Disney Junior sets U.K. launch

Tyke channel replaces Playhouse Disney

LONDON — Disney Junior, the Mouse House’s new web for pre-schoolers, will bow in the U.K. May 7, with other international roll-outs to follow.

The channel, which makes its debut in the U.S. next month, replaces Playhouse Disney and is skewed toward a slightly older demographic, 2-7 year olds, than Playhouse.

In Blighty, arguably the most competitive tyke market in the world, it will compete with the likes of CBeebies and Nick Junior.

Disney Junior will broadcast daily content across television, a website, VOD, mobile and paid download platforms.

Fare on the channel will include “Jungle Junction,” made in the U.K. by Cornwall-based Spider Eye Animation, “Jake and the Never Land Pirate,” produced in the U.S., and stalwarts like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.”

Beth Gardiner, VP, original programming and development, Disney Junior EMEA, said: “We have listened to the thoughts and concerns of parents and developed our offering to ensure that we’re meeting their needs.

“We will keep the best of Playhouse Disney, while at the same time introducing new shows that appeal to our existing and loyal audience as well as developing programs that engage the slightly older 6 and 7 year olds who aren’t quite old enough for other Disney channels.”

Disney Junior will launch in a further 23 countries across Europe, MidEast and Africa this year.

Playhouse Disney channel, which bowed in the U.K. in September 1999, airs in 109 countries.