Disney Announces Performer Line Ups for Holiday TV Specials

Halloween is over, November is here and Disney has announced the performer line ups for the upcoming Holiday TV Specials that will be broadcast on ABC and the Disney Channel.

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration

“The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” premieres Thursday, November 29, from 9–11 PM EST on The ABC Television Network and on the ABC app. Join singer, songwriter and “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” host Jordan Fisher and “Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland as they host the magical two-hour event from Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Joined by Disneyland host Jesse Palmer, Disney Parks and ABC will kick off the holiday season with a star-studded prime-time celebration showcasing incredible musical performances, special appearances and Disney magical moments including an extraordinary castle lighting spectacular from Disney Parks around the world – traveling the globe from Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and Anaheim, California, to Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Musical performances include the following stars:

  • Multi-GRAMMY Award-winning superstar, Gwen Stefani lights up the night with “Feliz Navidad.”
  • GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter Meghan Trainor performs a medley of her hits.
  • CMA Award-winning country artist Brett Eldredge, joined by Meghan Trainor, sing the classic holiday duet “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from Eldredge’s album “Glow.”
  • Andrea Bocelli shares his unmistakable voice, singing a Christmas classic; then Andrea is joined by his son, Matteo Bocelli, to perform their beautiful new duet, “Fall on Me” from Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”
  • Jordan Fisher performs his Christmas hit, “Come December.”
  • GRAMMY Award-nominated artist Aloe Blacc performs his debut single, “I Got Your Christmas Right Here,” from his first-ever holiday album, “Christmas Funk,” out November 9.
  • American Idol winner Maddie Poppe sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
  • Chart-topping, breakout music group Why Don’t We performs a medley of the classic “Silent Night” and their original holiday song “Hey Good Lookin.”

Disney Parks Presents a 25 Days of Christmas Holiday Party

“Disney Parks Presents a 25 Days of Christmas Holiday Party” kicks off Friday, November 23 in the DisneyNOW app and Saturday, December 1, from 8-8:30 PM EST on Disney Channel. Hosted by Jordan Fisher and Disney Channel’s “Coop & Cami Ask the World” stars Ruby Rose Turner and Dakota Lotus, this festive half-hour special will feature star-studded musical performances and special appearances by Disney Channel stars Booboo Stewart (Disney’s “Descendants 3”), Kylee Russell (Disney Channel Original Movie “ZOMBIES”), Sadie Stanley (Disney Channel Original Movie “Kim Possible”) and Sean Giambrone (Disney Channel Original Movie “Kim Possible,” ABC’s “The Goldbergs”). Stanley and Giambrone will take viewers behind the scenes of Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, where guests will experience the world of Pixar’s “Cars” films and come face-to-face with Lightning McQueen. The experience rolls into Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in spring 2019.

Musical performances include:

  • Gwen Stefani sings the holiday classic “Let It Snow.”
  • Brett Eldredge performs “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.”
  • Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” star Asher Angel rocks out to “Last Christmas.”
  • Disney Channel’s “ZOMBIES” star Meg Donnelly brings tropical cheer with her performance of “Mele Kalikimaka.”

Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade

“Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade” airs on Tuesday, December 25, from 10 AM until 12 PM EST and 9-11 AM CST/MST/PST on ABC and on the ABC app. Airtimes may vary, so be sure to check local listings.

This Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates the joy of the season as hosts Jordan Fisher and Sarah Hyland share this magical holiday tradition with families around the globe. Co-hosted by Jesse Palmer, the Christmas Day celebration will be merrier than ever before, bringing together the adored Christmas Day parade, special musical performances, surprise celebrity guests and heartwarming family stories to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Joining the festivities as parade correspondents are Freeform’s “grown-ish” actor Trevor Jackson and star of Freeform’s upcoming series “Good Trouble,” Cierra Ramirez.

Musical performances include the following:

  • Gwen Stefani performs “Winter Wonderland” from her Christmas album, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.”
  • Brett Eldredge sings the holiday classic “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
  • Andrea Bocelli sings the incredibly moving “Ave Maria”; then Andrea is joined by his son, Matteo Bocelli, to perform “White Christmas.”
  • Host Jordan Fisher performs “This Christmas.”
  • Aloe Blacc performs “Tell Your Mama” from his first holiday album, “Christmas Funk,” out November 9.
  • Freeform’s “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” star and Hollywood Records artist Olivia Holt sings a holiday tune.
  • American Idol winner Maddie Poppe celebrates the season with “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
  • Disney’s dynamic a cappella group DCappella performs the popular Christmas hit “Last Christmas.”
  • Why Don’t We performs “Kiss You This Christmas” from their holiday album, “A Why Don’t We Christmas.”
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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

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 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.

Disney Renews ‘Girl Meets World’ for 3rd Season

Girl Meet World

Girl Meets World will be returning for a third season according to Disney.

