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News and Notes From Disney Branded Television’s 2023 Winter Television Critics Association Press Conferences

Disney Branded Television will showcase exciting new offerings as part of the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour today. Below are several announcements ahead of the day’s sessions.



On the heels of a record-breaking year where Disney Junior ranked as 2022’s #1 TV Network among Kids 2-5 overall and retained its standing as the #1 Preschool Network for the last 10 years (every year since its launch), Disney Branded Television has ordered second seasons of its newest animated series “Firebuds” and “SuperKitties,” as well as an early season two renewal for upcoming series “Pupstruction.” The announcement was made today by Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, during the Disney Branded Television presentation at the 2023 Winter Television Critics Association taking place at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California.

Home to some of the most cherished programming and franchises for preschoolers, including last year’s new hit series “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” and “Mickey Mouse Funhouse,” Disney Junior is building out its slate of fun and entertaining programming for preschoolers that reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. In addition to the success of Disney Junior’s programming, the brand has created opportunities across other Disney lines of business through its robust franchising business, which includes licensed products and musical companions, including the three-time Pollstar nominated (2019, 2020, 2022) “Disney Junior Live On Tour” live stage show, that creates a full 360 experience for kids in a way that only Disney can.

Following a team of young first responders and their talking vehicle sidekicks, “Firebuds” premiered in September 2022 and has quickly become a fan favorite. Launch to date, the series is Disney Junior’s #1 series with Kids and Girls 2-5, as well as a Top 5 Cable series with Kids 2-5 and #1 with Girls 2-5.* “SuperKitties,” about four fierce and furry superhero kittens, debuted this week (Jan. 11) and is off to an impressive start, with the series’ theme song racking up over 500,000 views on Disney Junior YouTube since it was released three weeks ago. Debuting later this year, “Pupstruction” follows the adventures of the world’s first all-dog construction company and centers on an innovative young corgi, who might be the smallest pup on the crew but proves that you don’t need big paws to have big dreams or big ideas.

“‘Firebuds,’ ‘SuperKitties,’ and ‘Pupstruction’ all encompass what Disney Junior does best,” said Davis. “Each of these series embrace signature Disney qualities of imagination, adventure and heart, with music you can sing along to, and fun, energetic characters that embody positivity, optimism and the power of teamwork.”



Created and executive produced by Emmy® Award-winner Craig Gerber (Disney’s “Elena of Avalor” and “Sofia the First”), “Firebuds” follows a group of friends, all children of first responders, who embark on adventures to help their community and learn what it truly means to be a hero. Each episode is comprised of two 11-minute stories that showcase the importance of teamwork, helping fellow citizens and volunteerism. The series is produced by Disney Television Animation. Extensions for the series include a soundtrack from Walt Disney Records; storybooks from Disney Publishing, releasing later this year; and an innovative toy line from Spin Master featuring vehicles, figures, playsets and more, launching in summer 2023.



“SuperKitties” is an adorable and action-packed new series about four fierce and furry superhero kittens — Ginny, Sparks, Buddy and Bitsy — who are on a mission to make their town of Kittydale a more caring and “pawesome” place. Defeating villains and imparting important messages of kindness, empathy, friendship, resilience and problem-solving, the series is created and executive produced by Emmy Award winner Paula Rosenthal (“Peter Rabbit”). Emmy Award-winning producer, director and storyboard artist Kirk Van Wormer (“Transformers: Prime) is co-executive producer. “SuperKitties” is produced by Sony Pictures Television – Kids (formerly known as Silvergate Media) in association with Disney Junior. The digital soundtrack for the series, Disney Junior Music: SuperKitties,” was released by Walt Disney Records in conjunction with the series premiere on Jan. 11.



“Pupstruction” is a vibrant new series about the first all-dog construction company, Pupstruction. The series centers on Phinny, an innovative young corgi, who along with the rest of the Pupstruction crew ― including spontaneous sheepdog, Luna; adventurous rottweiler, Roxy; and lovable mastiff, Tank — pours his mud, sweat, drool, and plenty of heart into keeping his beloved town of Petsburg in tip-top shape. The series is created and executive produced by Travis Braun (Disney Junior’s “T.O.T.S.”). Victor Cook (also from Disney Junior’s “T.O.T.S”) also serves as executive producer. Emmy Award winner Robyn Brown (Disney Junior’s “Muppet Babies”) is co-producer/story editor on season one and will serve as co-executive producer/story editor on season two. “Pupstruction” is produced by Titmouse in association with Disney Junior.


