Walt Disney Television

Walt Disney Television
Industry Television Production
Fate Separated from Walt Disney Television Animation, and folded into Touchstone Television (now ABC Studios)
Successor Touchstone Television
ABC Studios
Walt Disney Television Animation
Disney Television Animation
Founded 1983 (1983)
Defunct 2003 (2003)
Headquarters Burbank, California, USA
Products TV shows
Website www.disneyabctv.com

Walt Disney Television was the name of the television production division of The Walt Disney Company.

Walt Disney Television's television productions are broadcast, mostly on Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ABC.

Today, the majority of Walt Disney Television's productions are animated series which are produced through Walt Disney Television group (simply known as Walt Disney Television). The last known live-action series produced by WDTV was Smart Guy which ran for three seasons from 1997 to 1999 on the now-defunct WB Television Network.


While initially not interest in television back in the 1930s, Walt Disney changed his mind seeing TV at least as a promotional tool. Most studios were generating revenue by selling off their permanent TV right to their films made before 1948, while Disney held on to the company's film rights. Thus Walt Disney Productions was the first of the film industry, which saw TV as an adversary, to enter the TV production field. Walt Disney Productions did an hour-long special on Christmas Day 1950 for NBC then in 1951 for CBS. The specials used Disney film clips, short films and promoted the upcoming Alice in Wonderland theatrical film. Both specials had excellent ratings. The networks pursued Disney to do a full series for them. Disney used this interest in a series to request funding for Disneyland, which the newly merged American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres did for its American Broadcasting Company with the airing of the Disneyland anthology series. The "Operation Undersea" episode of the series garnered Disney its first Emmy Award. The series quickly became ABC's first series to hit the top 20 in ratings.[1]

Disney's entry into TV impacted the TV industry as the Disney anthology show marked a move from live to filmed delivery of TV shows. Filmng made it possible for higher production value. Also, a couple of the major film studios copied the show's format with MGM Parade and Warner Bros. Presents. Both shows did not last.[1]

With the series' "Davy Crockett" episodes generating high sale of merchandise, Disney Productions produced The Mickey Mouse Club, the first youth audience TV and a daily afternoon show.[1]


Walt Disney Television was formed in 1983, as the Walt Disney Pictures Television Division, the name was later shortened to Walt Disney Pictures Television in 1986 and later shortened to Walt Disney Television in 1988. Until 1983, Disney shows were aired under the banner of the parent company, then named Walt Disney Productions.

In August 1994, with the departure of Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, its filmed entertainment business was split into two, with Walt Disney Pictures continuing with motion pictures and the newly created Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications for television under Joe Roth and Richard Frank respectively.[2]

At the time when Disney merged with Capital Cities/ABC, Disney Television was a part of Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications (WDTT).[3] With the retirement of WDTT president Dennis Hightower in April 1996 and ongoing post-merger reorganization, Walt Disney Television (along with its Animation unit) was transferred back to The Walt Disney Studios.[4]

The Walt Disney Television group, upon the departure of its president Dean Valentine in September 1997, was split into two units: Walt Disney Television (WDT) and Walt Disney Network Television (WDNT), reporting to Walt Disney Studios chairman Joe Roth. WDT would be headed by Charles Hirschhorn as president and consisted of The Wonderful World of Disney telefilms for ABC, the-direct-to video-unit, and Walt Disney Television Animation. WDNT would handle primetime programming, headed by David Neuman as president.[5] In March 1998, Walt Disney Network TV was placed under Buena Vista TV Productions, a newly formed group under chairman Lloyd Braun, along with Touchstone Television.[6]

In late 1999, Walt Disney Television Studios (also called Buena Vista Television Group or Buena Vista Television Productions), were transferred from the Disney Studios to the ABC Television Network to merge with ABC's primetime division, ABC Entertainment, forming the ABC Entertainment Television Group. Walt Disney Television Studios was later folded into Touchstone Television (now known as ABC Studios) in 2003 while its name disappeared from new cartoons from Walt Disney Television Animation (now Disney Television Animation, which is now a unit of Disney Channels Worldwide).[7][8][9]


  • Walt Disney Productions Television Division (1983)
  • Walt Disney Pictures Television Division (1983–1985)
  • Walt Disney Pictures Television (1985–1988)
  • Walt Disney Television (1985–2003)
  • Walt Disney Pictures and Television (1988–2007)

