Disney Channel renews preschool show
The Disney Channel has given a second-season order to breakout preschool skein “Johnny and the Sprites.”Show, which bowed Jan. 13, is part of the cabler’s toddler-centric “Playhouse Disney” program block. Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia (“Avenue Q”) stars and exec produces the show. “Johnny and the Sprites” features Tartaglia as a singer who inherits a home in the country, populated by creatures known as Sprites. The puppets and Tartaglia sing songs written for the show by Broadway talent such as Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked”), Gary Adler (“Altar Boyz”) and Mark Hollmann (“Urinetown”). Show usually ranks among the top 10 basic cable skeins among kids 2-5. “When we developed ‘Johnny and the Sprites,’ our goal was to create entertaining and educational content while introducing our viewers to the world of Broadway style music,” said Disney Channel senior VP for original programming Nancy Kanter. “Since our premiere we have experienced extremely gratifying ratings and feedback telling us that our stories and music are resonating with kids and their parents.” Season two of “Johnny and the Sprites” will shoot this fall at New York’s Kaufman Astoria Studios.