do is have sweet dreams in her lavish royal bedroom. Castle includes furniture, Sofia doll and Clover figure. Other dolls and figures sold separately. MSRP: $59.99, Available July 2013
Disney Princess Ariel Royal Ship. Girls will love playing out all of Ariel’s adventures at sea! Aboard her two-level, expandable ship, Ariel can steer from the top deck or slide below to her underwater world; complete with purple vanity and mermaid-princess bed, jelly fish chandelier, treasure chest and various ‘treasures’ to store in this secret hiding place. Find magical surprises, such as her best friend Sebastian who is hiding under the serving platter, or say hello to Flounder who is swimming outside, just like in the movie. Dolls sold separately. MSRP: $49.99, Available July 2013
Disney Princess Mermaid-to-Princess Ariel. Girls will be delighted to re-create Ariel’s unforgettable transformation from mermaid to princess — over and over again! Magically transform Ariel into a princess by pulling her skirt over her tail to reveal a shimmery pink gown. Then, transform her back into a mermaid by pulling down on her sparkly tail. To further add to the fairytale fun, Ariel ‘sings’ two different songs from the movie as she transforms! MSRP: $24.99, Available July 2013
Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle. The Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle is more enchanting than ever! This brand new castle includes fairytale-themed rooms for all girls’ favorite princesses — including a bedroom for Rapunzel and a spiraling hair ‘elevator’ for her and her princess friends to go up and down. The castle also comes to life with the Disney Magic Mirror App (Available on the App Store?). When girls scan the castle’s defined labels with an iOS device they unlock and trigger activities in each princess’ room and around the outside of the castle. The three-story castle also includes a charming kitchen where Snow White can ‘bake,’ a fancy dining room for Belle to serve her guests, a bathroom for Ariel to lounge in the tub, a sewing room for Cinderella to make pretty dresses, and a royal vanity for Sleeping Beauty to get ready. With so many areas of play, more than 30 accessory pieces, and the new augmented reality app, it’s the ultimate castle for any Disney Princess to call home. Dolls sold separately. MSRP: $189.99, Available June 2013
The 110th annual American International Toy Fair kicks off this weekend. Be sure to follow @StitchKingdom on Twitter to keep up with the latest in Disney toys from Mattel and others.
Michael Riley, president, ABC Family, today announced the pick-up of two, one-hour drama pilots, ‘The Fosters,’ from executive producer Jennifer Lopez, and ‘Twisted’ (formerly ‘Socio’) from executive producer Gavin Polone. Production on both series will begin this spring for summer premieres. Additional pick-ups will be announced later this month.
‘ABC Family is synonymous with groundbreaking storytelling and iconic characters,’ said Riley. ‘These new shows will bring the same depth, heart, close relationships and authenticity that our viewers have come to expect and, will pair nicely with our already established pop culture hits.’
From executive producer Jennifer Lopez and created by Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige, who will also serve as writers and executive producers, ‘The Fosters’ stars Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Jake T. Austin, Hayden Byerly, David Lambert, newcomer Maia Mitchell (star of Disney Channel’s upcoming Teen Beach Movie), Danny Nucci and Cierra Ramirez (‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’). The series is a one-hour drama about a multi-ethnic family mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Joanna Johnson (‘Make it or Break it’), Simon Fields, Benny Medina and Greg Gugliotta will also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by Nuyorican Productions, Inc., and Prodco, Inc.
‘Twisted’ (formerly ‘Socio’) is a one-hour mystery full of twists and turns that is centered on a charismatic 16-year-old with a troubled past who recently reconnected with his two female best friends from childhood. He becomes the prime suspect when a fellow student is surprisingly found dead in her home. The series will be executive-produced by Gavin Polone, David Babcock and Adam Milch, who also wrote the pilot. The drama stars Avan Jogia, Maddie Hasson, Kylie Bunbury, Kimberly Quinn, Sam Robards, newcomer Ashton Moio and Denise Richards. The series is produced by Prodco, Inc.
Anthony E. Zuiker, the creator of the ‘CSI’ franchise, begins production on his first primetime reality series ‘Whodunnit?’ Cris Abrego partners with Zuiker for the new nine-episode summer alternative series, which is produced by Zuiker’s Dare to Pass and 51 Minds. The series puts 13 contestants’ investigative skills to the test in a new mystery reality competition this summer on ABC.
