ABC Announces Dancing with the Stars Cast for Season 23

Get ready to put on your dancing shoes! ABC’s Dancing with the Stars returns September 12 at 8 p.m. ET with the return of some of your favorite professional dancers and an all-new superstar celebrity cast. Read on to figure out who you’ll be rooting for this season.

Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy—Gymnast Laurie Hernandez recently went for the gold during the 2016 Olympic Games and now she’s going for the silver—the silver mirror ball trophy, that is! We wonder if this member of the Final Five will make it to the Dancing with the Stars finals?

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke—Laurie’s not the only Olympian in this year’s cast! Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte will trade the swimming pool for the samba on the upcoming season.

DWTS Johnson:Arnold

Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold—The former wide receiver is the next pro football player to take the Dancing with the Stars stage.

DWTS Austin:Johnson

Jake T. Austin and Jenna Johnson—We were bewitched by Jake T. Austin on Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place, and we’re sure The Fosters star will be just as magical on the dance floor.

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess—Will the Canadian race car driver make it to the finish line?

DWTS - Rose:Chmerkovskiy

Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy—Will the model and black-ish guest star be the belle of the ballroom?

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko—The actress and singer is about to become a triple threat on the upcoming season.

DWTS Edmonds:Holker

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Allison Holker—The musician, singer-songwriter, and record producer will become a song AND dance man on Dancing with the Stars.

DWTS Henner:Hough

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough—After starring in more than thirty films, six Broadway shows, and two classic sitcoms, actress Marilu Henner is ready to take on her next starring role—on the dance floor.

DWTS McCormick:Chigvintsev

Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev—This season of Dancing with the Stars will be all about “Maureen, Maureen, Maureen” when The Brady Bunch star takes the stage.

Vanilla Ice (Robert Van Winkle) and Witney Carson—Will the rapper turned real estate expert glide his way to the top?

DWTS Perry:Slater

Rick Perry and Emma Slater—The former Texas governor is hoping to be the “lone star” left on the dance floor.

DWTS Jole:Farber

Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber—There’s no rest for the Little Women: LA star! Terra just welcomed her second child on August 1, but we have no doubt that this mom is ready to mamba!

The Muppets Cancelled by ABC

It’s time to stop the music.

It’s time to shut off the lights.

ABC is ending its grown-up reboot of The Muppets tonight.

The comedy series lasted one 16-episode season on the network after launching to tremendous buzz last fall.

The beloved franchise was given a modern-day, adult-themed makeover by producers Bob Kushell (Anger Management) and Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory). The show also some criticism for trying to make the classic family characters more contemporary, including focusing on their love lives. Midway through the season run, falling ratings prompted ABC to make a major change behind the scenes, replacing showrunner Kushell with Kristin Newman (Galavant), who pledged to bring “joy” to the series. Yet the changes didn’t alter the show’s fate.

During its run, The Muppets averaged 5.3 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18–49, including DVR.

The day has seen a slew of high-profile cancellations – a couple quite surprising – over at ABC. The network axed long-running procedural Castle, Marvel’s Captain America spin-off Agent Carter, musical drama Nashville, musical comedy Galavant, and freshman drama The Family.

From Entertainment Weekly

ABC Cancels ‘Agent Carter’

It’s the end of the road for TV’s Peggy Carter.

ABC has canceled Marvel drama Agent Carter after two seasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The second of Marvel’s ABC dramas, while a critical favorite, was never a ratings breakthrough. The Hayley Atwell starrer earned a surprise second season renewal and returned as a “gap” show under former ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee.

Despite heaps of praise from critics, Carter finished its limited run with a 1.4 rating among adults under 50 and 4.3 million total viewers with DVR — both a far cry from Agents of SHIELD. Compounding that, ABC is spinning off popular Agents of SHIELD favorites Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood for Marvel’s Most Wanted, a more natural extension of the already renewed flagship series.

For her part, Atwell already booked the lead (in first position) in buzzy ABC procedural Convictionwhich has been looking good for a series order as Carter fans are left to ponder that cliffhanger ending.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Disney/ABC TV Names New Network President

Channing-Dungey

Disney/ABC Television Group shook up its leadership Wednesday, naming Channing Dungey as its new president of ABC Entertainment, making her the first black person to ever lead a major broadcast network.

Dungey, who was the executive vice president of ABC drama development, helped develop series such as “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Quantico,” “Criminal Minds” and “Once Upon a Time.”

“Channing is a gifted leader and a proven magnet for top creative talent, with an impressive record of developing compelling, breakthrough programming that resonates with viewers,” said Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group.

Dungey replaces Paul Lee, who stepped down from the position. Some industry pundits said Lee has clashed with Sherwood in the past.

“Leading ABC has been a fantastic experience,” Lee said. “I’m especially proud of the incredible team I built and the strategic, creative vision we established and successfully executed for both the network and studio.”

Dungey began her career as a development assistant for Davis Entertainment at 20th Century Fox. She worked as a story editor at Steamroller Productions, working on films such as “Under Siege” and “On Deadly Ground.” She later moved to Warner Bros., working on films including “The Matrix,” “Twister,” “City of Angels,” “Space Jam,” “Heat” and “Bridges of Madison County.”

