Playhouse Disney

Astral today announced that Playhouse Disney will transform to become Disney Junior on May 6.

Continuing its mandate to broadcast the best in entertaining and learning-focused programming for younger viewers, Disney Junior will showcase heartfelt stories that include classic and contemporary Disney characters with learning and development themes.

The French-language counterpart of the network, Playhouse Disney Télé, will also change to Disney Junior on May 6.

“The transformation to Disney Junior and the launch of new programming such as Jake and the Never Land Pirates marks an exciting time for the channel,” said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Family and Playhouse Disney. “Featuring recognizable characters and learning components, Disney Junior will showcase the Disney essence, characters and storytelling that we all love. The new brand and its programming strike the perfect balance between classic and contemporary to offer a unique viewing experience that families will delight in.”

The new Disney Junior brand will showcase beloved Disney characters not only in its programming, but also in the inventive and dynamic Disney Junior logo which transforms to embody Disney characters in an imaginative way. Interstitials will have a strong presence of real live action children interacting with Disney Junior characters. These customized logos and on-air elements reinforce the emotional connection multiple generations have to Disney and its celebrated characters and storytelling. 

An anchor to the new Disney Junior brand and an example of Disney Junior’s approach to bring the classic and the contemporary together, is the new animated show Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Gathering inspiration from Peter Pan, this new series is a music-filled interactive treasure hunt that introduces a crew of kid pirates, on their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit the infamous Captain Hook and Mr. Smee. The series features the voice talents of Colin Ford (Supernatural) as Jake, Madison Pettis (The Game Plan) as Izzy, Jonathan Morgan Heit as Cubby, Corey Burton as Captain Hook and David Arquette (Never Been Kissed) as Skully. The recurring voice cast includes: Tori Spelling (Beverly Hills, 90210) as the Pirate Princess, musician Lisa Loeb as Winger, Ariel Winter (Modern Family) as Marina the Mermaid and Adam West as the Wise Old Parrot.

Joining Jake and the Never Land Pirates on Disney Junior are new short-form series including A Poem Is… featuring clips from treasured Disney animation to illustrate poems narrated by Jennifer Garner and Katie Holmes among other familiar voices. Also joining the schedule, Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps, encourages healthy lifestyles for preschoolers. Canadian original series that will be featured on Disney Junior include Franny’s Feet, The Secret World of Benjamin Bear and the recently debuted Stella and Sam.

Astral recently announced the launch of the French-language Playhouse Disney Télé on Videotron.

From March 1, Videotron subscribers will be able to enjoy the best in entertaining and development-based programming aimed at younger audiences.

Playhouse Disney Télé will be offered free of charge for three months on channel 46. Playhouse Disney Télé programs will also be available on illico on Demand, on channel 900, as well as on illico web and illico mobile.

“It is fantastic to be launching Playhouse Disney Télé on Videotron, making the network and its unique programming accessible to even more Francophone families,” said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Family and Playhouse Disney. “With its strong lineup of programming, Playhouse Disney Télé broadcasts acclaimed Disney series as well as high-profile Canadian titles. I’m confident that audiences will be delighted with the network, both under its current name of Playhouse Disney Télé and as Disney Junior.” 

Playhouse Disney Télé broadcasts high-profile Disney shows including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Special Agent Oso. Canadian productions such as Stella and Sam have also proved very popular on the network. Playhouse Disney Télé will transform to Disney Junior in May 2011. Showcasing series that focus on storytelling and bringing the rich legacy of Disney animation together with a vibrant lineup of contemporary characters, Disney Junior will offer Canadian series beside beloved Disney titles and new shows such as the new animated series, Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

“Videotron is pleased to be able to offer Playhouse Disney Télé to its clients. As the leading destination for entertainment, Videotron continues to be the first choice for youth content in Quebec.” Said Myrianne Collin, Vice-President, Marketing, Consumer Sector, Videotron.

Playhouse Disney is a commercial-free channel available in French and English to subscribers across Canada. Committed to offering engaging, educational and development-based programming for younger children, the channel offers exclusive, first-run programs from Disney together with celebrated Canadian series to create an environment for fun and learning. Playhouse Disney will become Disney Junior in May 2011. Visit us at Playhousedisney.ca.

Astral’s popular children’s channel Playhouse Disney will launch today on EastLink. Offering a broad range of entertaining and learning-focused programming for younger viewers, the network is now available to EastLink customers who subscribe to Family Channel.

