Disney Junior

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Disney Junior
Disney Junior Logo.png
LaunchedFebruary 14, 2011 (2011-02-14)
(programming block on Disney Channel)
March 23, 2012 (2012-03-23)
(TV channel)
Owned byDisney Channels Worldwide
(Disney-ABC Television Group)
Picture format720p (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
SloganWhere the Magic Begins
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Broadcast areaNational
HeadquartersBurbank, California
Formerly calledPlayhouse Disney (May 8, 1997 (1997-05-08)–February 13, 2011 (2011-02-13))
ReplacedNetwork:
Soapnet
Programming block:
Playhouse Disney
Sister channel(s)Disney Channel
Disney XD
ABC Family
ABC
Websitedisneyjunior.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV289 (HD/SD)
Cable
Available on most cable systemsCheck your local listings
IPTV
Verizon FiOS260 (SD only)
AT&T U-verse306 (SD)
1306 (HD)
 
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Disney Junior
Disney Junior Logo.png
LaunchedFebruary 14, 2011 (2011-02-14)
(programming block on Disney Channel)
March 23, 2012 (2012-03-23)
(TV channel)
Owned byDisney Channels Worldwide
(Disney-ABC Television Group)
Picture format720p (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
SloganWhere the Magic Begins
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Broadcast areaNational
HeadquartersBurbank, California
Formerly calledPlayhouse Disney (May 8, 1997 (1997-05-08)–February 13, 2011 (2011-02-13))
ReplacedNetwork:
Soapnet
Programming block:
Playhouse Disney
Sister channel(s)Disney Channel
Disney XD
ABC Family
ABC
Websitedisneyjunior.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV289 (HD/SD)
Cable
Available on most cable systemsCheck your local listings
IPTV
Verizon FiOS260 (SD only)
AT&T U-verse306 (SD)
1306 (HD)

Disney Junior, branded as Disney Junior, The Channel is an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by the Disney Channels Worldwide unit of Disney-ABC Television Group, part of the Disney Media Networks division of the The Walt Disney Company. Aimed mainly for children between 3 through 10 years of age, its programming consists of original first-run television series, theatrically-released and made-for-DVD movies and select other third-party programming.

Disney Junior also lends its name to a morning and early afternoon program block seen on sister network Disney Channel, branded as "Disney Junior on Disney Channel", airing Monday through Fridays from 6 a.m.–1 p.m. (6-9 a.m. during the summer months) and weekends from 6–9 a.m. ET/PT.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The Walt Disney Company first attempted to launch a 24-hour cable channel for preschoolers in the United States in 2001,[1] when the company announced plans to debut the Playhouse Disney Channel, a television offshoot of Disney Channel's daytime programming block Playhouse Disney. Plans for the United States network were ultimately shelved, however dedicated Playhouse Disney Channels did end up launching in other countries around the world.[2]

The development of Disney Junior began on May 26, 2010, when Disney-ABC Television Group announced the launch of the channel as a digital cable and satellite service, which would compete with other cable channels targeted primarily at preschool-aged children such as Nick Jr., Qubo and PBS Kids Sprout; in addition, the Playhouse Disney block on Disney Channel would also be renamed as Disney Junior prior to the launch of the channel of the same name. The announcement also called for the 22 existing programming blocks and cable channels outside of the United States bearing the Playhouse Disney name being renamed under the Disney Junior brand.[3]

The flagship cable channel in the United States intended to replace Soapnet, a Disney-owned cable channel featuring daytime soap operas seen on the major broadcast networks (including sister network ABC) and reruns of former primetime drama series, due to the continued decline in popularity of soap operas on broadcast television, along the growth of video on demand services (including the online streaming availability for soap operas) and digital video recorders that negated the need for a linear channel devoted to the genre.[2]

Launch[edit]

Disney Junior first launched as a programming block on the Disney Channel on February 14, 2011.

The Disney Junior channel was originally slated to debut in January 2012, but on July 28, 2011, Disney-ABC Television Group moved the launch date from January to an unspecified date in late spring 2012,[4] then setting the channel's launch date to February. On January 9, 2012, Disney-ABC Television Group announced that Soapnet's shutdown date for most providers was scheduled for March 22, 2012. Disney Junior's 24-hour cable channel counterpart officially launched one day later on March 23,[5] at 12 a.m. ET with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode "Mickey's Big Surprise" as the first program to air on the channel.