The theme of the show, like the original Boy Meets World, deals with growing up. As the characters continue to grow up, in the new season, Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard) and her best friend Maya Hart (Sabrina Carpenter) will move from middle school and begin their freshman year of high school.

When Disney announced the Boy Meets World spin-off over a decade after the series ended in 2000, fans everywhere were very excited. Even though the original Boy Meets World audience were in their 20’s or 30’s and had kids of their own, that hasn’t kept loyal fans of the original series from tuning in. Regardless of the ages of the viewers, the show has appealed to everyone and the fan loyalty has paid off since the show will be continuing on for a third season.

Girl Meets World premiered in June of 2014. Fans of Boy Meets World, the series that had captivated their young hearts and defined the 90’s kids generation, were excited to see Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel reprise their roles as Cory and Topanga Matthews. Except this time Cory and Topanga were older. And had kids.

Adam Bonnett, the executive vp of original programming for Disney Channels Worldwide, said regarding the series renewal, “Michael Jacobs (the show’s creator) has one of the most authentic voices in television today. He and the entire Girl Meets World team will not only continue to entertain families but also help kids discover who they are and who they want to be in this world.”

Boy Meets World dealt with the subjects of friends, family, and love in a quirky yet somehow relatable and realistic manner. The charm of the 90’s show is that it didn’t rely on the common tropes you see in today’s television targeted at younger audiences like absurdly complex love polygons, unrealistic scandals and secrets, or vampire boyfriends. Girl Meets World explores the same struggles of growing up as Boy Meets World but with a fresh new voice.

Season 3 is set to begin production sometime in January, and season 1 of Girl Meets World is currently available on Netflix.

Maddie & Tae to Make Cameo on Disney Channel’s ‘Girl Meets World’

Maddie-and-Tae

Maddie & Tae will spend part of their weekend on the small screen, with a guest appearance on the Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World, a spin-off of the ’90s sitcom Boy Meets World.

The plot will find the main character, Riley Matthews (Rowan Blanchard), and her friends traveling to Texas, where Matthews will get a crash-course in all things country. During the three-part episode, titled “Girl Meets Texas,” the characters will get to hear Maddie & Tae perform their song “No Place Like You,” a tune featured on their debut album, Start Here. Check out a clip from the show above. “Girl Meets Texas” will begin airing Friday night (Oct. 16) at 8:30PM, with the next parts of the story to run Saturday and Sunday.

The girls will be appearing on TV again soon for the 2015 CMA Awards, which air Nov. 4. Maddie & Tae are not only nominated for several awards, including Vocal Duo of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Music Video of the Year (for “Girl in a Country Song”), but are also performing at the ceremony.

Tae Dye was blown away to hear the nominee announcements.

“We grew up watching these shows, seeing all the stars — and just getting to go last year was so fun,” Dye says. “But to be up for actual awards? For songs that are taken from Maddie’s and my life? That is everything we were dreaming of when we were driving back and forth to Nashville for songwriting weekends when we were 15 years old.”

The artists were on tour with Dierks Bentley as part of his Sounds of Summer Tour this year (where Bentley proved he does not discriminate when it came to pranks) and also brought “Girl in a Country Song” to the Today show stage in early September.

From Taste of Country

Meet Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior Stars at D23 EXPO 2015

d23expo_2015

The talented stars and creators from tweens, teens, and families’ favorite Disney Channel, DisneyXD, and Disney Junior series will be at D23 EXPO 2015, August 14–16, at the Anaheim Convention Center!

The hot-off-the-presses schedule features “inside-the-magic” experiences that include star-studded musical performances by Sabrina Carpenter, Olivia Holt, Bea Miller, Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, and a Teen Beach 2 Dance Party; a sneak peek at Disney Junior’s upcoming The Lion Guard; meet and greets with beloved characters from top-rated series like Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins; the premiere of an all-new Mickey Mouse cartoon short; and more.

Here’s the weekend’s line-up:

On Friday, August 14, fans can attend a performance by Disney Channel star Olivia Holt.

On Saturday, August 15Sofia the First’s Ariel Winter will be a special reader during Disney Junior story time. Plus, fans can catch performances by Girl Meets World star Sabrina Carpenter, Disney’s Descendants stars Dove Cameron and Sofia Carson, and Radio Disney’s NBT Bea Miller. Also, popular radio personalities from Radio Disney will be on site for a Radio Disney dance party. Then, fans can join creators of hit Disney XD animation series for the New Disney Storytellers panel, which will offer a glimpse into the vision and inspiration that go into a Disney XD animated series.

On Sunday, August 16, younger kids and their families can start off with Disney Junior story time featuring special guest reader Loretta Devine from Doc McStuffins, and then get up and groove with Radio Disney Junior at a special dance party. Later in the day, tweens, teens, and families can catch the debut of an all-new Mickey Mouse cartoon short entitled “Wishing Well,” then boogie at a Teen Beach 2 dance party, featuring stars from the movie and its choreographer, Chris Scott.

*Schedule is subject to change.

