Disney Unveils New Programming with Familiar Faces, Rising Stars
Debby Ryan, Mark Indelicato
Disney is building on its musical foundation with the upcoming slate of programming unveiled Wednesday.
Ugly Betty alum Mark Indelicato joins the growing cast of Disney's High School Musical spin-off, Madison High. The musical comedy will feature original songs and center on a group of kids trying to rebuild their theater program.
Disney fan favorite Debby Ryan, who stars on The Suite Life on Deck, landed her own series for the network called Jessie. The show follows a teen from rural Texas who moves to New York.
"I'm most excited to play my age!" she told TVGuide.com about her new role. "On Disney, people haven't really played 18, just out of high school, discovering themselves ... It hasn't been addressed that this is who we are once we're 18 and set loose upon the world and it's exciting for me to be paving new ground with Jessie."
Soon-to-be breakout star (just YouTube her) China Anne McClain headlines new series ANT Farm. The comedy follows Chyna (McClain), an 11-year-old musical prodigy who attends high school as part of a prestigious ANT (Advanced Natural Talents) program.
"Being in high school is about fitting in," McClain said. "But we have to try super hard because we're so young and they already don't like us."
Shake It Up, the hit buddy comedy revolving around dance, also returns for a second season.
Other programming announcements includes:
Disney Channel XD
In new live-action comedy Kickin' It, the owner of the struggling Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy recruits a big-time skateboarder to teach his students, a ragtag team of neighborhood kids, about karate, life and how to kick it. Leo Howard, a martial artist for more than 10 years, stars along with Hannah Montana's Jason Earles. Kickin' It joins new animated series Ultimate Spider-Man, Motorcity, Tron: Uprising and returning shows Pair of Kings and Kick Buttowski — Suburban Daredevil.
Disney Channel Original Movies
Greek Charming stars real-life couple Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) and Matt Prokop in the coming-of-age tale that explores the social hierarchy in high school.
Frenemies is an anthology about three different pairs of friends, slated for a 2012 premiere.
Debuting next month: Lemonade Mouth about a band of misfit rockers who meet in detention. Bridgit Mendler (Good Luck Charlie) and Adam Hicks (Zeke and Luther) star.
New animated series Doc McStuffins, Oki's Oasis (a Western for preschoolers), Sofia the First, 7D (a new spin on the Seven Dwarfs), and Minnie Bow-Toons join returning animated show Jake and the Never Land Pirates, which is the No. 1 series on TV for kids 2 to 5 years old.
Which Disney shows are you most excited about?