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Disney Cable Nets Add New Fare

3/01/2005 8:32 AM Eastern

New York -- The trio of The Walt Disney Co.-owned cable networks -- Disney Channel, Toon Disney and ABC Family -- took the wraps off their plans for a variety of new series Tuesday, with at least a half-dozen set for the company’s preschool block.

The core service, Disney Channel, will premiere six original series for preschoolers, six original series for kids 6-11 and tweens and six original movies over the next season, according to Gary Marsh, executive vice president of original programming and production for the Disney ABC Cable Networks Group.

Disney previewed its upfront announcements at a briefing for the press Tuesday.

The series set for “Playhouse Disney,” Disney Channel’s preschool block, include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, as well as Little Einsteins,which debuts in October and aims to spark kids’ curiosity.

The block is also debuting a song-filled hosted hour, Breakfast with Bear.Bear, the star of Bear in the Big Blue House,will demonstrate the benefits of healthy living as he pays visits to real homes in cities across the country. Breakfast with Bear debuts in June.

Other additions to Disney Channel’s roster include live-action comedy The Suite Life of Zack Cody and animated comedies Katbot, Emperor’s New School and The Buzz on Maggie.

The network has also acquired Naturally Sadie, a live-action comedy series about a teen “who doesn’t fit the typical girly-girly mold and couldn’t care less,” according to Disney.

“Jetix,” the action-programmingblock that airs on Toon Disney and ABC Family, has a first-season order of 26 episodes of new original animated show Get Ed.The series debuts this fall.

Toon Disney will add two animated shows from Disney Channel -- Kim Possible and Lilo & Stitch: The Series -- to its lineup. Kim comesto Toon Disney in April, while Lilo & Stitch will be added in early 2006.

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