Both “Firebuds” and “SuperKitties” are currently airing on Disney Channel and Disney Junior, with some episodes also available to stream on Disney+. “Pupstruction” debuts summer 2023 on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney+.




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Dan Povenmire, co-creator and executive producer of the global super-hit “Phineas and Ferb,” has entered into a new overall deal with Disney Branded Television which includes production of 40 all-new episodes of “Phineas and Ferb,” a second season renewal of the animated superhero series “Hamster & Gretel” and the development of live-action projects.

“Phineas and Ferb” is a five-time Emmy Award-winner and the most successful animated series for Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 in Disney Television Animation history. Since its premiere, “Hamster & Gretel” ties as the #1 cable series among Kids age 6-11 delivery.

The announcement was made today during a presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour by Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television.

Davis said, ” Dan is renowned for his ability to create universally beloved stories and characters with both heart and humor,” said Davis. “We couldn’t be happier to continue our collaboration with him and bring back the iconic ‘Phineas and Ferb’ in a big way.”

Meredith Roberts, executive vice president, Animation, Disney Branded Television, added, “Dan is a true mastermind, and his brilliant brand of storytelling has always been infused with a kind-spirited and optimistic sense of humor which continues to strike a perfect chord with audiences the world over. On behalf of everyone at Disney Television Animation, we’re so pleased to continue our association with Dan and his inspiring creative team ― visionary producers, writers, animators, song composers and directors who have entertained and connected with generations of viewers.”

Povenmire said, “It has been the greatest pleasure of my career to see how an entire generation of kids and parents have embraced the characters and the humor of ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ I’m eagerly looking forward to diving back into the show for them and for a whole new generation.”

Povenmire created and executive-produced the Disney+ animated adventure movie “Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe” for which he also was supervising director, and Disney Channel’s animated series “Milo Murphy’s Law,” which earned three Emmy Award nominations. His most recent creation, the animated series Disney’s “Hamster & Gretel,” will receive a second season order, and he will continue as its executive producer.

Over his career, his series have received 14 Emmy Award nominations in multiple categories, including Voiceover and Songwriting. “Phineas and Ferb” accounts for 10 of those nominations and five Emmy Award wins and has been critically acclaimed as a program the whole family can laugh at, one that applauds inventiveness and resourcefulness and offers up clever music and lyrics.

Known for fully celebrating the art form of animation and its visual, energetic and physical storytelling, “Phineas and Ferb” was Disney Television Animation’s first “creator-driven” animated series. Throughout its production run, Povenmire’s original vision remained intact and faithfully interpreted through his and his creative partner Jeff “Swampy” Marsh’s creative minds.

Povenmire wrote and co-wrote some 500 songs for “Phineas and Ferb,” “Milo Murphy’s Law” and “Hamster & Gretel,” many of which have become Gen Z favorites and continue to trend on TikTok and other social media platforms where he has built a worldwide fan base, known for also providing the voice of the popular “Phineas and Ferb” character Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz. 

“Phineas and Ferb” depicts two resourceful stepbrothers who conquer boredom and make every day of summer vacation count, often to the chagrin of their sister Candace. It premiered officially in January 2008 and became television’s #1 animated TV series of 2009 among Tweens 9-14 and built to #1 among both Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 for 2011, along with the franchise’s first of two television movies it inspired, “Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension,” ranking in TV’s Top 2 movies for 2011. The series was a global franchise for Disney, a first for a Disney Channel animated property for older kids. By 2012, its popularity burgeoned with a live touring show and junior novels, with extensions across every consumer products category, including apparel, toys, video games, food, health and beauty.

With over 25 years of experience in directing, storyboarding and writing, Povenmire has worked on multiple critically acclaimed animated series, including “Family Guy,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Simpsons,” “Rocko’s Modern Life” and “Hey Arnold!”

He was born in California and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He studied cinema at the University of Southern California.

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