Disney this season will debut 11 new series and 25 new movies across its TV platforms, ABC Kids, Toon Disney, Jetix and Disney Channel, the company announced at its New York upfront presentation to advertisers today.
New to Disney Channel in Sept., 2006 is The Replacements, an animated series about two kids who can swap out unsavory people in their lives and replace them with cooler characters. The show will join previously announced live-action comedy series Hannah Montana, which debuts March 24 starring Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley. Disney’s banking on Miley, who plays a teen pop star who is incognito during the day at school, to follow in the footsteps of its previous tween queens, Hilary Duff and Raven. Each spawned a successful music career after starring in a Disney series. Both The Replacements and Hannah Montana will be showcased on ABC Kids, the Saturday morning kids block on the ABC broadcast network.
Disney Channel will also debut several new original movies this season, hoping for the sort of ratings success the network just saw with High School Musical. Premiering this year are The Cheetah Girls 2, How My Personal Journal Became A Bestseller, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior and Cow Belles, which debuts in March.
Also announced today, Disney’s action-adventure block of cartoons Jetix will migrate off ABC Family and will now run exclusively on Toon Disney. It previously ran on both cable networks. (Three Disney Channel cartoons will also join the Toon Disney network – American Drago: Jake Long, Lilo & Stitch: The Series and The Buzz on Maggie).
Disney hopes to bring some humor to the Jetix block this year with its original animated show Yin Yang Yo, a comedy about a panda, a cockroach and two bunnies. Also joining the Jetix block are several new acquired series including Oban Star-Racers, Mon Colle Knights, NASCAR Racers and the 15th iteration of Power Rangers.