ABC Family premiered The Secret Life of The American Teenager tonight which was created by Brenda Hampton who created 7th Heaven. The show deals with teenagers and their families and how they deal with a teenage pregnancy. ABC Family is collaborating with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy on the development of online content which will offer teens and parents various ways to explore, discuss and learn about show-related themes.
This program shows ABC Family’s new strategy of targeting the “millennial” generation. So far, this strategy has had a major boost to ABC Family’s ratings which has struggled to find its place since it was acquired by Disney from News Corp. Disney had to differentiate it from Disney and ABC, yet they had to keep the word “family” in the name because of a contractual agreement with the channel’s original owner, Pat Robertson. To do this, Disney expanded the definition of family to include the broader definition the Millennial Generation uses. Research has shown that this new generation values family more than previous generations so Disney was able to use this new generation as their target market.
The channel airs programs it wouldn’t have 20 years ago, but by evolving they have finally found their niche. Though I would like to know one thing; why is ABC Family, in the words of their own promo, celebrating America with a Harry Potter weekend? Isn’t the point of Independence Day celebrating our separation from Wizards that talk funny?
Parks and Resorts: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa celebrated its 20th Anniversary today. The resort which redefined Disney luxery set the standard for Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and the upcoming Disney’s Grand Hawaiian Resort.
Studio Entertainment: Next week Disney and Lyric Street will release Country Sings Disney. While we all know about Disney’s success with Hannah Montana and The Jonas Brothers, Disney has also had success in the country music scene with their Lyric Street brand. Now Disney is releasing a CD that is “the best of both worlds” by combining Lyric Street with Disney Records. I’ll let you know what I think about it when it drops next week.
Consumer Products: Forbes had an article entitled talking Pixar Pixie Dust which talks about the success Disney has had with consumer products based on Pixar films. Now the spotlight is being shifted to Bolt. If Disney is able to show that they can create a consumer products franchise from a Disney animated film, it will prove the worth of the Pixar acquisition to Wall St.
Disney Interactive Media: To celebrate Independence Day, Pirates Online will have in-game fireworks starting on July 3 (starting around 6PM PT) through July 6. I have no doubt that this will be more exciting than the last Pirates film.
What to Watch: ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball has the Tampa Bay Rays trying to sweep the Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay is leading the Majors, and their success all started during their stint at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Disney magic extends to baseball and it is amazing to watch, especially when it is on Disney’s ESPN.
Video of the Day: On Disney XD, you can catch a “Gears Behind the Ears” video about Disney’s photo library. Ed Squair, Disney’s Photo Resources Supervisor, shares some great stories that any Disney geek like me will enjoy.
News from Around the Web:
ABC News: ABC News has a photo feature about Miley Cyrus and her growing up in the spotlight. Miley will be performing on Good Morning America in the not-too-distant future.
NY Times: They have a pretty negative review of ABC Family’s new show. The quote that I think makes their point is, “ABC Family means well but could not have done worse. “Secret Life” doesn’t take the fun out of teenage pregnancy, it takes the fun out of television.”
USA Today: The best picture talk has already started regarding WALL-E. No animated feature has been nominated since Beauty and the Beast in 1991. Will the new Animated Feature category hurt WALL-E’s chances? We still have a long time until the nomination process will begin, but I think it would be awesome if Disney could win the most coveted Oscar.
LA Times: The LA Times has a blog post posing the question of whether the critics are ignoring WALL-E’s hidden political message. While I have a policy of not talking politics, it is interesting to hear other’s views regardless of whether they agree with mine or not.
Orlando Sentinel: Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a new baby elephant today. I hear that ABC Family is thinking of turning the entire 22-month gestation in to a new original series called, “The Secret Life of a Disney’s Animal Kingdom Elephant”
Variety: Variety has yet another article about the SAG negotiations. Since the contract has expired, most studios are waiting to start production on films until they know the outcome. The television business, which got hit hard by the WGA strike, is still storming ahead trying to make up for the lost time. Hopefully this will all be resolved soon.