BLE 2012: Disney Junior to ramp up 2013 production

Success of pre-school channel creates greater retail and licensing opportunities
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Disney is to increase its 2013 programming for its pre-school channel, Disney Junior.

Less than two years old, Disney Junior has grown a sizeable audience through its positioning and the new programming. It is now the number one pay TV pre-school channel in the UK.

In 2013, the channel is plans to continue growth and investment, expanding licensing and retail opportunities to extend the storytelling through interactive products.

Disney Juniors’ original content will introduce Henry Hugglemonster. The series follows the adventures of fun-loving, five-year-old Henry Hugglemonster, the middle child in a happy, wacky close-knit monster family.

The 11-minute series will run for 52 episodes and retain the illustration style of the “I’m a Happy Hugglewug” books by Niamh Sharkey on which it is based, and opens up further product opportunity in the pre-school market.

Disney Junior has seen the addition of a host of new characters and programmes since its conception, resulting in 66 per cent ratings growth through the first half of 2012.

This autumn has seen the arrival of two new shows to the channel, Doc McStuffins and Tales of Friendship with Winnie the Pooh, bringing more original content to the channel and pre-school digital market.

Doc McStuffins launched in the UK on October 1st introducing a little girl named Doc who can talk to the stuffed animal and toy world.

In the US, the series saw the quickest to market launch ever for a preschool property, with books, role-play toys, dolls and accessories. Doc McStuffins has been the most successful UK series premiere ever on Disney Junior UK, and reached over 1.2 million viewers during its launch week, and product opportunity in the UK looks set to follow this trend.

Tales of Friendship taps into Disney Junior’s unique position of being able to bring established character-favourites into new worlds, updating them in tune with evolving consumer demands and trends. Set deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, the series introduces Disney’s iconic character, Winnie the Pooh, to a whole new generation.

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