Da, da, goo, goo...
More expansion of the Disney brand...
Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group announced today that SOAPnet would be replaced with "Disney Junior, a 24 hour cable network designed to appeal to preschool kids in 2012.
The new Disney channel will feature 200 new episodes annually of new television series, the likes of which will be "Jake and the Never Land Pirates;" currently running shows like Mickey "Mouse Clubhouse," "Handy Manny," "Special Agent Oso," "Imagination Movers" and "Jungle Junction," as well as Disney live-action and animated features, including "101 Dalmatians," "Aladdin" and "The Little Mermaid. The "Disney Junior" brand will first be rolled out on Disney Channel's daily programming block for preschoolers, where it will take the place of the Playhouse Disney brand.
I'm not sorry to see SOAPnet go because I've never been a big soap watcher, then again, I've never been a big Playhouse Disney watcher either. This type of programming is meant to appeal to those little crumb crunchers that haven't yet made it to kindergarten. But hey, this line-up looks better to me than the current Disney Channel line-up, but not as good as Disney XD's current and upcoming collection of shows. In fact, that channel is the one I'd be watching. It's going to look quite a bit different by the time the Avengers film comes out.
Junior joining the family could certainly help Iger and Co. get those little tykes while they're young...
The UK, and probably some other countries, have had a channel like this for many years now called Playhouse Disney (it's not a programming block on Disney Channel here). I was quite surprised when I first found out the US didn't have an equivalent of this, guess that's now being corrected!
Having a two year old rejoin our former empty nest has made me appreciate the Playhouse Disney lineup (along with it's counterpart Nick Jr.) Heck, I can even do the Hot Dog Dance! This new channel will be welcome in our household. Now please tell me it will be HD.
It makes sense to launch a preschool-only channel. Nickelodeon has made the same move and then there's stuff like Sprout and Noggin out there too. I'm hoping Disney will utilize some of their older properties that were really great too -- stuff like Bear in the Big Blue House and JoJo's Circus.
Disney really needed to do this. The current Playhouse Disney block ends at Noon. Nick Jr. has a very successful 24 hour schedule. With Disney Jr. going 24 hours, this will definitely help. It gets quite annoying to keep watching the same shows on Nick Jr. over and over again. With Disney Jr. coming on board, my three year old son will have alot more shows to watch.
Which leads to the parks, will the Playhouse Disney show change to Disney Jr.? Same with the breakfast at DHS?
Congrats Disney on finally making the best decision. Getting the kids hooked and also being able to promote the parks as commercials between shows. Woo hoo!!
It seems like Disney doesn't like anything that's not currently being produced. As awesome as it would be if they would air some older shows like Rolie Polie Olie, Bear in the Big Blue House, etc. or maybe even some Saban/Fox Kids-era shows, I just don't see that happening. It'll probably be the exact same as Playhouse Disney now is on Disney Channel, only now on a 24-hour loop (with the occasional break for a feature film). No hope here, then again I'm not in the demographic they're trying to reach.
I have mixed feelings about this. As a parent of young children I am overjoyed because we will have more options later in the day for my kids. Usually we have to settle for PBS Sprout in the early evenings. Now we will have another option.
As a stock holder though, I'm cautious. By separating the channels will young children abandon the Disney channel as they grow older? Right now, they just park it on the Disney channel and will watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the morning and maybe watch an episode of Phineas and Ferb in the afternoon and maybe graduate to Hannah Montana at some point. Will that change once they split the channels? Will kids loyalites change?
Just some thoughts.
Horrible idea. Why is disney destroying the idea of FAMILY entertainment? Why are they so intent on DIVIDING families instead of creating entertainment families can enjoy TOGETHER?
Another LAME idea from Disney.
They could air repeats of the Disney owned "Golden Girls" to take advantage of Betty White's hotness.
Don't give them ideas, the "Golden Girls" would be a perfect program for the Disney Senior channel!
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