'Jackson,' 'Halloweentown' part of new slate for '98

NEW YORK — Disney Channel has greenlit a new slate of original programming, including two narrative series, two movies and a gameshow, all of which will air on the network this year.

Disney Channel ordered 13 episodes each of two new narrative shows, the tentatively titled “Jeff Jackson” for kids and “So Weird” for families.

“Jeff Jackson” is a coming-of-age adventure series about a 13-year-old television star who longs to have a normal life. Production begins next month and the series will premiere in October.

“So Weird,” produced by Henry Winkler’s Fair Dinkum Prods., chronicles the life of a traveling family centered around the mother (Mackenzie Phillips), a ’70s pop star who is now on the comeback trail. The series is scheduled to debut in December.

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The two original movies currently in production are “Halloweentown” and “Zenon — Girl of the 21st Century.” “Halloweentown” stars Debbie Reynolds as a grandmother who heads a family of witches in Halloweentown, a place where witches, goblins and vampires lead normal lives.

“Zenon” is about a mischievous 13-year-old girl who has lived her whole life in outer space but must learn how to deal with Earth’s gravity and culture when she is sent there as punishment. The film will debut in December.

Disney Channel ordered 65 episodes of the gameshow “Off the Wall,” in which kid contestants compete against a video wall of challengers in a variety of physical and mental stunts.

Disney Channel’s new slate of original programs was announced by Rich Ross, senior VP of programming and production, and Gary Marsh, senior VP of original programming.

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