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Toon Zone Talkback -Toon Disney to Become Disney XD in Feb. 2009 to Snare Boys 6-14

Discussion in 'Disney/Pixar Forum' started by simpsonsfan, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. simpsonsfan

    simpsonsfan Froakie - Bubble Frog Pokemon
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    Someday, Disney hopes its princes will come.

    The entertainment giant, which has made billions catering to the princess fantasies of young girls, plans to relaunch Toon Disney as Disney XD as a cable channel targeting boys. The move, under wraps for more than a year, is an attempt by the company to capture a market that has long eluded it.

    Starting in February, Disney XD will seek to become to young dudes what the Disney Channel, with its lineup of tweeny bopper programs such as "High School Musical," "Hannah Montana" and "Camp Rock" is to girls. Disney XD, aiming squarely at boys ages 6 to 14, will offer original action-adventure and comedy series, movies, animation and sports-themed shows developed with Walt Disney Co.-owned ESPN.

    "What was clear to me, and clear to us, is we had a huge opportunity to create content that were boys' favorites," said Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide.

    Tween boys, ages 9 to 14, account for about $50 billion in spending worldwide, said Greg Kahn, senior vice president of strategic insights for media buying firm Optimedia International USA Inc.. Advertisers are eager to reach these young consumers, not just snag a portion of their disposable income, but to build a loyalty that they hope will extend into even more free-spending teen years, he said.

    But the Disney Channel has struggled for years to find the right programming formula to lure boys, who tend to gravitate to Viacom's Nickelodeon and Time Warner's Cartoon Network -- that is, when they're not spending time playing video games. The Disney Channel's popular live-action shows, from its early tween phenomenon, "Lizzie McGuire," through its current pop-culture sensation, "Hannah Montana," mainly attract girls. Efforts to bring in more boys, through male-led series such as "Even Stevens" or "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," still haven't succeeded enough to close the gender gap between female and male viewers. Animation, traditionally a draw for boys, has been a struggle for Disney Channel, although its newest series, "Phineas and Ferb," appears to be building a strong male following. But so far, the network has failed to produce a blockbuster to compete with Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants;" or match the guy-centric focus of Cartoon Network, which one ad-buyer described as the "ESPN" of animation.

    "You're fighting the brand perception, the very, very strong brand equity that's been in the marketplace for many, many years," Kahn said of the Disney Channel. "It would almost require a complelely separate effort to reach tween boys, with a completely different name somehow associated with the Disney property, to reach these tween males."

    None of this is news to Ross, who, with his executive team, spent more than a yearwith focus groups pondering the eternal verities: "What do boys want?"

    The answer, perhaps not surprisingly, is that boys want it all. "What we heard, loud and clear, is they expect from Disney this broad array," Ross said, with programs running the gamut from animation to action-adventure to comedy. "They expect from Disney the whole thing, including movies." In short, tween boys are looking for more than a show or two wedged in the midst of the musical theater-inspired programs that have come to define the Disney Channel. They want, Disney says, a channel they can call their own.

    "They want a place, essentially a headquarters for them where their favorite content exists, that has this broad array of shapes and sizes and tenors and complexities, and treats them with the respect that Disney Channel treats all kids, and the girls are fanatical about," Ross said.

    Instead of tinkering with what works -- The Disney Channel, which has spawned two billion-dollar creative franchises in High School Musical and Hannah -- Ross elected to relaunch a struggling cable asset, Toon Disney, into this destination for boys.

    Toon Disney pulls only 10% to 15% of the viewers of Disney Channel, despite the cable network's reach into nearly 70 million U.S. households. The Nielsen ratings reflect its hodgepodge lineup of geriatric kids shows, such as as "Power Rangers Jungle Fury" and recycled animated offerings such as "Batman: The Animated Series," and "Jackie Chan Adventures," and movies.

    As the rebranded Disney XD, the ad-supported cable network will boast original series, such as "Aaron Stone," a live-action show about a video game virtuoso who leads a secret double life as a crime fighter. The show boils down to a male fantasy version of "Hannah Montana," in which an ordinary teen leads a double life as a rock star.

    Former "The Wonder Years" child star Fred Savage directed the pilot for "Mongoose & Luther," a mock documentary series about two best friends who set out to become the world's greatest skateboarders. The project was created by Matt Dearborn and Tom Burkhard, who worked on Disney Channel's "Even Stevens."

    Established animated series, from "Phineas and Ferb," to "Batman: The Animated Series," will air on Disney XD alongside new offerings, such as RoboDz, a short-form series developed in partnership with Toei Animation Co. Ltd. of Japan, in which robotic life forms defend Earth from space invaders.

    Plans for an online presence and mobile offerings are also in the works.

    "We know we have a huge opportunity to take that asset and make it every bit as powerful as Disney Channel or Playhouse Disney," Ross said.

    Source: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-fi-disney7-2008aug07,0,4061075.story

    I can't believe Toon Disney will be no more come next year. Wow!
     
  2. sag_2002

    sag_2002 Active Member

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    Meh, I kinda had a feeling they were going to ditch the "Toon Disney" name eventually. I'm just surprised they didn't split TD and Jetix into two separate channels.
     
  3. Leviathan

    Leviathan "It's against nature!"
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    So Long, Toon Disney. We hardly knew ye.
     
  4. simpsonsfan

    simpsonsfan Froakie - Bubble Frog Pokemon
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    Or turn Toon Disney / Jetix into just Jetix.
     
