Tag: Disney Channel

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Inspiring Stories of African Americans to Air on Disney Channel this February

Disney Animator Floyd Norman (photo via ShadowAndAct.com

article via ShadowAndAct.com

To cultivate kids’ deeper interest in history and inspire them to feel their own significance in the present and future, stories about distinguished men and women including the Tuskegee Airmen Chief Civilian flight instructor Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson, the history-making commercial airline pilot Stephanie R. Grant, animator and Disney legend Floyd Norman, and physician, role model and activist Dr. Myiesha Taylor, will be presented as part of Disney|ABC Television Group’s “Be Inspired” interstitial series during Black History Month on Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.

Paul DeBenedittis, senior vice president, Programming Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “As television programmers, we work every day to better serve our kid viewers by reflecting the diverse and varied world they live in, and our ‘Be Inspired’ programming is designed to give them access to stories that can spark their deeper exploration into the rich and celebrated history of African Americans.”

The initiative begins with the story of acclaimed African-American pilot Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson Sr., known as the “Father of Black Aviation” for his brave and innovative leadership as Chief Civilian Flight Instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen. The story, hosted by Nathaniel Potvin (Disney XD’s “MECH-X4”), originates from the non-profit Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton, California, and includes the museum’s founder and executive director Robin Petgrave, Ted Lumpkin of the Tuskegee Airmen 100th Fighter Squadron, and Kimberly Anyadike, the youngest African-American female to pilot an airplane across the United States. Geared toward kids age 6-14, the interstitial began airing Weds, Feb 1, on Disney Channel and Disney XD.

For younger viewers (age 2-7), Doc McStuffins, the title character from the acclaimed animated series, introduces notable women and men in a series of interstitials to be presented on Disney Junior. They are Stephanie R. Grant, a pilot who led the first all-female African-American flight crew to operate a commercial airliner; Disney legend Floyd Norman, one of the first African-American animators at Walt Disney Studios during the 1950s; and Dr. Myiesha Taylor, an emergency doctor and founder of the Artemis Medical Society, an organization comprised of over 4700 women physicians of color from around the world. Disney Junior and Disney Channel will debut the interstitials beginning Weds, Feb, 8.

To read more, go to: Inspiring Stories of Distinguished African Americans to be Presented During Black History Month on Disney Channels – Shadow and Act

Zendaya Joins Marvel and Sony Pictures’ ‘Spider-Man’ Reboot

Zendaya as Cut Throat in Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video (photo via YouTube)
Zendaya as Cut Throat in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video (photo via YouTube)

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

Zendaya has landed a key role in Marvel and Sony’s “Spider-Man” reboot starring Tom Holland, sources confirmed to Variety.

Jon Watts is directing the currently untitled “Spider-Man” film from a script by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal are producing the movie, which focuses on a teenage Peter Parker’s high school days.

Holland is starring as Parker, while Zendaya’s role is still under wraps. Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May.

Zendaya was one of a handful of actresses who had been testing with Holland for the past couple of weeks, but insiders stress that the character is neither Parker’s love interest nor a lead role. She will, however, play a bigger part in future installments.  Plot details are still being heavily guarded.

Holland’s Spider-Man will first make an appearance in the upcoming “Captain American: Civil War” with a standalone pic bowing on July 7, 2017. Production is expected to start this summer.

Zendaya is the star of the Disney Channel series “Shake It Up!” and “K.C. Undercover.” The actress-singer also appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2013 and recently had a guest role on “Black-ish.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/spider-man-reboot-zendaya-1201724216/

TV REVIEW: BET Comedy “Zoe Ever After” Starring Brandy Hits All the Right Notes

ZoeEverAfter-16x9

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Editor-in-Chief
by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

I have to admit, I wasn’t planning on watching it, mainly because these days I don’t have the opportunity to view much television outside of what my 9 and 6 year-olds are viewing. If you want to ask me what’s happening on the Disney Channel or PBS Kids – I’m your woman. BET and Centric, not so much. But when I got an email from former colleague and uber-producer Debra Martin Chase announcing the premiere of her new sitcom “Zoe Ever After”, I made a point of setting my DVR to record it so I could carve out a moment to watch and support.

