Disney Channel has ‘Hocus Pocus’ TV Movie in the Works

Disney Channel is in early stages of development on a Hocus Pocus TV movie, a reimagining of the 1993 cult classic Walt Disney feature, which starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

The new take is being written by Scarlett Lacey (The Royals), with David Kirschner, producer on the original movie, on board to executive produce.

The 1993 film was written by Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris, based on a story by Garris and Kirschner, and directed by zKenny Ortega. Garris hinted at a possibleHocus Pocus TV project in a recent interview.

The new Hocus Pocus iteration will have a new cast and a new director. Ortega, who has directed Disney Channel’s two biggest TV movie franchises, High School Musicaland Descendants, is not involved.

Hocus Pocus chronicles what happens when three villainous witches, played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, are inadvertently resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts. The film has become a cult hit and a staple on Disney Channel and Freeform with annual airings.

Kirschner’s producing credits also include Curious George, An American Tail and The Addams Family.

From Deadline – Hollywood

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DuckTales Announces Premier Date, Unveils Updated Theme Song

There’s been another DuckTales development: A premiere date! A new title sequence! An updated version of the beloved theme song that you already have stuck in your head!

DuckTales Theme Song

Check out the brand new opening credits — plus a nifty series poster — from the hotly anticipated Disney XD revival of the cherished ‘80s toon, which reboots the animated adventures of Scrooge McDuck, nephew Donald, grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, niece-by-affection Webby, and a whole expansive ensemble of heroic and villainous side-ducks.

The series will premiere with a one-hour TV movie — titled “Woo-oo!,” naturally — on Saturday, Aug. 12, which will air 24 times straight, beginning at midnight. A month later, the show will officially get started with two new episodes debuting Sept. 23 on Disney XD, VOD, and the network’s app.

DISNEY XD

Disney has also announced an avatar creation app launching in July, an Angry Birds cameo featuring Donald Duck in August, and a slew of comic and book titles rolling out from July to well into 2018.

The voice cast of DuckTales features — get ready — David Tennant, Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, Bobby Moynihan, Kate Micucci, Beck Bennett, Toks Olagundoye, Tony Anselmo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Allison Janney, Margo Martindale, Paul F. Tompkins, Kimiko Glenn, Jim Rash, Josh Brener, Keith Ferguson, Eric Bauza, and Corey Burton. The new theme song was recorded by Felicia Barton and written by Mark C. Mueller.

None of the aforementioned are actual ducks, but you hopefully knew that.

From Entertainment Weekly

‘Star Wars Rebels’ Renewed For Season 4 By Disney XD

Star Wars Rebels will return. Disney XD has ordered a fourth season of the praised animated series from Lucasfilm. Production is underway for premiere later this fall. Further details will be revealed during Star Wars Celebration in Orlando next month, according to the network.

Currently in its third season, Star Wars Rebels was Disney XD’s No.1 series in Total Viewers and its No.1 animated series across key kid and boy demos in 2016. The series also generated more than 60 million consumer engagements across digital platforms.

Star Wars Rebels is created by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Carrie Beck. The Lucasfilm Animation production is executive produced by Filoni and Kinberg.

The Season 3 voice cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Steve Blum as Zeb, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Taylor Gray as Ezra, Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex, David Oyelowo as Agent Kallus, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, Sam Witwer as Maul, Tom Baker as Bendu and Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn.

“The team behind Star Wars Rebels delivers epic storytelling that has captivated fans of all ages across the globe,” said Marc Buhaj, senior vice president, Programming and general manager, Disney XD. “We’re excited to continue sharing the journey of these fan-favorite Rebels with our audience in the fall.”

From Deadline

Disney Channel Cancels ‘Girl Meets World’

A week after cast member Rider Strong said as much on his podcast, Disney has announced that Girl Meets World has been canceled. The sequel series to the earlier Boy Meets World will end with the conclusion of its third season.

“Disney Channel will present the series finale of “Girl Meets World” on FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 (6:00 p.m. EST). In the episode, “Girl Meets Goodbye,” the Matthews family contemplates a life-changing decision,” the network said in a statement. “We are proud that for over 70 episodes, Michael Jacobs, April Kelly and the talented creative team, cast and crew entertained viewers with an authentic and heartfelt look at navigating adolescence.”

Past month, Strong revealed the cancelation on his podcast Literary Disco, saying “We finished the third season of Girl Meets World — my brother and I were directing a lot of episodes and I acted in a couple — and the show ended.”

The season finale, “Girl Meets Goodbye”, will also showcase a big Boy Meets Worldreunion with Strong, Ben Savage, William Daniels, Will Friedle, Anthony Tyler Quinn, Lee Norris, Danny McNulty, William Russ, and Betsy Randle all appearing.

From Deadline

Disney is Bringing Back ‘Muppet Babies’

The Muppet Babies are returning to TV for more make-believe adventures.

Disney has announced it has begun production on a reimagined version of the classic kid series. The series, which will be CG animated, is slated to air in 2018 on Disney Junior.