Throughout the three-day event, Radio Disney on-air personalities will be hosting electrifying Center Stage performances and events, while casts from fans’ favorite Disney Channel and Disney XD series and movies will be making special appearances and signing autographs in the Disney | ABC TV Pavilion. They include fans’ favorite stars from Disney Channel’s DescendantsTeen Beach 2Liv and MaddieJessieDog With A BlogI Didn’t Do ItGirl Meets WorldK.C. UndercoverAustin & AllyBUNK’D, and Best Friends Whenever as well as Disney XD’s Lab Rats: Bionic IslandMighty MedKirby Buckets, and Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Now through June 30, 2015, tickets are $67 for one-day adult admission and $48 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $58 for one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $188 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.

‘Tangled’ Animated TV Series Heads To Disney Channel

Tangled TV Series

Disney Channel has begun production on Tangled, an animated series based on the 2010 feature film, with Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprising their roles as Rapunzel and Eugene (aka Flynn Rider). The series, produced by Disney Television Animation and developed by animation vets Chris Sonnenberg (Enchanted) and Shane Prigmore (The Lego Movie), will premiere in 2017 on Disney Channels worldwide. It will feature music by Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater, who wrote the score for the feature film.

The series is set between the events of the feature film and the start of the 2012 short film, Tangled Ever After. It unfolds as Rapunzel (Moore) acquaints herself with her parents, her kingdom and the people of Corona. Her irrepressible spirit and natural curiosity about the world drives her to the realization that there is so much more she needs to learn before she can truly accept her royal destiny. She boldly puts her crown and impending marriage on hold to seek out epic adventures, much to the dismay of the King who, after missing out on Rapunzel’s youth, must accept that his daughter is now an independent young woman. Accompanying Rapunzel on her journey is Eugene (Levi); the plucky chameleon sidekick, Pascal; the no-nonsense horse, Maximus; the Snuggly Duckling Pub Thugs; and newcomer Cassandra, a tough-as-nails handmaiden, who becomes Rapunzel’s confidant.

“The genius of the original movie was its seamless blending of cinematic adventure, character-driven comedy and touching emotion. And we are fortunate to have several of the creative talent from that movie on board with this new production,” said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. “With the addition of Chris and Shane as Executive Producers, we have the perfect team in place to create a series worthy of the original film.”

Sonnenberg is also executive producer and supervising director and Prigmore is co-executive producer and creative director. Jase Ricci (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is story editor. Claire Keane (Frozen, Tangled), daughter of Glen Keane who was animation supervisor on the feature film, consulted on development of the series. Emmy-winning Kevin Kliesch (Tangled Ever After) will compose the score.

Disney Channel Headed to Canada

Disney Channel - New Logo

From the Hollywood Reporter –

Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment has secured the Canadian licensing rights to the Disney Channel.

The popular U.S. channel will launch in the Canadian kids TV market on Sept. 1, 2015 as part of a deal with the Disney/ABC Television Group. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but popular Disney Channel shows like K.C. Undercover, Girl Meets World, Austin & Ally and Liv and Maddie will be used by Corus to help the Canadian broadcaster survive and thrive in an increasingly deregulated Canadian market dominated by Netflix Canada and other digital platforms.C

Corus already markets ABC Spark in Canada, as well as other kids TV channels like YTV and Teletoon. The ABC/Disney deal includes Corus picking up the Canadian streaming and ad-supported VOD rights to Disney Channel fare.

After launching Disney Channel, other Disney-branded kids linear TV channels will launch here as the brands and programming are picked up by Corus, the broadcaster said. Corus and Disney/ABC Television Group first signed a deal 2011 to launch ABC Spark north of the border.

“We are very excited to take our partnership with the Disney/ABC Television Group to the next level, and proud to be forging a new course for the iconic Disney Channel brand in Canada,” said Doug Murphy, president and CEO of Corus Entertainment, said Thursday in a statement.

Disney introduces Elena, its first Latina Princess

Elena-of-Avalor

Disney announced Thursday that its newest princess will be Elena of Avalor, a 16-year-old character inspired by “diverse Latin cultures and folklore.”

She’ll make her debut on Disney Junior’s animated show “Sofia the First” next year, which is targeted at children ages 2 to 7. Elena’s own eponymous spinoff series is set to premiere in 2016 on Disney Junior, as well as Disney Junior’s programming block on the Disney Channel. Aimee Carrero of ABC Family’s “Young & Hungry” will voice the role.

“What excites us most is the chance to use distinctive animation and visual design to tell wonderful stories influenced by culture and traditions that are familiar to the worldwide population of Hispanic and Latino families and reflect the interests and aspirations of all children as told through a classic fairy tale,” Nancy Kanter, the executive vice president and general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, said in the announcement.

In fall 2012, Disney faced harsh criticism after a producer of the “Sofia the First” series announced that the title character was Latina. Disney Junior executives later clarified that the princess’ ethnicity had been misrepresented, adding that “all our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities but none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures.”

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