ABC to Air Disney Series

Pasadena, Calif.— Two of Disney Channel's tween-targeted original series will receive encore showings on sister broadcaster ABC, starting this fall.

Disney's Lizzie McGuire
and Even Stevens
will run on ABC as part of the broadcast network's "Disney's One Saturday Morning" block, starting in September. At the Television Critics Association tour here, Disney general manager and executive vice president Rich Ross also announced that the channel has ordered an additional 22 episodes of each program.

"Airing these series on both Disney Channel and ABC provides us with a tremendous opportunity to both build larger audiences for our networks and to give kid viewers more choices," Ross said.

Elsewhere, Disney will delve further into the reality series genre with Totally In Tune, a live-action show that follows the lives of teen musicians in the L.A. Hamilton High School orchestra.

"It combines traditional documentary filmmaking with the video diaries of the kids themselves," Ross said. The network has effectively reached tweens with such reality franchises as Bug Juice, Totally Hoops
and Totally Circus.

Disney will also debut Stanley, a new original half-hour series that will be part of its "Playhouse Disney" preschool programming block this fall. The series — based on characters from the popular children's book series of the same name — will also be featured on Disney's new Playhouse Disney Channel, which is set to debut next year, according to Ross.

Continuing its mandate to incorporate musical acts into its original programs, Ross said popular artists The Baha Men have recorded the theme song for Stanley
and Destiny's Child — along with lead vocalist Beyoncé Knowles' sister, Solange — has recorded the theme for the animated series The Proud Family.

Last month, the network dropped music videos from its schedule, citing the fact that its competitors have stepped up airing such clips and its inability to reap any tangible benefit from the free promotion it provides labels through the music shorts.

Other Disney Channel announcements included the development of several new original movies: 'Twas The Night, starring Bryan Cranston (Malcolm In The Middle); Ring of Endless Light, featuring veteran actor James Whitmore; and Halloweentown 2: Kalabar's Revenge, a sequel to a 1999 Disney film, starring Debbie Reynolds.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.