“Bringing ‘Muppet Babies’ to Disney Junior is a wonderful opportunity to reach a new generation of viewers and to creatively build on the innovative original series,” said Debbie McClellan, vice president of The Muppets Studio, in a statement. “We hope to engage and delight the nostalgic fans while also entertaining new kids, parents and diverse audiences through heart and humor as only the Muppets can deliver.”

The original series — “Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies” — ran for seven seasons from 1984-91 on CBS. The animated show followed Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and their other pint-sized Muppet pals as they went on imaginary adventures within the walls of their playroom.

Disney acquired the rights to the Muppets in 2004.

The new show, geared toward children ages 4-7, is a co-production between Disney Junior, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media’s Content & Media group, and The Muppets Studio.

The return of “Muppet Babies” continues the trend of networks and studios digging into their content vaults to find shows with nostalgia value.

Disney is set to premiere a new version of “DuckTales” in 2017. Nickelodeon has a TV movie based on the “Legends of the Hidden Temple” premiering in November, a “Hey, Arnold” TV movie in 2017, and a TV special based on classic ’90s animated program, “Rocko’s Modern Life” in the works.

Disney Shakes Up Christmas Parade Special…Filming to Begin in Early November

Disney will be shaking up its traditional Christmas Day parade this year.  It appears that instead of a single show Disney will be going with a series of specials airing throughout November and December.

Filming will take place from November 9th through the 13th at all four Walt Disney World theme parks. The parade itself will be filmed exclusively at Disneyland, with Disney World hosting stage show performances.

Guests will be able to view the filming, which will take place during regular park hours, but there will not be tickets made available for guests to be in the audience.

Look for the specials to air on both ABC and Disney Channel throughout November and December.

Disney Releases First Look at New ‘DuckTales’ Series

Looks like life will be like a hurricane in Duckberg once more. Not only is Disney’s DuckTales set to return with an all-new animated series in 2017, but Disney has just given us our first official look at Scrooge McDuck’s team.

Disney has unveiled the first art for the new DuckTales series, viewable above. Huey, Dewey, Louie, Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, and what appears to be Webby Vanderquack are back in action, apparently outrunning spear-throwing pursuers in their latest adventure.

When originally announced, Disney revealed that other beloved characters from the series like Launchpad McQuack, Flintheart Glomgold, and the Beagle Boys are also set to return.

The Emmy Award-winning Disney animated series, which aired 100 episodes between 1987 and 1990, is a cartoon with an impressive legacy and a source of many fond memories for a lot of people. Based on the Uncle Scrooge comic books by Carl Barks, it dominated The Disney Afternoon daily syndicated cartoon block and became immensely popular, winning two Daytime Emmy awards and being nominated for two more, inspiring two series of comic books, an extensive toy and merchandise line, a number of Nintendo and computer games, and even a movie in 1990.

DuckTales received widespread critical acclaim and commercial success which was recognized even years after it went off the air. In 2009, IGN listed DuckTales as number 18 on its list of Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows, and in 2013 the YouTube channel for WatchMojo.com rated DuckTales as the number one Disney animated series.

DuckTales is also well-known for having what is easily the most infectious theme song of any cartoon in history, which you can watch below in case you’ve somehow forgotten it.

 

Baymax is Back! Big Hero 6 Gets Its Own TV Show on Disney XD

No one’s putting “Big Hero 6” into the Disney Vault.

Walt Disney’s TV-animation unit will create a TV series based on the 2014 film about an inflatable robot named “Baymax” and the young prodigy it befriends. Production has begun for a 2017 debut on Disney XD cable networks around the world, the company announced Wednesday. Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, creators and executive producers of the Disney Channel series “Kim Possible,” are the executive producers.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to further develop these characters into a world-class animated series — full of fun, action and the kind of endearing storytelling that only Mark, Bob — and  Baymax — can deliver,” said Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, in a prepared statement.

In decades past, a Disney property might surface only occasionally after its first run. And indeed, some of the company’s older classics turn up in the marketplace only every few years, as anyone who might want to go to the store and buy a copy of  the 1953 animated showcase “Peter Pan” might tell you. But in recent years, the company has found new ways to burnish some of its biggest figures and films. “Tangled,” the 2010 riff on the Rapunzel fairy tale, is slated to return as a series on Disney Channel in 2017. “The Lion Guard,” a TV-series reboot of sorts of 1994’s “The Lion King,” debuted on Disney Channel and Disney Junior last year. And the company has placed more importance on new live-motion versions of animated favorites like “Cinderella” and “The Jungle Book.”

Disney is unveiling the new “Big Hero 6” series as part of its activity around the annual TV-upfront, when U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of their advertising inventory for the coming year. Unlike Disney Channel and Disney Junior, which limit advertising to tie-ins and sponsorships, Disney XD runs commercials regularly. The network skews toward boys between the ages of 6 and 11, and does not have blocks of programming meant expressly for pre-schoolers.