  5. The Huntsman

    The Huntsman Friend of Toon Zone

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    I wonder what’s going to happen with Jetix. I was hoping that “Yin Yang Yo!” would receive a third season, but from the sound of that article, they’re going to be more interested in live-action programs.
     
  6. Nexonius

    Nexonius Ten, count em', ten years!

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    Wait, what? Disney XD? Live Action? Please. Boys today wouldn't really care for this bologna. They could've gone the CN/AS route. They should have just made Disney XD a digital channel. What if it isn't successful and blows?

    Goodbye to a network who showed classic Walt Disney Television Animation shows like The Wuzzles, Gummi Bears, Duck Tales, the DiC cartoons like What A Mess, Sabrina, Mary Kate And Ashley, Garfield and Friends, Toad Patrol, among others, and say hello to even more Live Action, some sports stuff made by ESPN, and other junk. I seriously hope Disney makes a Toon Disney site for their cartoons. And what's going to happen to the Jetix International channels around the world? Will they have a name change also?


    Another network changing its name. Oh boy. :sad:
     
  7. Ishtar

    Ishtar Active Member

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    It's sad to see Toon Disney going bye bye, but it was already starting to fade away from what it was supposed to represent years ago. I wonder if Jetix was only a test for the possibilities of "DisneyXD" all along? But seriously, "Disney XD" is a terrible name. Couldn't they come up with a better name than using internet slang?
     
  8. Space Cadet

    Space Cadet I'M SWEATING
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    I'm not surprised by this news. Jetix has been swallowing up whatever timeslots Toon Disney had left. I was wondering when Disney would announce that the channel would be renamed Jetix or change to a new name.

    At least they're changing the name. That way, when they're airing more live-action shows, it won't be contradicting the Toon Disney name.

    I never thought of Cartoon Network as the "ESPN of animation." Awesome.:cool:
     
  9. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    Which wouldn't be necessary if their Disney Channel program would just center on both genders equally.
     
  10. J'onn J'onzz

    J'onn J'onzz Best Male Member '08

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    I think the Toon Disney site's video service is already named DisneyXD. It is a pretty lame name, though. Most people will associate it with the smilie XD, and think the network is a joke. Which it probably will be.
     
  11. Ishtar

    Ishtar Active Member

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    You know, I just thought of an idea. What if Disney XD attempts to make some anime acquisitions? I say this because the purpose of the channel is to make it male oriented, and they may want some anime show like Naruto, which is a big ratings gainer for CN. Like possibly One Piece, or maybe getting the rights to air re-runs of DBZ or something. It does sound very silly, honestly, but the way they are going on about this new channel, it's a possibility.
     
  12. PC!

    PC! lolwut?

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    That does sound silly. But hey, who would've thought Toon Disney would ever air Batman, Superman, or Pinky and the Brain? Disney has the money. The sky's the limit on what shows they could acquire.
     
  13. Master Toon

    Master Toon Active Member

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    I think it's a very good idea. They're capitalizing on problem they've been having and with luck a great new channel will emerge. I can't wait to see the new original shows and movies they have in store.
     
  14. Space Cadet

    Space Cadet I'M SWEATING
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    Is there really anything wrong with a network that aims more towards girls? I mean, no one complains that Lifetime, Oxygen, or Women's Entertainment don't aim at both genders equally.
     
  15. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    For them it is fine, because they never aimed at any other demograph. Disney on the other hand was a family company (with the Disney Channel being a family network), so with choice to single out demographs (not just sex, but also age groups) is wrong on their part.

    I mean, Mickey, Donald, Goofy and the rest of their iconic characters went from being characters for the entire family to glorified babysitters.
     
  16. Spideyzilla

    Spideyzilla Well-Known Member

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    I'm hoping that Gargoyles will still air.
     
  17. Space Cadet

    Space Cadet I'M SWEATING
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    But, the Disney Channel mostly pulls in girls as their audience. As you can see, they have tried to pull in boys as well with shows like Life with Derek and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, but even those get more girl viewers than boys.

    At least Disney isn't ignoring the boys audience. They know they're out there, so they're using Disney XD to bring them in.

    Should be interesting to see how well they fare now, considering that the biggest kid network for boys is Cartoon Network.
     
  18. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    I'm talking about shows which are aimed at both demographs rather than having 3 shows for girls and 2 shows for boys.

    The only reason they struggle to pull into both is lack of ambition on their part. Heck, Spongebob Squarepants and Avatar do better at getting viewers outside the intended demograph, so programs with a wider appeal isn't that hard.
     
    #18 Antiyonder, Aug 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2008
  19. Kevin

    Kevin Active Member

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    Great, another classic network goes bye bye. Granted Toon Disney has been declining in quality lately with Jetix accounting for more than half it's programing, but it still showed some classic shows and movies too. They should of just changed the name to Jetix since Disney XD is a lame name.
     
  20. AnimatedSnow47

    AnimatedSnow47 Active Member

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    I think it fits, since like ESPN, Cartoon Network has somewhat deviated from its original purpose (all sports, all cartoon) and now has things that don't even fit (Poker, Live-Action movies and shows).

    Boomerang is like ESPN Classic, too. :p (But, better)

    As for the Disney XD change...meh, okay. Outside the target demographics to be sure. Most of the kid-targeted live-action stuff just hasn't really grabbed me outside of the various Power Rangers incarnations. Heck, even as a kid, I didn't become a fan of a single sitcom until I was in middle school--and that was I Love Lucy! :anime:

    And, what's with the article calling the latest Power Rangers incarnation "geriatric"? That's just odd...
     

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