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For the Disney Channel in other countries, see Disney Channel (around the world).
Launched Owned by Picture format Headquarters Sister channel(s)
April 18, 1983 The Walt Disney Company 480i (SDTV) 720p (HDTV) Burbank, California Disney XD ABC ABC Family ESPN ESPN2 DisneyChannel.com Availability Satellite
Disney Channel headquarters in Burbank is marketed to mostly children; however, in recent years the diversity of viewers has increased with an older audience, typically teenagers. Presently available on basic cable and satellite television, the network is part of Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is based in Burbank, California, U.S.A, and also runs a website called DisneyChannel.com. Disney Channel began broadcasting in high-definition on March 19, 2008. A high definition feed of the network is also offered on some cable providers, as well as both satellite providers and telco IPTV providers in the ABC/Disney networks preferred format of 720p.
DirecTV Dish Network Cable Available on most cable systems
290 (East, SD/HD) 291 (West) 172 (East) 173 (West)
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The Beginning (1983-1997)
The channel’s first broadcasting day aired on April 18, 1983. At this time, Disney Channel was a premium channel and only aired 18 hours a day. The program that kicked off the channel’s first day on the air was an episode of the 1950s-era Mickey Mouse Club. The first produced Disney Channel Series shown on the network the day the network launched
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Disney Channel is a cable television channel specializing in television programming for children through original series and movies as well as third party programming. It
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were Good Morning, Mickey!, Welcome to Pooh Corner and You and Me Kid. The original late night schedule featured reruns of the classic The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet; more of them are included in Disney Channel Original Series. Disney Channel received a special citation from the United States president Ronald Reagan in 1984. From the inception, Disney Channel only aired from 6:00a.m. to 12:00a.m. midnight. In December 1986, Disney Channel commenced full time broadcasting 24 hours everyday. During the early years, Disney Channel aired several foreign animated series and movies including Asterix, The Raccoons, and Paddington Bear. The Australian western, Five Mile Creek, was shown during this time period also. During the 1980s, the channel debuted a few programs that later became part of the cultural lexicon of sorts. Early on, in 1986, the musically-oriented sitcom Kids Incorporated became a hit, about a pre-teen (and later teen-to-young adult) gang of friends who formed a pop group, mixing their everyday situations with variety-show and music video style performances. During its nine year run, the series spawned many future stars in both music and acting, the most notable being Martika (who went by her real name of Marta Marrero in the show’s first season), eventual Party of Five co-stars Scott Wolf and Jennifer Love Hewitt (billed as Love Hewitt) and, not to mention, Stacy Ferguson (Fergie). In early 1989, The Disney Channel revived one of the empire’s early TV staples with The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, which was an immediate hit and proved the basic Disney variety show formula could still work, unlike in the short-lived 1970s revival. The latest version contained many of the classic elements, from "theme days" to mouseketeer jackets (albeit updated), but the scripted and musical segments were hip. MMC was just as blessed with a stellar young cast, launching more careers of today’s big stars than the shows previously mentioned; Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, are just a few of the many "mice that soared".
network’s name (However, promos often referred to the channel as simply "Disney" and the logo often omitted the "Channel" in the network’s name also), and split the network into three programming blocks: Playhouse Disney, comprising of shows aimed at preschoolers; Vault Disney, featuring classic Disney material such as Zorro, The Mickey Mouse Club, the Disney anthology television series, older television specials and features such as The Love Bug; and the most distinct one, running from afternoon to late evening for teenagers, called Zoog Disney. A new channel logo (which featured a 1930s-era Mickey Mouse on a black Mickey ear-shaped TV), was introduced at this time. They began to carry break interruptions (not advertising commercials, but promos for network programming). Of the three blocks introduced in 1997, only Playhouse Disney continues to this day. As part of the network’s 2002 re-brand campaign, the "Zoog" brand was merged into the channel itself, and the Vault Disney block was dropped (primarily to contribute to the network’s new "hip" image). Disney Channel’s original programming during this time period began to skyrocket. First, with Flash Forward in 1997 and then continuing with shows like The Famous Jett Jackson, So Weird, Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens, and Kim Possible, among others. In 2000, Disney Channel became a part of expanded cable. Although the channel has started the move to expanded cable as early as 1997. It was at this time that Disney Channel started to gain viewers. Before 2000, Disney Channel would have a free preview weekend periodically 2 times a year (with ads targeted to non-subscribers).