Disney is touting 17 new series, 28 current series, the Radio Disney Music Awards and two new original movies to advertisers, all part of what is known in the industry as the “kids’ upfront. Disney will vie with Viacom’s Nickelodeon, Time Warner’s Cartoon Network and Boomerang, NBCUniversal’s Sprout and Discovery Communications’ Discovery Family Channel, among others, for a slice of what is estimated to be $800 million in advance commitments from advertisers.

“Big Hero 6” was inspired by a comic from Disney’s Marvel subsidiary. The film tells the story of Baymax 6, tech-savvy 14-year-old Hiro and their friends as they try to solve a mystery that threatens the city of San Fransokyo. The movie took in over $657 million worldwide.

From Variety

Disney Channel to Begin Casting for High School Musical 4

More than 10 years after High School Musical became a global phenomenon, Disney Channel is getting ready to return to East High one more time with the announcement of High School Musical 4.

A nationwide casting search begins today for the planned Disney Channel Original Movie that will continue the story of the global sensation High School Musical—and introduce new East High Wildcats and their cross-town school rivals, the West High Knights.

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “High School Musical is part of Disney Channel’s DNA. It embodies all that we stand for. As a way of continuing to embrace that heritage, we’re excited to announce ‘the start of something new’—as we launch a search for a new class of East High Wildcats to star in a fourth installment of the High School Musical franchise.”

DGA Award nominee Jeffrey Hornaday (Disney Channel’s Teen Beach Movie, Teen Beach 2) is attached to direct and choreograph the movie.

Dan Berendsen (creator/executive producer of Freeform’s Baby Daddy, writer of Disney’s Hannah Montana: The Movie, Disney Channel’s Teen Beach 2 and Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie) and Peter Barsocchini (writer of all three High School Musical movies) are the screenwriters of High School Musical 4. Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush return as the executive producers.

Directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega (also of Disney Channel’s Descendants) High School Musical is remembered fondly by a generation of kids and families and renowned for inspiring viewers to explore and participate in music, dance and theater. The now iconic Disney Channel Original Movie premiered January 20, 2006, delivering 7.7 million Total Viewers in the U.S.—at the time, the highest ratings for any telecast ever on Disney Channel. It broke new ground as the first-ever TV movie soundtrack to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and went on to become the No. 1 album of 2006 as well as the No. 1 soundtrack and No. 1 Kids album of that year.

Its critically acclaimed sequel, High School Musical 2, ranks as the No. 1 basic cable telecast of all time (18.6 million viewers for its August 17, 2007 premiere). The High School Musical 2 soundtrack is triple Platinum and its DVD release was the top-selling TV property on DVD for 2007. Walt Disney Pictures debuted High School Musical 3: Senior Year in October 2008. Its premiere weekend box office sales marked the highest debut ever for a musical and for a live-action G-rated film. It grossed more than $250 million at the worldwide box office.

High School Musical received two Emmy® Awards, the Television Critics Association Award, an Imagen Award (recognizing the positive portrayal of Latinos in entertainment media), a Billboard Music Award for Soundtrack of the Year, an American Music Award and a Producer’s Guild of America Award. The movies also delivered licensed amateur and professional touring stage productions, a bestselling junior novel, a popular consumer products franchise at mass retailers, a themed show at Disneyland Parks and Resorts in Anaheim, Orlando, and Paris and a sold-out 42-date arena concert tour in North America and Latin America.

‘Gravity Falls’ Series Finale Sets All-Time Disney XD Ratings Records

Gravity Falls

Last week’s series finale of the boundary-pushing animated series “Gravity Falls” has become Disney XD’s most-watched telecast ever.

The 40th and final episode of the show that told the coming-of-age adventures of 12-year-old twins Mabel and Dipper Pines averaged 2.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates. It also established all-time network highs in kids 6-14 (1.5 million/4.1 rating) and boys 6-14 (909,000/5.0 rating).

And it’s the No. 1 regular series telecast on record across kids 6011 (1.0 million/4.4 rating), boys 6-11 (642,000/5.3 rating), kids 2-11 (1.3 million/3.4 rating) and boys 2-11 (797,000/4.0 rating). In all, “Gravity Falls” accounts for Disney XD’s top nine regular animated-series telecasts of all time in kids 6-11 and the top seven in boys 6-11.

The all-day “Gravity Falls” takeover event and series finale generated 10.7 million unique total viewers, including 5.4 million kids 2-14. For its second season to date, it has generated 13 million video starts on Disney XD.

Created and executive produced by Alex Hirsch, “Gravity Falls” is a highly serialized mystery thriller that weaves an apocalyptic conspiracy around the Pines siblings as they spend the summer with their great-uncle, Stan. In a rarity for a show targeted at a youth demographic, “Gravity” made the most of its animated format by peppering secret clues, codes and other so-called Easter eggs into episodes to keep fans hunting for hints into the larger mythology.

From Variety

 

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