Though it in effect took over the channel space held by Soapnet, an automated feed of that channel continued exist for providers that have not yet made carriage agreements with Disney Junior (similar to other automated channel feeds that continued to operate during the transitions of Nickelodeon Games and Sports for Kids to TeenNick and Fox Reality Channel to Nat Geo Wild), or held out as to not lose subscribers due to the immediate loss of that network. These included some providers such as Cox Communications, Cablevision, DirecTV and Verizon FiOS, which continued to carry Soapnet while having added the Disney Junior channel onto their channel lineups in turn.[5][6] Soapnet's operations continued sixteen months further than had been originally planned, until the network went off the air the evening of December 31, 2013 at exactly midnight.[7]

Television carriage[edit]

Since its launch, Disney Junior became initially available to subscribers of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS;[8] Other providers would sign carriage agreements to run the network following its launch:

Dish Network (which is currently negotiating a new carriage agreement for all the networks TWDC offers) is currently the only major television provider that has not picked up Disney Junior.

Programming[edit]

Programming on the Disney Junior channel includes original series (such as Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First), shows from the Playhouse Disney library that are currently airing on the block (such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Special Agent Oso), and short form series. The channel also includes shows formerly seen on the now-defunct Playhouse Disney block, as well as some older animated series previously seen on sister network ABC, CBS (made prior to 1996) and programs from Disney Channel and Toon Disney, in which the channel airs certain shows in reruns by popular demand (especially during the overnight graveyard slots).[15]

The network also airs classic animated films released theatrically by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (including Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar), along with Disney's direct-to-video sequels and original preschool projects with movie-length features, under two brandings: The Magical World of Disney Junior on weekends, and the more general Disney Junior Movie at most other times, which features a broader selection of films.

In September 2012, a series of short features called the Disney Junior Night Light began airing on the Disney Junior channel between programs shown as part of its nighttime schedule. Features seen as part of Night Light include Picture This (which presents sketches of Disney characters being drawn), DJ Tales (twists on traditional fairy tales using costumed finger puppets) and That's Fresh (featuring cooking tips segments aimed at mothers presented by celebrity chef Helen Cavallo). Additional sketches are in development.[16]

Related services[edit]

Disney Junior The Channel HD.png

International[edit]

Disney Junior has established channels in various countries worldwide (all of which were formerly branded under the Playhouse Disney name prior to 2012). including South Africa, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, India, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Scandinavia, the Baltic states, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and the Netherlands and Flanders.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Play nice now; Walt Disney Co. plans to introduce Playhouse Disney Channel, Broadcasting & Cable (via HighBeam Research), June 25, 2001.
  2. ^ a b SOAPnet Will Go Dark to Make Way for Disney Junior, Entertainment Weekly, May 26, 2010
  3. ^ Disney/ABC Television Group Announces Disney Junior, a New 24-Hour Channel for Preschoolers and Their Families, The Futon Critic, May 26, 2010
  4. ^ Soapnet to stay on the air longer into the New Year!, Michael Fairman Soaps, July 28, 2011,
  5. ^ a b Schneider, Michael (January 9, 2012). "Disney Junior to replace Soapnet in March". TV Guide. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ Villarreal, Yvonne. "Show Tracker: What You're WatchingDisney Junior 24/7 channel launches Friday." Los Angeles Times Blog 22 March 2012. Web. 19 April 2012.
  7. ^ James, Meg (November 9, 2013). "Disney's SOAPnet channel headed for the drain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ Disney Junior Launches on Friday; SOAPnet to Continue on Some Carriers, Hollywood Reporter, March 22, 2012.
  9. ^ http://www.facebook.com/CoxArizona/posts/10150615047421220
  10. ^ http://kidscreen.com/2012/04/03/nctc-to-distribute-disney-junior/
  11. ^ Disney Junior will Launch Saturday, July 14 to Millions of DIRECTV Customers Nationwide
  12. ^ Liebermann, David (July 13, 2012). "A Challenge To Viacom? DirecTV Adds Disney Junior To Programming Lineup". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ "The Walt Disney Company and Charter Communications Announce New Distribution Agreement". The Futon Critic. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Farrell, Mike (January 15, 2013). "Disney Strikes U-Verse Carriage Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ Dealicious Mom (January 12, 2012). "24 Hour Disney Junior Channel Coming March 2012! Updated!". Dealicious Mom. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  16. ^ Dickson, Jeremy (August 29, 2012). "First look: DJ Tales to bow on Disney Junior Night Light". Kidscreen. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Disney Announces Disney Junior, a 24-hr channel for Preschoolers & families". Laughing Place. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  18. ^ Frost, John (May 27, 2010). "Disney Junior to replace Soapnet in Cable Lineup". The Disney Blog. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  19. ^ "On August 15 four exciting channels will be available in eye-popping HD!". DirecTV. August 15, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]