Playhouse Disney programming is also available to EastLink subscribers through Family on Demand, an on-demand service that also launches today on EastLink OnDemand.

“Santa came a little early this year for our subscribers and we are thrilled to be able to bring the magic of Playhouse Disney to even more homes in Atlantic Canada,” said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Family Channel and Playhouse Disney. “With its vibrant offering including the best in children’s series from Disney as well as acclaimed Canadian programs, Playhouse Disney has delighted, entertained and engaged younger audiences and their families across the country.”

EastLink viewers can watch Playhouse Disney on the following channels, based on their location: Channel 66 in Grande Prairie, channel 93 in Ontario and channel 131 in the Maritimes. Customers of Delta Cable can view Playhouse Disney on channel 83.

The lineup of high profile shows on Playhouse Disney includes the popular Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Imagination Movers. The December schedule on the network features new holiday episodes as well special series marathons. A sneak peek of the new Canadian series Stella and Sam, based on the novels by lauded author Marie-Louise Gay, will also air on Friday afternoons in December with the series premiering in its regular timeslot on Playhouse Disney on January 9.

Playhouse Disney is a commercial-free channel available in French and English to subscribers across Canada. Committed to offering engaging, educational and development-based programming for younger children, the channel offers exclusive, first-run programs from Disney together with celebrated Canadian series to create an environment for fun and learning. Playhouse Disney will become Disney Junior in May 2011. Visit us at Playhousedisney.ca.

Astral’s Playhouse Disney will follow suit with its U.S. counterpart and re-brand its English and French-language networks as Disney Junior in May 2011.

Continuing the promise to provide the best in entertaining, development-based programming for younger viewers, Disney Junior will launch with new series such as Jake and the Never Land Pirates and programming that taps into Disney’s rich legacy of classic characters as featured in such programs as Disney Poetry Shorts.

The re-branded multiplex channel will also expand on its educational mandate to layer in learning that focuses on social values, the environment and healthy living.

“Since its launch in November 2007, Playhouse Disney has continued to build its viewership, program offering and prestige,” said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Family and Playhouse Disney. “The evolution of Playhouse Disney to Disney Junior comes at an exciting time and will add a new energy to the network while remaining dedicated to bringing highly entertaining, home-grown and Disney programming to Canadian families.”

Coinciding with the re-brand, Jake and the Never Land Pirates will premiere on Disney Junior in May 2011. The animated adventure has classic Disney characters Captain Hook and Smee joined by a new crew of kid pirates led by the courageous Jake. The series, which emphasizes teamwork, features original pirate-rock music performed by The Never Land Pirate Band and stars David Arquette as the voice of the lookout parrot, Skully.

Other new Disney programming set to premiere on Disney Junior includes Disney Poetry Shorts which showcases poems for children set against classic Disney animation and the short-form series Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps encouraging healthy lifestyles for preschoolers and families.

These new series will join new episodes of popular series such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso, Jungle Junction and Imagination Movers. Original Canadian series on Disney Junior will include the popular Franny’s Feet, The Secret World of Benjamin Bear and new episodes of Stella and Sam.

(From a press release)

Astral’s Playhouse Disney premieres the new animated series Stella and Sam on Sunday, January 9 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The new series, based on the beloved books by Canadian author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay, follows the backyard adventures of four-year-old Sam and his older sister Stella.

New episodes of the show will premiere on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. ET with episodes also airing on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. ET as well as Saturday and Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. ET.

With wild red hair and an imagination to match, nine-year-old Stella is truly a ‘star’ in the eyes of her four-year-old brother Sam. As they explore the world in all its seasons, Stella and Sam encounter backyard quests and comical mishaps.

Every day is a new adventure as Stella and Sam share the joy of discovering that they have what it takes to face the biggest adventure of all – growing up. Animated in an unique watercolour style that reflects the familiar illustrations of Marie-Louise Gay and featuring storylines that are inspired by the imaginative play of children, the series features 13-year-old Rachel Marcus and six-year-old Miles Johnson as the voices of the lead characters.

On playhousedisney.ca children can venture further into the world of Stella and Sam with interactive adventures designed for children and their families to explore online. Also available on playhousedisney.ca, families can learn more about show’s characters, play Stella and Sam games and download printable activities.

(From a press release)