Disney Promotes Teen Stars in TV Movies

Disney Channel is putting the co-stars of two of its current series into original movies for the network. Alyson Michalka, from the network’s Phil of the Future, will co-star with her sister AJ in the previously announced Cow Belles, which will debut March 24 at 8 p.m. ET. Brenda Song, of Disney's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, will star in Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, which begins production in February. The network announced its movie plans at their panel today during the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour.

Belles features the Michalka sisters, who are known as Aly & AJ under their Hollywood Records recording deal, in an adventure comedy about running their father’s dairy company. Wendy tells the story of a Chinese-American teen who aspires to be homecoming queen.

Disney has a history of promoting its popular tween stars across multiple divisions of the company. Hilary Duff, who rose to fame starring on the network’s Lizzie McGuire, also starred in the Disney Channel movie Cadet Kelly, and Raven-Symoné, who stars in the network’s That’s So Raven, led the cast on the network's movie The Cheetah Girls.

At today’s TCA session, Disney also announced plans to premiere its newest comedy series, The Emperor’s New School, on four of its platforms, a first for the company. Disney Channel, Disney Channel on Demand, Toon Disney and ABC Kids, the Saturday-morning block on ABC, will debut the animated action/comedy between Jan. 20 and Jan. 30. The series is based on the Disney feature film The Emperor’s New Groove.