Disney Nets Refuel Jetix

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Pleased with early viewer returns, ABC Cable Networks will premiere several new kids-themed shows for its boy-friendly Jetix programming block — and Disney Channel is fortifying its original lineup with three new series.

Jetix, which airs daily in primetime on Toon Disney and mornings on ABC Family, will add a trio of new shows this fall. They are: animated action/adventure series Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!; computer-animated Dragon Booster and W.I.T.C.H., a live-action series based on Disney Publishing’s European comic magazine, ABC Kids and Toon Disney senior vice president and general manager Jonathan Barzilay said.

Next fall, Toon Disney also plans to expand its two-month-old Jetix block to 19 hours a week from 12 hours.

ABC Family airs a two-hour block of Jetix-branded fare weekday mornings and a four-hour block on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Jetix, offering such fare as Disney’s The Legend of Tarzan and Power Rangers DinoThunder, has posted viewership gains against prior four-week averages, ABC executives say.

Jetix shows generated a 31% gain among viewers 2 and older; a 25% gain in household ratings; a 33% gain among kids 2 to 11; a 36% gain among boys 2 to 11 and a 56% gain among boys 6 to 11.

Toon Disney also will strip Disney Channel’s popular animated The Proud Family next season in primetime, Barzilay said.

And Disney Channel will add three new series this summer. Phil of the Future, a live-action comedy with Ricky Ullman (Disney’s Pixel Perfect), debuts in June. Animated comedy Disney’s Brandy & Mr. Whiskers starts in August, Disney Channel president of entertainment Rich Ross said.

Also debuting on Disney Channel this year: Disney’s American Dragon: Jake Long, an animated comedy about an Asian-American boy with mystical powers.

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