She went on to work as senior vice president at the Material film production company, becoming president in 2001. She joined ABC in 2004.

‘The Chew’ Episodes Recorded at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival Air This Week

The Chew

For the first time ever, ABC’s “The Chew” left their studios last week in New York City and took their daily “party in the kitchen” to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort to tape five shows airing this week (October 12-16) on ABC.

Hundreds of enthusiastic fans cheered on Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, Mario Batali and Michael Symon on the custom-built set with the backdrop of Spaceship Earth under Florida’s sunny skies. We had a special performance from the cast of Disney’s “Festival of the Lion King” from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They opened one of the shows (airing this Thursday) with a powerful dance – just one of the many “only-at-Disney-World” moments the foursome experienced during their weeklong stay.

Wonder what each of the hosts did just after arriving? Carla said she headed straight for Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Kilimanjaro Safaris. Clinton racked up a big score on Toy Story Mania!, while Mario took the plunge on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, both at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And Michael took a leisurely boat ride through the hydroponic growing area at The Land pavilion in Epcot Future World.

As the Emmy-winning hosts created delicious treats on stage and showcased festival marketplace dishes, they also cooked up some fun with Mickey Mouse and Goofy for today’s show. On other episodes, they treated audiences to guest appearances by Iron Chef Morimoto, who just opened Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs; Alfonso Ribeiro (ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos”); Bellamy Young (ABC’s “Scandal”); and Christina Milan (“Grandfathered”). They even stopped by for a nosh at the festival’s Rockin’ Burger Block Party, one of the 20th festival’s new premium dining events. Here’s a fun behind-the-scenes look at the production:

Bob Iger Issues Statement on Passing of Disney Legend Frank Gifford

Frank Gifford ABC

Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, has issued the following statement on his passing:

“Frank Gifford was an exceptional man who will be missed by everyone who had the joy of seeing his talent on the field, the pleasure of watching his broadcasts, or the honor of knowing him. His many achievements were defined by a quiet dignity and a personal grace that is seldom seen in any arena; he truly embodied the very best of us. Frank’s contributions to ABCSports and our company are immeasurable. We are honored to call him a Disney Legend and I am very fortunate to have called him a dear friend and colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Gifford was with the New York Giants 1952-60, 1962- 64, missing one year because of an injury. He won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award in 1956 and left the Giants with all-time records for touchdowns, 78, and yards gained in pass receiving. He became a part-time broadcaster for CBS in 1957, went full-time in 1965, and moved to ABC in 1971. He was on ABC’s MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL and Wide World of Sports. Gifford received the Emmy Award for sports commentary in 1971 and the Christopher Award in 1974. He was elected to the COLLEGE FOOTBALL Hall of Fame in 1975, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. The NFL Alumni group gave him its Achievement Award in 1985. Gifford served as chairman of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New York. The society in 1984 established a $100,000 grant for research in his name. Gifford wrote four books, of which the best known are “Gifford on Courage” and “The Whole Ten Yards.”

ABC Brings Once Upon a Time, The Muppets, and More Favorite Series to D23 Expo 2015

d23-expo-2015

Be among the first to learn the secrets of what’s ahead on ABC’s most anticipated new and returning fall series; hear from some of the fairy-tale residents of Once Upon a Time and the very talented performers from the new series The Muppets; and meet some of your favorite ABC stars in person during special signing sessions at D23 EXPO: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, where all the worlds of Disney come together, August 14–16 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Panels and Presentations

The Magic Behind The Muppets
Friday, August 14, 10 a.m., Stage 23

Calling all Muppet fans! Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work with the Muppets? Here’s your chance to find out firsthand when ABC presents a panel on the magic and art of being a Muppet Performer. Join these creative artists and some of your favorite characters, along with a few surprise guests, for a rare and unforgettable demonstration of what it takes to bring these iconic and enduring personalities to life.

Once Upon a Time: An Evening with Snow White & the Evil Queen
Saturday, August 15, 6 p.m., Stage 23

Once Upon a Time’s savior has gone dark! As Emma Swan transitions into her role as the Dark One, join the resident fairy-tale characters as they cope with Emma’s new role and begin the search for Merlin. This is a journey that will take our heroes from the Enchanted Forest to Camelot and along the way bring many surprises, including Merida from Brave, as Once Upon a Time introduces its first Pixar character. Join co-creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis (LOST) and Adam Horowitz (LOST) along with series stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parrilla as they discuss the upcoming season of unexpected twists, evolving characters, new adventures, and new rivalries. This panel is sure to bring some surprises you don’t want to miss and an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming season premiere! The Q&A with this fairy-tale team will be moderated by D23’s Jeffrey Epstein.

