UPDATED: The upcoming kids cable channel Disney Junior, will make its debut as a block on Disney Channel on Feb. 14 with new animated series Jake and the Never Land Pirates. In other Disney Channel premiere news, new original movie Lemonade Mouth is set to debut on March 25. Five other new series also are set to join the Disney Junior. schedule: the short form titles Mickey Mousekersize, Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps and A Poem Is… (narrated by Jennifer Garner and Katie Holmes, among other familiar voices), and full length series Babar and the Adventures of Badou and Tinga Tinga Tales. Existing Disney Channel pre-school series such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso, Jungle Junction and Imagination Movers, will also be seen on Disney Junior. Additionally, Disney Junior will replace Playhouse Disney as a programming block weekdays (4:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., ET/PT) and weekends (4:00–9:00 a.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. The full-blown Disney Junior channel, which will replace SoapNet, will launch next year.
EXCLUSIVE: Meet Disney Channel’s new Zac Efron and Demi Lovato hopefuls. The cable channel has assembled the cast of what is being groomed to be its next original movie/musical franchise, Lemonade Mouth, by mixing young Disney series stars and unknowns with TV veterans Tisha Campbell-Martin and Christopher McDonald. The story follows five disparate high school students who meet in detention and form a band. Starring are Bridgit Mendler (Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie) as lead vocalist Olivia White, Adam Hicks (Disney XD’s Zeke and Luther) as keyboardist Wen Giford, Hayley Kiyoko (Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place) as electric guitarist Stella Yamada, Naomi Scott (Disney Channel UK’s Life Bites) as bass guitarist Mohini and Blake Michael (discovered during an open casting call) as percussionist Charlie Delgado. Nick Roux as Scott Pickett, Chris Brochu as Ray Beach will play rival band Mudslide Crush, while Campbell-Martin will play music teacher Miss Reznick and McDonald Principal Brenigan. The movie, slated for a 2011 premiere, was written by April Blair based on the book Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes. It is being directed by Patricia Riggen, executive produced by Debra Martin Chase and choreographed by Chris Scott.