In January 2002, Disney Channel was gradually remodeled once more. First, on September 16, 2002 the vintage material aired under the Vault Disney banner was discontinued in favor of same-day repeats of the channel’s original programming and off-network series. As a result, primetime movies were also cut to one a night (from two). The channel also ceased producing drama and reality series, shifting focus to live-action comedies and animated series, and Disney Channel usually premieres about two or three new original series a year (typically two animated series
1997 to 2002
In 1997, Disney Channel took on a revamped look and dropped the word "The" in the
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and one live-action series). The current logo was implemented a month later. Anne Sweeney, a veteran cable executive, took control of Disney-ABC Television Group in 2004 and successfully remade Disney Channel into "the major profit driver in the company." By 2008, Condé Nast Portfolio was able to note that the Channel "has been adding a million viewers a month—every month—for the last five years," and also called the Channel "the greatest teen-star incubator since the NBA stopped drafting high schoolers." Sweeney’s successful strategy was to discover, nurture, and aggressively cross-promote teen music stars whose style and image were carefully targeted to teenagers. While Disney Channel’s intended target audience are preschoolers, pre-teens and young adolescents, the channel has gained mega popularity and also has viewers outside the main target audience and has even made teen idols out of some of the channel’s stars. The channel has become well known in recent years for its Disney Channel Original Series, and because of them, Disney Channel is one of the most-watched cable channels in the United States, with some series averaging around three million viewers (which is considered impressive for cable television). In 2005, That’s So Raven became the network’s highest-rated series of all time, as well as making history as the first Disney Channel Original Series to beat the 65 episode limit (eventually hitting 100 episodes) and spawn a spin off. In 2006, High School Musical became the most successful movie Disney Channel produced at the time, which was then beaten by The Cheetah Girls 2, which in turn was beaten by "High School Musical 2" in the Summer of 2007.
Suite Life on Deck, the spin-off to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, plus new Disney Channel Original Movies such as Minutemen, Camp Rock, and The Cheetah Girls: One World. Phineas and Ferb and The Suite Life on Deck each were the number one series in their respective categories in kids ages 6-11 and tweens ages 9-14 in 2008.  In 2009, Disney Channel launched Sonny With a Chance (the channel’s first original series to be shot in high definition) starring Demi Lovato and Sterling Knight; and in May launched JONAS starring the Jonas Brothers. Movies in 2009: Dadnapped starring Emily Osment, David Henrie, Moises Arias, Jason Earles, and Phill Lewis. More movies also: Hatching Pete starring: Jason Dolley, Mitchell Musso, Tiffany Thornton and Brian Stepanek. Princess Protection Program starring Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. Disney Channel’s next big project will be its film adaptation of Wizards of Waverly Place in Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie.
Disney Channel mostly airs its original sitcoms geared toward teenagers, and sometimes airs its original cartoons geared more towards upper-elementary and middle school age children. However, as of 2008 the only original cartoons it airs are The Replacements and Phineas and Ferb. Disney Channel also has a programming block that airs in the daytime geared toward pre-schoolers called Playhouse Disney. Despite these other programming, a great majority of the channel’s time-slot is taken up by the teen sitcoms. Series produced by Walt Disney Television or production companies unrelated to the Walt Disney Company used to make up most of the schedule; nowadays, with the explosion of Disney Channel Original Series, fewer of these series have aired on the channel. As of January 2008, the only non-original productions airing on Disney (not including the Playhouse Disney lineup, movies, and short series Minuscule and Shaun the Sheep) are Life With Derek, The Little Mermaid and Recess. The Playhouse Disney block airs daily from 6:00 am until noon. During the summer line-up it ends at 10:00 AM and the regular Disney block begins. On summer weekends, Playhouse Disney ends at 12:00 PM and then Disney airs its summer lineup. As of February 2008, the only Walt Disney related
2007 was another big year for Disney Channel, including the premiere of some of the most popular of the Disney Channel Movies to air, High School Musical 2, and Jump In!. Two new series also premiered in 2007; Wizards of Waverly Place, and the first official original short series, As the Bell Rings. 2007 also brought the very first spin-off of series to Disney Channel, Cory in the House. 2008 is recognized for its new series such as Phineas and Ferb, Brian O’Brian, and The
