It's going to be a massive summer on Disney Junior, with the preschool network set to debut one new episode of one of its hit series every weekday for seven-consecutive weeks from Monday, June 29 through Thursday, August 13th as part of the SOARING OVER SUMMER multi-platform event. New episodes of alternating series SOFIA THE FIRST, DOC McSTUFFINS, MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND, JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES and HENRY HUGGLEMONSTER will premiere each weekday at 9:00 a.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel and 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Junior. Also premiering this summer is CAPTAIN JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES: THE GREAT NEVER SEA CONQUEST, an all-new special 44-minute episode that leads to an exciting story arc where Jake becomes a Captain, kicking off a storyline which will carry into the upcoming fourth season of the series. The folks at Disney Junior have provided THE ROCK FATHER with an EXCLUSIVE FIRST-LOOK IMAGE of "Captain Jake" from the new special!
It was 1977 when audiences were first introduced to the mighty Wookiee, Chewbacca, who along with smuggler Han Solo, served as co-pilot of the legendary Millennium Falcon. It was on this day back in 1944 that actor Peter Mayhew entered the world, and in celebration of the 71st birthday of the man behind the furry mask, Hasbro is featuring the first-ever Chewbacca figure from the 1978 Kenner STAR WARS line as today's entry into their Force Friday Countdown Calendar. While Chewie and Han have had many adventures over the years, I, too have had my fair share with the Wookiee at my side. From backyard battles and trips to my Grandparents' farm (where I once thought my Chewbacca figure had fallen down a vent and into their massive fire-burning furnace) to a recent trip to Los Angeles, where I took my Kenner counterpart to a meeting at ABC, and to the famous Walt Disney Studios Lot and Disney Legends Plaza. While my original Chewie is long-gone, I currently own two vintage figures - the loose 1978 version, and a carded RETURN OF THE JEDI version that my wife purchased from Brian's Toys for me as a birthday gift back in the late 90s.
What a great day, today is. It's nearly an ICE CUBE-style "Good Day," and it's only been made better by the news that THE MUPPETS are coming to ABC. Tuesdays at 8/7c this Fall, THE MUPPETS is the dramatic reinvention that longtime Muppets fans like myself have been waiting for - a return to primetime with a contemporary, documentary-style show. For the first time ever, a series will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, breakups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires. This is a more adult Muppet show, for “kids” of all ages. The first trailer just hit, and it's well-worth your time, check it out!
"It's really satisfying - you try to do something different and you never know if people are gonna be into it or not," explains Writer/Executive Producer Nahnatchka Khan while speaking about last week's debut of her latest series, FRESH OFF THE BOAT. "When you take a risk, there's always a chance of failing and it's been extremely satisfying to see the response and to have people just, you know, understand it and embrace it."
Those "people" amounted to 9.8 million viewers, backing-up my personal declaration that FRESH OFF THE BOAT is ABC's Midseason Surprise, giving the much-talked-about freshman comedy a solid audience base straight out-of-the-gate as it moves to it's regular night and time (Tuesdays at 8pm ET) this week. On many levels, it's been interesting to see the FRESH OFF THE BOAT (FOTB) tale unfold, and this past weekend I had a chance to dig quite a bit deeper - hopping a plane to Los Angeles where I had an informal dinner with Khan, Writer Kourtney Kang, and two of the series' young stars (and their mothers), Forrest Wheeler (Emery Huang) and Ian Chen (Evan Huang) at the ABC offices. As I settled-in alongside two dozen fellow writers from around the pop culture/parenting space, we got a look at two more new episodes of the show while chatting about how bringing an Asian family to Primetime is a decidedly overdue and very American experience.
If you pay attention to what's going on behind-the-scenes in the television world, there's a pretty good chance that you've heard a lot about FRESH OFF THE BOAT in recent weeks. The new series from 20th Century Fox Television is set to debut on ABC this Wednesday (in a special preview at both 8:30 and 9:31 p.m ET before moving to it's regular day and time on Tuesday, February 10th at 8pm ET), but much off the talk has little to do with the actual content of the show itself, and much to do with the folks involved with it. Strip all of that away, and families just want to know this: Is it good, funny and worth investing 30-minutes per-week on? Having previewed the first few episodes here at Rock Father HQ, I can confidently say that ABC may well have a midseason surprise on it's hands... if audiences become properly aware of it and give it a chance.
Around this same time last year, I sat here in my office looking at the calendar and realized that my travel plans for the year were shaping-up to look an awful lot like routing for a tour. With "The Rock Father" as my moniker, and serving as publisher of this site of the same name, everything came into focus that I should look at my adventures as just that, and the #RockFatherTour was born. By the end of 2014, I'd logged more miles than any other of my 38 years, and my work had morphed from a "U.S." to a "North American" Tour. Of those missions, four of them led me to The Golden State, one of which was my first of the year.
To kick off the 2015 Rock Father Tour, I'm excited and privileged to announce that I'm going back to where it all started almost exactly one year ago, Walt Disney Studios and ABC. My old pal, Mickey Mouse has been kind enough to fund another big adventure (disclosure and all) on which I will be part of a group of 25 entertainment writers and bloggers that will have the opportunity to meet with the talent and creatives behind several new projects from the Disney family of companies including McFARLAND, USA (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures), TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST (DisneyToon Studios), BIG HERO 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios), FRESH OFF THE BOAT (ABC) and BAD HAIR DAY (Disney Channel). While I'll be bringing back some in-depth coverage to be posted as features in the weeks ahead, I'm inviting all of YOU to follow along and take part in the journey online as it happens. Want to know the details?