Disney Reworks Toon Disney as Disney XD
Disney’s TV division released details on its much anticipated revamping of its Jetix franchise, now sporting the moniker XD. It takes over the bandwidth currently occupied by the ToonDisney channel.
XD, according to an announcement released last Friday, will launch on February 13. Its target is young to ‘tween boys, with superhero and adventure-oriented programming at its core. This includes new episodes of Spectacular Spider-Man, formerly on CW4Kids, and Phineas & Ferb. As with all TV-oriented entertainment, there will also be a website, www.DisneyXD.com dedicated to the channel.
“Boys, like girls, place incredibly high standards on their entertainment choices,” says Gary Marsh., President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide. “They demand complex, multi-faceted characters that, while not perfect, are smart, selfless, determined and brave. Disney XD will deliver those kinds of characters and stories in a wide range of formats – animation, live action, movies and sports -- and it will focus on the core value of accomplishment."
“We focus on creating world-class, award-winning experiences by connecting stories to communities of kids and tweens online," added Paul Yanover, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Disney Online "We are excited to bring this deep and engaging cross-platform destination, packed with great games and video, to the Disney XD audience."
The rollout of the Disney XD basic channel will include a Disney Channel simulcast of new series Aaron Stone. The series will also be available online at DisneyXD.com, and its first episode will be available via Video-on-Demand and Mobile platforms. Previews of the first episode will be available via Xbox 360 and the iTunes Store.
In addition to Aaron Stone, the launch schedule includes the new animated series, Kid vs. Kat, Jimmy Two Shoes and two short-form series, "RoboDz," and "Bruno the Great.". Also in the works are the live action skateboarding series Zeke & Luther and the animated series Kid Knievel, which will debut at later dates.
Besides new episodes of Spectacular Spider-Man, XD will continue to air repeat 90s superhero series Batman: The Animated Series, Superman, Iron Man and the Fox 1990’s version of Spider-Man.
Disney XD has also released the following schedule and descriptions for its various shows:
- Thursday, January 29 – Preview episode of Aaron Stone available through the iTunes Store (free of charge). Previews will start on Xbox on February 6.
An original live-action, single camera adventure series about Charlie Landers, a teenager who's enlisted to become the real-life version of a crime-fighting online game character. Starring Kelly Blatz, David Lambert, JP Manoux and Tania Gunadi. The creator and executive producer is Bruce Kalish and executive producer is Suzanne French. The series is produced in HD format by Shaftesbury Services II, Inc.
- Thursday, February 5 – Preview episode of Jimmy Two Shoes and Kid vs. Kat through the iTunes Store (free of charge). They will be available on Xbox starting February 14.
Jimmy Two Shoes is an animated series featuring a teenager who sets out to make Miseryville fun and exciting with the help of his two best friends, Heloise and Beezy. The series was created by Edward Kay and Sean Scott and is produced by Breakthrough Animation and Teletoon in Toronto.
Kid vs. Kat is an animated comedy series about a space alien disguised as a cat and stranded on Earth. When a boy named Coop Burtonburger's spoiled little sister, Millie, discovers the cat and brings him home, chaos ensues. The series was created by Rob Boutilier and is produced by Studio B Productions in Vancouver.
- Friday, February 13 -- Disney XD debuts on TV (Midnight), online, VOD and mobile platforms.
Aaron Stone (part one, 7:00 p.m.) will be simulcast on Disney Channel, Sprint TV and MobiTV; part two will premiere only on Disney XD (7:30 p.m.) and DisneyXD.com. Immediately following the premiere, Disney XD will present previews of Jimmy Two Shoes (8:05 p.m.) and Kid vs. Kat (8:20 p.m.). Aaron Stone will also be available via Video-on-Demand through Verizon Fios and Comcast, among others
- Monday, February 16 through Friday, February 20 (4:30 p.m.) – New episodes of Phineas and Ferb premiere daily
- Saturday, February 21 – Regular timeslot premiere of Phineas and Ferb (8:00 a.m.), Kid vs. Kat (8:30 a.m.) and Jimmy Two Shoes (9:00 a.m.). New episode of Ying Yang Yo (10:30 a.m.) premieres.
- Monday, February 23 – Jimmy Two Shoes and Kid vs. Kat become available on Video-on-Demand
Other Series Descriptions:
• Zeke & Luther is an original, single camera comedy about two best friends who set their sights on becoming world famous skateboarders. Starring are Hutch Dano, Adam Hicks, Daniel Curtis Lee and Ryan Newman. The creators and executive producers are Matt Dearborn and Tom Burkhard. Filmed in HD format, the series is a production of Turtle Rock Productions, Inc.
• Kid Knievel is an original, 2D animated comedy series about a boy who overcomes incredible obstacles in his quest to become the world's greatest and most extreme daredevil. Based on daredevil "Kaptain" Robbie Knievel, the series' main character, Kid pursues his daily dose of danger. With loyal friends Gunther and Sam by his side, his imaginative journey takes him speeding down a river in a rocket-powered kayak, jumping Dead Man's Drop on a skateboard and riding a unicycle while blindfolded atop a herd of white rhinos. The series was created by Sandro Corsaro. Chris Savino is the series' executive producer and director. The series is a production of Walt Disney Television Animation.
• “RoboDz” is an original 3D short-form series featuring both CG-animated characters and live-action backgrounds. It follows an epic battle between the mighty Baddle alien army and three clever little Samurai RoboDz who have nothing but courage on their side. The series is co-produced by Toei Animation Company Ltd. and Disney in Japan.
• "Bruno the Great" is an original, animated short-form series about Hero, a boy who has the ability to master any challenge, and his nemesis, Not, who tries to achieve all that Hero can, but through a series of increasingly comedic obstacles, fails to do so. The series is produced by Studio Bozzetto & Co SRL in Italy.
Disney XD will reach over 72 million households via its basic cable affiliates. Disney XD is the seventh brand in the kid-driven, family inclusive TV and radio business of The Walt Disney Company. The global portfolio encompasses Playhouse Disney, Disney Channel, Radio Disney, Disney Cinemagic, Toon Disney and Jetix.