On The Show Floor

Autograph Signings
Meet and receive autographs from some of your favorite ABC stars at the Disney | ABC TV Pavilion booth, located on the show floor. Following is the appearance schedule (subject to change):

Friday, August 14
12–12:50 p.m.
Dancing with the Stars pro dancers Witney Carson (Season 19 champion) and Allison Holker (Season 20 runner-up)

Saturday, August 15
4–4:50 p.m.
black-ish stars Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, and Marsai Martin

5–5:40 p.m.
Once Upon a Time stars to be announced

Sunday, August 16
10–10:50 a.m.
Fresh Off the Boat stars Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen

5–5:50 p.m.
The Goldbergs stars Sean Giambrone and Hayley Orrantia

Once Upon a Time Snow White and Evil Queen Doll Collection
Limited Edition of 300, $129.95

Inspired by ABC Studios’ television series Once Upon a Time, this collection brings to life the beauty, magic, and charm of the iconic fairy tale characters from the show. Exclusively available at Disney Store at D23 EXPO.

Doll Collection Autograph Signing Opportunity with Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Lana Parrilla (The Evil Queen) 

Ginnifer and Lana will sign the Once Upon a Time Doll Collection, available exclusively at Disney Store at D23 EXPO. This autograph session will take place on Saturday, August 15 from 4–4:45 p.m. at the ABC booth on the D23 EXPO show floor, and is exclusively for those guests who have purchased one of the dolls.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

ABC’s ‘The Chew’ to Broadcast from Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The Chew

We all have a favorite host from ABC’s “The Chew” – superstars Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Daphne Oz each have a special way of sharing their culinary know-how on the Emmy-Award-winning lifestyle series. And for the first time in the show’s history, these dynamic hosts are leaving the Manhattan studio to tape shows October 7, 8, and 9 from the 20th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. The five festival episodes will air October 12-16.

Shows will be taped before a live audience (visit thechew.com for information on how to obtain tickets), and we’re sure the hosts will be all over Walt Disney World Resort discovering remarkable dining finds, getting a taste of innovative, fun and healthful eats – the best the vacation kingdom has to offer.

Along with the taping of the show, “The Chew” will be featured in two marketplaces throughout the festival’s 53-day celebration from September 25-November 16, helping celebrate 20 delicious years. For the first time in the festival’s history, marketplaces will expand into Future World in the new Next Eats festival area with three delicious dishes from “The Chew” in their Sustainable Chew Marketplace: Savory Pork Spareribs with Cheesy Mascarpone Grits; Ricotta & Zucchini Ravioli with Tomato Sauce, and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Figs and Pistachio Brittle. (Herbs and veggies from The Land pavilion will flavor the marketplace dishes when harvested.) The eco-home-inspired marketplace will offer a chance for guests to learn more about how food is grown and the importance of sustainability.

Also in Next Eats, Disney chefs are collaborating with “The Chew” for the Chew Lab, a cutting-edge marketplace inspired by food-science labs and the hottest culinary tech trends.

“The Chew” airs on ABC Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. EST, noon CST. For updates on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, visit epcotfoodfestival.com throughout the summer.

ABC to Broadcast Special Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Event In February 2016

Disneyland Diamond Celebration

ABC is preparing to share the magic of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary on its network for the entire nation to see!

The network will air a Disneyland 60th Anniversary special in February, live from the Anaheim theme park.

ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee made the announcement during the network’s upfront presentation. Disneyland has been a frequent setting for ABC shows including Modern Family. 

Disney & DirecTV Ink New Multi-Year Distribution Deal

DirecTV Logo

From Tech Times

DirecTV and the Walt Disney Co. have mutually agreed to a new multiyear distribution deal that grants the satellite TV company rights to ABC, ESPN and online video services authenticated by the Disney Channel.

The renewal of the agreement between the two companies allows subscribers of DirecTV access to the entertainment content of Disney, which can be accessed through all Internet-connected devices such as computers, TVs, gaming consoles and mobile devices.

DirecTV, the leader in the satellite TV industry, is the final major pay-TV company to sign up for the “TV Everywhere” service of Disney as it renews its agreement with the company, which was due to expire at the end of this year.

The agreement between Disney and DirecTV was originally set to expire on Sept. 30. However, the term was extended as the two companies commenced negotiations regarding this new deal. The two companies avoided interruptions to the services of subscribers, which have happened between other content companies and satellite TV companies while negotiating new deals.

The provisions of the new deal were not disclosed.

The 20 million subscribers of DirecTV in the United States will gain access to video-on-demand content and live feeds from all cable networks of Disney and ESPN and all TV stations owned and operated by ABC. The agreement also includes the Watch services of Disney, and allows subscribers to access all these content both inside and outside the home.

The agreement also calls for DirecTV to launch several channels, including the ABC News and Univision joint venture Fusion, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Goal Line and Longhorn Network. DirecTV subscribers will also be granted access to ESPN3, which is the live multi-screen channel of ESPN, and SEC Network +, which is the digital service of the SEC Network.

According to Dan York, chief content officer for DirecTV, the agreement between the company and Disney allows for the two companies to “evolve together into the future,” in addition to the wide range of content that DirecTV subscribers will gain access to inside or outside their home.

“It’s an immense and exciting undertaking to work together to shape the future of content consumption, and the possibilities are endless,” York added.

The deal with DirecTV is the final one that Disney had to make to secure partnerships with the top 10 pay-TV companies in the U.S., which Disney had been working on for the past several years, said Disney and ESPN Media Networks VP of affiliate sales and marketing David Preschlack.