Each week, players will use a variety of crime scene investigation techniques to meticulously uncover evidence that will ultimately reveal who among them is the killer. The interactive series will pit 13 amateur sleuths against each other in a quest to solve a series of puzzling murders. Some will form alliances and others will choose to go it alone just to get them closer to the grand prize. The contestants will reside on a glamorous estate where each week they must solve a new crime in order to advance in the game. Failure to solve the crime will lead to each player’s demise until only three are left. In the final episode, one player will unmask the killer and take home the $250,000 prize.
‘I’ve built a career telling crime stories, and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, especially from “CSI,” it’s that the audience loves to solve the mystery,’ said Zuiker. ‘”Whodunnit?” allows everyday fans to be in the show themselves and get the chance every week to do what they love best, which is ultimately solve the case.’
‘”Whodunnit?” takes the best elements from the timelessly entertaining narrative form, the murder mystery, and infuses it with all the contemporary energy of a competition based reality show,’ added Abrego. ‘The mystery fans who suddenly find themselves in the middle of an unfolding murder mystery won’t actually be playing for their lives, of course, but they’ll certainly feel like they are, and it promises to be just as engaging and suspenseful for the viewers at home.’
ABC, Ben Silverman’s multimedia studio Electus, and Emmy Award-winning 5×5 Media (‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,’ ‘Fashion Star,’ ‘Supernanny’), today announced ‘Bet On Your Baby,’ a new primetime game show in which parents try to predict their child’s next move in an effort to win money for their child’s future education. Hosted by Melissa Peterman (who continues to star in ABC Family’s hit series ‘Baby Daddy’), the series is slated to air on ABC in April 2013.
Every parent thinks they know their baby well, but are they willing to bet on it? ‘Bet On Your Baby’ will reveal the answer to that question each week in an hour-long program featuring five families with toddlers between the ages of two and three and a half years old. Each family will play a self-contained, individual challenge against the house — meaning they’re only competing against themselves, and not against other babies. At the end of the show, the five families return to play the college round for the chance to win $50,000 towards a college education for their child.
ABC has ordered eight episodes of the series, with additional creative and prizing details to be revealed at a later date.
ABC has also picked up ‘Motive,’ a thrilling crime drama from the executive producer of ‘Dexter’ and ‘The Mentalist,’ with a unique twist focusing not on who did the crime, but why the crime was committed in the first place.
When murder is committed, Angie Flynn, a loving, single mother and a damned good detective, along with her partner, Detective Oscar Vega, are on the case, looking for clues that will lead them to the killer. But ‘Motive’ turns the tried-and-true crime drama formula on its head by identifying the killer and victim at the beginning of each episode. These storylines are then further explored via stylized flashbacks which piece together more of the mysterious connection between the two characters and what drove the killer to commit murder.
‘Motive’ stars Kristin Lehman (‘The Killing,’ ‘Judging Amy’) as Detective Angie Flynn, Louis Ferreira (‘SGU Stargate Universe,’ ‘Rookie Blue’) as Detective Oscar Vega, Lauren Holly (‘NCIS,’ ‘Chicago Hope,’ ‘Picket Fences’) as Dr. Betty Rogers, Roger Cross (’24,’ ‘Arrow’) as Staff Sergeant Boyd Bloom, Brendan Penny as Detective Brian Lucas and Cameron Bright (‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′) as Manny Flynn.
The 13-episode drama is scheduled to air in Summer 2013 on the ABC Television Network.
Beginning February 1, 2013, Disney Channel and Disney Junior will begin running interstitials titled ‘We Are Doc McStuffins’ in celebration of black history month. The campaign is inspired by and features Dr. Myiesha Taylor, Dr. Aletha Maybank and Dr. Naeemah Ghafur, who created the ‘We Are Doc McStuffins’ movement to celebrate women of color who are doctors, meant to inspire youth.
In support of the Disney Junior series, Dr. Taylor collected pictures of 131 African-American women physicians and sent them in a collage to Disney. Taylor also founded the Artemis Medical Society to provide mentoring, networking opportunities and advocacy for women doctors.
The interstitials will begin airing on Disney Channel and Disney Junior on Friday, February 1 at 10:25 am ET/PT and 4:25 pm ET/PT respectively.