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programming is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Playhouse Disney. In the 1990s, Disney Channel aired special shows that featured old-time Disney cartoons (that were usually made in Walt Disney’s time). It was taken off the lineup in 2000. Naturally, Sadie, Boy Meets World, and Sister, Sister were removed from the Disney Channel lineup in 2007, while other shows experienced time slot changes. The station returned to the usual schedule on September 4, 2007. After Totally Rockin’ Summer Disney Channel returned to its basic schedule again on September 7, 2008. Phil of the Future ended its run on Disney Channel in the United States on September 8, 2008. It’s still being aired on Disney XD. On December 14, 2008, it was announced that Disney Channel in the U.S. will bring back the animated block which has aired from 12 to 3PM. Once it becomes official, the network will have shows such as Lilo & Stitch: The Series and Recess. Much of Disney Channel’s programming seems to appeal to teenage girls for example Hannah Montana and The Jonas Brothers. Disney Channel is planning to release programming more appealing to teenage boys in the near future. Aaron Stone and other such Disney XD shows will possibly be shown on Disney Channel by 2010.
screen. screen, 2007-present. This verwith variThis one feasion of the ous imtures a more logo was ages of 3D look and used from characters is surrounded 1986 to popping by ribbons. 1997. The out of the 1983-1986 screen. version This logo had blue was used screen from 1997 bars and a until blue 2002. Mickey Mouse head, and "The Disney Channel" was all written on uppercase. Disney Channel used Mickey Mouse’s face superimposed on a television screen as its logo from its debut in 1983 until 1997. In 1997, Disney Channel introduced the Mickey Mouse Ear-Shaped TV Screen logo, featuring a 1930s-era Mickey Mouse, which it used until 2002. From 2002 - 2007, Disney Channel used Mickey Mouse’s face again, this time with the "Disney Channel" logo. From 2002 - 2007, the face bounced from corner to corner of the screen, showing which two shows were coming up next. At the beginning of each movie’s, or each episode’s, part, the face bounced to the screen and showed what show the viewers were watching. The current logo fits Disney Channel’s new bumpers and theme.2007-2009 now using a red logo
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Disney Channel’s first logo, consisting of a MickeyMouse shape inside a TV Disney Disney Channel’s new summer programming Disney Channel’s Disney Chanblock , Summer of Stars, begins Saturday, Channel’s 3rd logo May 30 2009 and will last until the end of nel’s 4th and second 2002-2007. current logo August 2009. Previous blocks have been logo, conTotally Rockin’ Summer! (May 17, 2008released sisting of along with September 7, 2008),Summer! (May 24, 2007a MickeySeptember 8, 2007) and So Hot Summer! new bumpers Mousein January (June 1, 2006- August 31, 2006) and Summer Ear2007. From 2005! (June 10, 2005- August 28, 2005). shaped TV
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Company’s Hoodwinked and Doogal, Sony Pictures’ Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2, 20th Century Fox’s Catch That Kid and Paramount’s Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown. Also, another non-Disney Christmas themed film, such asThe Polar Express have aired. Other non-Disney films may include Little Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown and Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird just to name a few. Between 1986 and 1998, films made up most Disney Channel’s evening and overnight schedule. It now only airs usually around 12 hours of movies per week, occasionally 14 or 15. Many of the channel’s earliest original movies (particularly those made from 1997 to 2002) have seldom been aired by Disney Channel in recent years, except for some holiday-themed movies. This changed in January 2009 when the channel began airing these early original movies in late night on Fridays and Saturdays. A Disney Channel Original Movie used to air twice in a row on the night of its Friday night premiere; this tradition ended with the premiere of High School Musical. Most movies airing on Disney Channel usually run in the 95 to 105-minute range, promos included. Because of this, Disney airs programming following the film: • If it lasts 1:25 to 1:35, an Original Series will air (Disney used to air syndicated series that aired on the channel). In primetime, Wizards of Waverly Place (on Monday-Thursdays) will air and in daytime or primetime, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (in primetime it will air on Fridays and Saturdays) will air, followed by another episode airing at its regularly scheduled time. • If it lasts 1:40 to 1:45, a miniature episode of an Original Animated Series will air (most likely an 11-minute episode of an Animated Original Series). • If it lasts 1:50 to 1:55, either a music video will air along with a Disney Channel promos music video, or an episode of a Disney Channel Short Series such as Shaun the Sheep, The Road to The Cheetah Girls 3: One World, As the Bell Rings, Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream, or Brian O’ Brian. In November 2006, the Disney Channel Original Movie opener was remixed. In December 2008, the Disney Channel Original Movie
Every night during October, Disney Channel has had Halloween Events. In 2008, Disney Channel presented Wiz-Tober, a succesor to Hauntoberfest.
