"We looked at the landscape and feel that girls are being served -- if not super-served, and preschoolers are also well served, but boys really haven't been," says Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide. "If boys have been served, it's been mostly in animation, which [is] only a narrow portion of what boys are interested in."
Using both television and a new Web portal, Disney hopes to introduce boys to a host of new live-action and animated shows, original movies, new music acts and games. And Disney executives also hope to leverage boys' love of sports, using the company's ESPN brand, which will likely collaborate on original programming and other sports-themed topics for Disney XD. (Disney says the letters don't refer to anything.)
On Feb. 13, Disney will rebrand its existing animation channel, Toon Disney, as Disney XD and will launch the new action-adventure show "Aaron Stone," that it hopes will become the channel's centerpiece. The show melds aspects of what the company says boys are interested in: action, adventure and videogames. Another new show, "Zeke & Luther" will be a comedy filmed in quasidocumentary style about two best friends trying to become world-famous skateboarders.
Those tween boys don't stand a chance! They won't know what hit them. Resistance Is Futile!