Upfronts 2012: Disney Channel Looking To Hit The Right Notes With Original Programming Slate


Disney Channel touted its new programming lineup and recent ratings success in front of an enthusiastic crowd of kids and advertising executives during an entertaining upfront event in New York City.

Flanked by musical performances from Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) and Coco Jones of Disney's upcoming musical Let It Shine -- as well as from A.N.T. Farm star China Anne McClain and her two sisters -- Disney Channels Worldwide president and Chief Creative Officer Gary Marsh said the network is clicking on all cylinders as it looks to secure its position as the top kids-targeted cable network.

Disney's china McClain

Through the week ending March 11, Disney Channel has won 39 consecutive weeks against its rival Nickelodeon among Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 and has won its fifth win over Nick in the past six weeks among kids 2-11, according to Nielsen.

"With the success that we had I'm pushing our team further and further to take on bigger [programming] risks ," he told the gathering of ad executives, many of whom brought thier kids to the upfront event at the Hard Rock Cafe to meet such stars as Debby Ryan (Disney Channel's Jessie) Laura Marano (Disney Channel's Austin & Ally), Tyrel Jackson Williams (Disney XD's Lab Rats), Bridgit Mendler (Disney Channel's Good Luck Charlie) and  Adam Hicks and Doc Shaw (Disney XD's Pair of Kings).

Among the new Disney Channel shows previewed during the upfront included animated comedy series Wander Over Yonder, about an intergalactic traveler and his best friend who travel from planet to planet helping people have fun against the evil reign of Lord Hater: and Gravity Falls, which follows twins who spend their summer vacation with their eccentric great Uncle Stan.

On the original movie front, Marsh touted the network's upcoming June 15 film Let It Shine, a hip-hop/gospel-tinged drama as an example of the network's continued commitment to infuse kids-appealing musical elements into its original series and movies.

Disney Monday released its full slate of new series and movies for Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior.