New York— While continuing to upgrade the lineups on its ad-supported, kids-targeted cable networks, Disney ABC Cable Networks Group isn’t forgetting to fortify its preschool-programming ranks.
Gary Marsh, executive vice president of original programming and production at Disney ABC Cable Networks Group, unveiled a raft of new series last week at the unit’s upfront presentation to advertisers here — a slate that includes a half-dozen new shows for commercial-free Disney Channel’s “Playhouse Disney” block.
ADDS FOR ADS
Having significantly raised its profile among boys with “Jetix” — the action-programming block that airs on Toon Disney and ABC Family — the group wants to maintain its momentum among that demographic. It has placed a first-season order of 26 episodes of new original animated show Get Ed, scheduled for a fall debut.
It also picked up three original series: Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, W.I.T.C.H. and Power Rangers: Mystic Force.
Disney ABC Cable Network Group officials say 79% of “Jetix” viewers on ABC Family are 2-to-11-year-old boys — the highest concentration of that demo among all kids’ TV platforms. On Toon Disney, the Jetix block delivers a 72% concentration of boys.
Toon Disney will add two animated shows from Disney Channel: Kim Possible and Lilo & Stitch: The Series.
Kim will join in April, while Lilo & Stitch is expected early in 2006.
Overall, Disney’s new shows and fresh installments from existing series will total 675 half-hours of original content across Toon Disney; ABC Family; the “ABC Kids” block on ABC Television Network on Saturday mornings; and Disney Channel.
With the new programming on tap and Disney’s ability to reach a broad range of boy and girl demographics, Disney ABC Cable Networks Group senior vice president of advertising sales and promotion Tricia Wilber said the programmer has secured its share of a “robust scatter marketplace” and upfront dollars in the months ahead.
“Our programming attracts the richest variety of kids in the marketplace,” Wilber said.
Disney Channel will bow a half-dozen original series for preschoolers; six original series aimed at kids aged 6 to 11 and tweens; and six original movies over the next season, according to Marsh.
MICKEY GETS SERIES
The shows set for Playhouse Disney include Little Einsteins, debuting in October, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
The block is also debuting a song-filled hosted hour called Breakfast with Bear. Hosted by the star of Bear in the Big Blue House, it will demonstrate the benefits of healthy living as Bear visits real homes in real cities. It debuts in June.