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  1. #1

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    Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

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    Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel


    Brooke Palmer / Disney Channel
    Kelly Blatz plays the lead character in "Aaron Stone," a live-action show about a video game virtuoso who leads a secret double life as a crime fighter. The show will appear on the rebranded Disney XD cable network.


    The entertainment giant plans to relaunch Toon Disney as Disney XD, which will be aimed at boys ages 6 to 14.

    By Dawn C. Chmielewski
    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    August 7, 2008

    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, a cable channel that will target 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 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 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 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. 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.
    None of this is news to Ross, who, with his executive team, spent more than a year with 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 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 -- Disney Channel, which has spawned two billion-dollar creative franchises in High School Musical and Hannah -- Ross relaunched a struggling cable asset, Toon Disney, into this destination for boys.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...,6413232.story


    Toon Disney's Jetix gets a star for 'Aaron Stone' - 9/24/07
    http://micechat.com/forums/showthrea...tar-78590.html

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    I'm sure Boys today would like to watch Disney's Zorro (hint hint Disney). I wonder what exact shows/movies do they plan on showing. And isn't it sad that The Disney Channel, which once appealed to everyone of every age and gender, can only attract 6-14 year old girls? Shouldn't that be the main problem to fix instead of taking the easy way out and creating a separate channel?
    I like The Happiest Millionaire. What's wrong with that?

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    Ugh, I despise the demographic-ization of entertainment! I realize some things will be generally more appealing to girls and some to boys, but Disney managed to appeal to both boys and girls in the past didn't they? Disney should not go the way of the Barbie/Hot Wheels Happy Meal!
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    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    ...And how exactly are they going to get boys to encourage their parents to order this channel? Shouldn't that question be pondered by Disney more than anything else?

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    Seriously creepy.

    I came up with an idea eerily similar to this "Aaron Stone" show last night.
    Last edited by stitchon; 08-07-2008 at 04:41 PM.

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    You know, I may like the programing better on the boy channel than I do on the girls. Depending on what it is that Disney thinks that boys will like. I'd also be curious to see how Disney thinks they will get boys to start watching their channel when so many kids and adults think of Disney as for girls. I know they're wrong, so don't yell at me, but they do think it. If I had a dollar for every time a parent in my Disney Store said to me, he's too old for Disney now and they were talking about an 8 or 9 year old.... I could pay to go to Tokyo Disney.

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    Quote Originally Posted by animagusurreal View Post
    Ugh, I despise the demographic-ization of entertainment! I realize some things will be generally more appealing to girls and some to boys, but Disney managed to appeal to both boys and girls in the past didn't they? Disney should not go the way of the Barbie/Hot Wheels Happy Meal!
    Are you saying Pixar shouldn't have made the Cars movie because it would only appeal to boys? Are you saying Disney shouldn't make princess movies, because those will only appeal to girls?

    So, why didn't you speak up over a decade ago when Disney started pushing the Princess Demographic-ization? Or go back to the 1950's when Disney was catering to the Boy's market with Davy Crockett? Maybe you should be criticizing Walt for aiming for the boys market in the 1950's.

    Different stories have always appealed to different people. There might be some stories that appeal to a wide range of people, but you can't always have those types of stories, there is a much wider range of stories to be told, and they aren't all going to appeal to the same audience.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with Disney wanting to reach out to a larger audience. It's seems quite apparent that Disney has lost the majority tween boys for quite a while now. It makes sense to take a look at that and look gaining what they did have at one time.

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    Are you saying Pixar shouldn't have made the Cars movie because it would only appeal to boys? Are you saying Disney shouldn't make princess movies, because those will only appeal to girls?

    So, why didn't you speak up over a decade ago when Disney started pushing the Princess Demographic-ization? Or go back to the 1950's when Disney was catering to the Boy's market with Davy Crockett? Maybe you should be criticizing Walt for aiming for the boys market in the 1950's.

    Different stories have always appealed to different people. There might be some stories that appeal to a wide range of people, but you can't always have those types of stories, there is a much wider range of stories to be told, and they aren't all going to appeal to the same audience.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with Disney wanting to reach out to a larger audience. It's seems quite apparent that Disney has lost the majority tween boys for quite a while now. It makes sense to take a look at that and look gaining what they did have at one time.


