The Disney Channel has shifted its original production machinery into high gear with a slate of six series poised to surface on the revamped cable net beginning in August.

First up will be the kid-driven animal shows “Going Wild With Jeff Corwin” (from Popular Arts Entertainment) and “Omba Mokombo,” which means “Ask Mokombo” in Swahili. Both have 13-episode orders.

Also on tap is the little-kid series “Bear in the Big Blue House” from Jim Henson Prods. The morning half-hour has a 26-episode order and is due on the channel in October. Another tiny-tot series, “Rolie Polie Olie,” will get a 13-episode tryout starting in fall. Produced by Nelvana, “Rolie Polie Olie” centers on the adventures of a robotic everyboy.

Due to arrive in early 1998 are “Bug Juice,” from Evolution Film & Tape Inc., and the previously announced “PB&J,” a preschoolers series earmarked for a February ’98 launch.

Disney Channel senior VP of programming and production Rich Ross is particularly high on “Bug Juice,” a half-hour carrying an order of between 18 and 22 episodes that’s aimed at kids 13 to 15. It’s a “Real World”-style show about a group of real kids attending an actual summer camp.

“Everybody says you can’t create reality programming for kids, but we’re doing it,” says Ross.

Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0