As we attempt to raise our Disney Son, who turns 7 this summer, we continue to experience the challenge of finding television shows that are appropriate for a child his age (or younger). You would think that between Disney XD and the Disney Channel there would always be something, but often the options are either unacceptable or not aimed at his demographic.
Now that Disney has announced a new cable channel aimed squarely at pre-school aged kids, future generations won’t have that same issue. Disney Junior will start as a website and that new name of Playschool Disney and then will morph into a full cable channel when it replaces SOAPnet.
Disney Junior’s animated and live action programming will blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills.
“The launch of Disney Junior in the U.S. is the next step in our global preschool strategy, which began 10 years ago with the premiere of our first dedicated preschool channel in the UK,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group.
But why get rid of SOAPnet? “The decision to ultimately transition SOAPnet to accomplish this was not arrived at lightly,” said Sweeney. “SOAPnet was created in 2000 to give daytime viewers the ability to watch time-shifted soaps, before multiplatform viewing and DVRs were part of our vocabulary. But today, as technology and our businesses evolve, it makes more sense to align this distribution with a preschool channel that builds on the core strengths of our company.”
I guess that means we can write off the return of ABC Soap Opera days at DHS.
I’m not sure Disney Junior is a stronger brand than Playhouse Disney. But it does convey that the channel will be more than just play, which I guess is a step in the right direction. I wonder if the yearly Playhouse Disney Live tours will be rebranded too.
For more details check out the press release below the jump;