Disney Channel Hires Handyman

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Disney Channel is adding multi-cultural fix-it cartoon Handy Manny to its pre-school programming block Playhouse Disney in early 2006.

That 70's Show's Wilmer Valderamma will voice the role of Latino handyman hero Manny Garcia, who along with the help of talking tools, repairs things for his town in the 3D computer-animated show.

Handy Manny is from kids TV vets Marilyn Sadler and Roger Bollen.

Playhouse Disney launched in 1999 to promote early childhood learning.

The block airs at 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. and weekends at 6-10:30 a.m.

Disney has also picked up a second season of CGI-animated Higglytown Heroes for the block.

The show, which airs daily at 8 a.m., features songs and celebrity guests who voice an episode's "hero for the day." Celebrities who guested last season include Sharon Stone, Naomi Judd, Serena Williams, Susan Lucci and Cyndi Lauper.

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