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Disney, Nick Strike Up the Band

4/30/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Disney Channel and Nickelodeon will look
to strike a musical chord with viewers with original
movies set to debut later this spring.

Kids-and-family-targeted Nickelodeon will pump up
the volume on May 28 with the premiere of Rags, a pop
music-infused retelling of the classic Cinderella tale, starring
Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP; Akeelah and the Bee)
and Kadee Worth and Max Schneider (How to Rock).

A week prior to the launch of the Nick Cannonproduced
movie, the network will release a soundtrack
featuring nine songs from the film, as well as three bonus
tracks available through all digital service providers,
the network said. Original music from the movie was written
by American Idol producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins
(American Idol, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé).

Rags is the second Nickelodeon original movie
this year that featured a musical soundtrack, following
the March 10 premiere of Big Time Movie,
featuring popular boy band Big Time Rush. Big
Time Movie
was a ratings hit for Nickelodeon, averaging
4.1 million viewers for its premiere, and
the soundtrack — with covers of classic Beatles
songs — debuted at No. 44 on the Billboard album
charts.

Nick has also developed successful soundtracks
for several of its hit series, including Victorious, Big
Time Rush
and iCarly.

“We know how vital music is to our audience
and will first introduce them to the original songs
featured in Rags through digital platforms in advance
of the May 28 premiere date,” Doug Cohn,
senior vice president, music and talent at Nickelodeon,
said. “Hitmaker Rodney ‘Darkchild’
Jerkins, who has a stellar track
record writing and producing music for artists
such as Beyoncé and Madonna, wrote the songs
featured in Rags, and Keke Palmer and Max Schneider
knock it out of the park with their performances.”

Disney will roll out its new musical film Let It
Shine
on June 15. The movie, inspired by the love
letters of Cyrano de Bergerac, stars Tyler James
Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) and newcomer
Coco Jones.

The soundtrack for the movie, which will feature
original hip-hop and gospel-themed music, is expected
to be released June 12, according to Disney
executives.

Disney has previously charted success with
original musicals. The tween-targeted network
has aired seven original movies that featured
soundtracks since 2006, most recently the
2011 movie Lemonade Mouth. The self-titled soundtrack
peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Music Charts. The movie
featured Bridget Mendler (Good Luck Charlie) as the leader
of a band of underachievers who find success in music,
and drew 5.6 million viewers to its April 15, 2011, premiere.

“Music plays an important role in kids’ lives and we
choose the artists and music that’s relevant and appealing
to them, while at the same time meeting parents’ approval.
Our producers understand the Disney brand and how
to extend a storyline through music for an audience of kids
and tweens who are avid consumers of music in stores, online
and on radio,” Steven Vincent, vice president of music
and soundtracks at Disney Channel, said. “Let It Shine in
particular is driven by a contemporary soundtrack … the
music is personal yet universal, spans hip-hop and gospel,
and creates both a relatable experience and a desire
to engage in the inspirational story, the songs and dance
again and again.”

September