That moment came this morning, and I am so glad it did. “Zoe Ever After,” created and executive produced by Chase, Erica Montolfo-Bura and former “Moesha” lead Brandy Norwood (who stars in the titular role), is a delightful, smartly-written, acted and executed half-hour comedy about Zoe Moon, a woman restarting her life with a new cosmetics business, new love interests and a new parenting arrangement after filing for divorce from her famous boxer husband Gemini Moon (Dorian Missick).

Set in Manhattan,”Zoe Ever After” is actually filmed in Atlanta, but unlike some other half-hours shot there, its look and feel don’t come off as claustrophobic or cheap. The sets and visuals, though limited, are beautifully styled and on point. The costume design is equally striking, and if the show keeps it up, Brandy could add “fashion maven” to her actor/singer calling card.

But even more important than the look or  basic premise is how well “Zoe” deals with its themes – the difficulty of dating after a break-up, co-parenting with an ex, the struggles of running a new business (the air conditioning breaks down in Zoe’s office and she is stubbornly against taking her ex’s help to fix it, even though the contractor he sends (Ignacio Serricchio) generates more heat than the system he’s repairing), and the internal tug-of-war that occurs when you still have feelings for the person who broke your heart.

All of the actors, including intended comic relief characters, on-a-mission-to-get-married best friend and publicist Pearl (Haneefah Wood), fashionable, openly gay assistant Valence (Tory Devon Smith) and bright, adorable son Xavier (Jaylon Gordon), make strong impressions, but Brandy in particular shines as she charmingly and believably navigates dramatic moments like where she tells her ex how he always made her feel invisible, or sillier ones where she gets pooped on by a dove (which is a clever metaphor tied to a story point, believe it or not).

The preliminary ratings and social media on “Zoe’s” debut are also strong, so BET looks to have a good compliment/counterpoint to “Real Husbands of Hollywood” on its slate, and I am personally looking forward to finding more time away from “Lab Rats” and “Arthur” to see if Zoe does indeed get her “ever after.”

“Zoe Ever After” airs Tuesdays on BET. To view the premiere episode, check your local listings or access clips via BET.com.

Mo’ne Davis Makes Deal for Disney Channel Biopic

mone_davis_si_coverShe is still at it.  Just 13-years-old, Mo’Ne Davis has not only made history as the first female to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series and the first Little League player to make the cover of Sports Illustrated, she also has  a book deal and a new sneaker line.  Davis is now opening up about her journey to achieving it all in a biographical movie set to premiere on Disney Channel.

“Mo’Ne is not only a top-notch athlete in three different sports — baseball, basketball and soccer — but she is an exemplary student and someone who will remind our audiences that they can do anything with hard work, dedication and belief in themselves,” said Naketha Mattocks, Vice President, Original Movies, Disney Channel.

Emmy-nominated producer Debra Martin Chase will executive produce the project, while Sheldon Candis and Justin Wilson will serve as writers for the film. Both Davis and espnW will consult on the movie.

“There are so many great things happening to me right now and it’s a very exciting time in my life,” said Davis. “A year ago, I never would have thought that Disney Channel would make a movie about me. I can’t wait to get started and I hope it will encourage other viewers to believe that dreams really do come true.”

article by Courtney Connley via blackenterprise.com

Naketha Mattocks to Oversee Disney Channel’s Original Movies Franchise

Naketha MattocksDisney Channels has tapped Naketha Mattocks as VP, Original Movies. 

Mattocks supervises creative development for the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise, which has produced TV’s top movie among tweens age 9-14 for the past 11 years. She will develop scripts, generate new projects, collaborate with writers and directors and oversee the creative storytelling throughout production.

This summer, Disney Channel will air its latest original movie, “Teen Beach Movie,” on July 19.

“Disney Channel Original Movies are unmatched in delivering fresh and relevant storytelling that deeply connects with our audience of kids, tweens and families,” Adam Bonnett, executive VP, Original Programming, Disney Channels Worldwide, said. “With Naketha’s experience, passion, sharp instincts and strong relationships, we’re well positioned to build on our successful track record as a creative magnet and TV movie powerhouse.”

Before joining Disney Channel, Mattocks was an independent film and television producer who sold projects to an array of broadcast and cable television networks, including ABC Family, CBS Films, Hallmark Hall of Fame/ABC, Lifetime Television and VH1.  In 2012, she was a consultant for Lifetime Television where she served as an executive on projects that included “Betty and Coretta,” “A Killer Among Us,” “Twist of Faith” and “House of Versace.”

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