Disney Channel Games
Debuting in 2006, the Disney Channel Games includes stars from Disney Channel Original Series and Movies. Disney Channel Games 2007, airing in summer 2007, and Disney Channel Games 2008, airing in summer 2008 featured Disney Channel stars from outside of the US and added the yellow team to the three other color(red, blue, and green). During ’08, the teams were titled Lightning, Inferno, Comets and Cyclones.
A film is broadcast almost every night, but not necessarily a theatrically released feature film. Disney Channel airs new original films, called Disney Channel Original Movies (or DCOMs), about 4 to 6 times a year, and those are frequently broadcast during that timeslot. In 2000, Disney Channel claimed to produce a new movie each month; this only lasted throughout that same year. The Disney Channel Original Movies began in 1997 with Northern Lights. The amount of DCOM’s per year began to increase -- from two in 1997 to three in 1998 to a high of twelve in 2000. High School Musical 2 is the most successful DCOM in popularity and awards, setting a cable record for most viewers of a basic cable program, when its debut scored 17.2 million, a record that stood until the December 3 Monday Night Football matchup between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens on corporate sibling ESPN surpassed it with 17.5 million viewers (it still remains the most watched made-for-TV movie in cable television history). The Cheetah Girls films are also notably successful, with huge merchandise, sold out concert tours and soundtrack sales. The channel will occasionally secure the rights to air a picture released by a non-Disney studio, most notably Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, NBC Universal’s Beethoven, The Weinstein
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opener was renewed again. It now features Disney Channel movies revisted in a soundstage, using stills from each movie (starting with the first High School Musical movie, ending with the second, with appearances by "Camp Rock", Jump In! and The Cheetah Girls: One World, among few). The commercial break bumpers were also renewed, in which viewers enter the stage, fly through with the name finally revealed. 2009’s slate of Disney Channel Original Movies features several stars of several Disney Channel series appearing in each of these films. In February 2009, Disney Channel aired its first new DCOM of the year (Dadnapped) on a Monday evening, on President’s Day, February 16. This movie starred Emily Osment, Jason Earles and Moises Arias of Hannah Montana, David Henrie of Wizards of Waverly Place and Phill Lewis of The Suite Life on Deck. Hatching Pete, which aired in April, stars Mitchel Musso, also of Hannah Montana, Jason Dolley, formerly of Cory in the House, Tiffany Thornton of Sonny with a Chance and Brian Stepanek of the short series Brian O’Brian and formerly of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. The third original movie of the year, Princess Protection Program will debut in June 2009, and stars Selena Gomez, also of Wizards of Waverly
Place and Demi Lovato, also of Sonny With A Chance.
 Bryant, J. Alison (November 7, 2006 (2006-11-07)). The Children’s Television Community. Lawrence Erlbaum. p. 149. ISBN 0-805-84996-3.  Cable TV Arlington’s Archived Lineup. Disney is channel 21 under the basic lineup.  ^ Karl Taro Greenfeld, "How Mickey Got His Groove Back," Condé Nast Portfolio, May 2008, 126-131 & 150.  "Disney Channel/DisneyChannel.com Highlights For 2008". http://www.prinside.com/disney-channeldisneychannel-com-highlightsr992914.htm. Retrieved on 2009-1-19.
• • • • • • Official Website US Disney Channel International ABC Cable Networks Group page Disney Channel Fan Blog Current U.S. schedule A Disney Fan Podcast