    Maybe I'm a total weirdo (entirely a possibility) but the "Princess movies" (the real, original ones) did appeal to me as a little boy. I wouldn't even call them Princess movies - they were movies with female leads who either happened to be princesses or happened to become princesses at the end. It's only Disney's more recent re-marketing of them that have labeled them "girls movies". Even back in the earliest days of Disney, weren't little boys familiar with fairy tales too? (Incidentally, how do you know I didn't speak out when the Princess marketing first happened? I didn't, I wasn't active on DL forums yet, but how do you know I didn't? )

    Even if Davy Crockett was more boy-oriented, they didn't have a seperate Disneyland TV series "for boys" that it was shown on.

    There's a difference between reaching out for a larger audience, and chopping your audience up into demographics and making things that only appeal to the stereotypes of that demographic. Of course, I don't know if that's what Disney's doing here, but labeling it a "boys' channel" and the original Disney channel a "girls' channel" seems like a step in the wrong direction, especially for a company known for family (as in everyone in the family being able to watch together) entertainment.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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    Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    While I love the idea of some shows geared towards boys, why put these on a whole different channel? Why not take these new shows they plan on making and put them on the regular Disney Channel in place of the gazillion reruns of other shows they tend to have. While I do enjoy watching some of the Disney shows, they tend to be on all the time. Shows are on so often, I have no idea when the new episodes are on. Instead of separating the girls and the boys, why not add more content to Disney Channel. Advertise these new boy shows on other channels and maybe they'll get their desired audience to start watching Disney. If they want a larger male audience, making a channel just for them that you have to order extra seems dumb. As much as "Aaron Stone" sounds interesting, I'm not going to pay extra just to get that one channel.

    I would have to agree though, that the Disney Channel of today seems geared more towards girls. Heck, I'm a girl and some of the shows bug me. I'd much rather watch a few shows of the boys Disney Channel (not enough to buy the channel though)

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    I totally agree. Toon Disney doesn't reach as many homes as Disney Channel, and if they really want to do something about the lack of boys on Disney Channel, put these programs on there.
    Last edited by stitchon; 08-07-2008 at 04:41 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    I don't think there's anything wrong with Disney wanting to reach out to a larger audience. It's seems quite apparent that Disney has lost the majority tween boys for quite a while now. It makes sense to take a look at that and look gaining what they did have at one time.
    I think this is precisely why Enchanted was such a big success. I know it isn't a Disney TV offering, but early ads for this movie contained an element that appealed to boys. Hence my then 9 year old son wanted to see it. If they didn't market it in this way, I think a lot of boys would have been turned off by this movie right away and the numbers for Enchanted would have wound up being a lot lower than what they actually got.

  12. #12

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    no more toon disney?
    good bye timon and pumbaa.
    why must disney switch to all these tween based shows? -sigh- whatever brings in the viewers&$$$, I guess.

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    If Walt Disney knew his name was eventually going to be put on this crap, I think he would have chosen to become a mailman, instead.

  14. #14

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    Disney should focus specifically on great stories...if they do that, I don't think it will really be that hard for them to reach out to boys.

    A lot of it also comes down to how much of each sex has representation, and how it's advertised. If the Enchanted promos only had Giselle prancing around and singing, I'm sure less males would have been interested in seeing it. They evened it out, showing both the romance and the action/adventure within it - and also the comedy.

    That's what Disney needs! They need great comedy. Not the stupid, cheesy comedy we've been seeing in contemporary times...it needs to be wittier.

    I'll bet if Disney does some really gross sort of t.v. series, boys will be all over it. Like with bugs, or monsters, or something...

    Bring back Bump in the Night!!! Come on, Disney, you own all of ABC's properties!

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    Re: Disney to target boys with rebranded cable channel, Disney XD

    I have been out of the television loop for a while, but I think it would be great to bring Classic Disney back. Last I checked, it appears that there are the same three shows constantly. Why not have a Classic Disney afternoon, once a week, or something. It could have shows like Zorro as Angie_Duke hinted, and silverarrow is right about what see as a waste or time by repeating the same shows over and over again. Disney television has shifted away from quality programming, and if its money that concerns Disney, then show us some classics! Walt himself was the king of recycling old material. When the Disneyland show first aired, it was no surprise that he showed his movies. When I was a kid and watched "cable" for the first time, the only pay channel we had was Disney, and I loved it(early 90's). It used to show some of the shorts between programs, and while watching, it didnt seem like deja vu either. And what about another Disneyland/The Wonderful World of Disney/The Wonderful World of Color/Walt Disney/The Magical World of Disney/Walt Disney Presents/Disney's Wonderful World. Call me old fashioned. Call me nostalgic. I just don't see why Disney can't showcase some of their best work on a regular basis.

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