Television series

Title Year Network Notes
Good Morning, Mickey!1983-1992Disney Channelproduced by Disney Television Animation
Donald Duck Presents1983-1992Disney Channelproduced by Disney Television Animation
Welcome to Pooh Corner1983-1986Disney Channelproduced by Disney Television Animation
You and Me Kid1982-1984Disney Channelproduced by Walt Disney Productions
Adventures of the Gummi Bears19851991NBC/ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
The Wuzzles1985CBSproduced by Disney Television Animation
Sidekicks1986-1987Disney Channelco-production with Motown Productions
DuckTales19871990Syndicationproduced by Disney Television Animation
The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh19881991ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers19891990Syndicationproduced by Disney Television Animation
TaleSpin19901992Syndicationproduced by Disney Television Animation
The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage1991NBCco-production with Stephen J. Cannell Productions
Dinosaurs19911994ABCco-production with Michael Jacobs and Jim Henson Productions
Darkwing Duck19911992Syndication/ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
The Torkelsons1991-1992NBCco-production with Michael Jacobs Productions
Season 1 and season 2 produced by Walt Disney Television,
Goof Troop19921993Syndication/ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
The Little Mermaid19921994CBSproduced by Disney Television Animation
Raw Toonage1992CBSproduced by Disney Television Animation
Bonkers19931995Syndicationproduced by Disney Television Animation
Bill Nye the Science Guy1993-1998PBSco-production with KCTS Seattle and Rabbit Ears Productions
Marsupilami19931994CBSproduced by Disney Television Animation
Aladdin19941995Syndicated/CBSproduced by Disney Television Animation
Gargoyles19941997Syndication/ABCproduced by Buena Vista Television
The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show1995Syndicationproduced by Disney Television Animation
The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa19951999Syndicated/CBSproduced by Disney Television Animation
Brotherly Love19951997NBC/The WBco-production with Witt/Thomas Productions

Season 1 & 2 produced by Walt Disney Television

Quack Pack1996Syndicationproduced by Disney Television Animation
Mighty Ducks19961997Syndication/ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Doug19961999ABCproduced by Jumbo Pictures
Jungle Cubs19961998ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Smart Guy19971999The WBco-production with de Passe Entertainment and Danny Kallis Productions
101 Dalmatians: The Series19971998Syndication/ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show19972000Syndicationco-production with St. Clare Entertainment
Recess19972001ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Pepper Ann1997-2000ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Hercules19981999ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Mickey Mouse Works19992000ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
The Weekenders20002004ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command20002001ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Teacher's Pet20002002ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
House of Mouse20012003ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Lloyd in Space20012004ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
The Legend of Tarzan20012003ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Teamo Supremo20022004ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Kim Possible20022009Disney Channelproduced by Disney Television Animation
Fillmore!20022004ABCproduced by Disney Television Animation
Lilo & Stitch: The Series20032006Disney Channelproduced by Disney Television Animation

Disney Telefilms

Disney Telefilms (DTF), or Walt Disney Telefilms, was a TV film production company and a division of Walt Disney Television. The division provided movies for The Wonderful World of Disney.

Telefilms history

With the purchase of Capital Cities/ABC, Disney CEO Michael Eisner wanted to relaunch The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC in 1996 with a movie franchise. Walt Disney Telefilms was formed to produce films for the anthology TV series[10] by 1995. Leah Keith was transferred from Walt Disney Pictures that year to the telefilms division.[11]

Hollywood Pictures executive vice president Charles Hirschhorn oversaw Walt Disney Telefilms as president in June 1996, reporting to Dean Valentine, president of Walt Disney Television and Walt Disney Television Animation, for the Telefilms unit.[12] Mike Karz, a former vice president of Mandeville Films, signed a first look deal with the company through his shingle, Karz Entertainment, based at Disney Studios in May 1997.[13] On September 28, 1997, the division launched the anthology show.[14] The division produced 17 films in nine months[10] while it only expected to provide 16 movies. On October 5, 1997, Disney Telefilms' first production, Toothless, debuted on The Wonderful World of Disney.[15]

The Walt Disney Television group, upon the departure of Dean Valentine in September 1997, was split into two units: Walt Disney Television (WDT) and Walt Disney Network Television (WDNT). WDT would be headed by Hirschhorn as president and consisted of Disney Telefilms and Walt Disney Television Animation, including Disney MovieToons/Disney Video Premiere.[5] Leah Keith and Peter Green were promoted to production vice presidents for the division in March 1998.[11]

Telefilms filmography

TitleRelease dateProduction company(ies)Notessource
ToothlessOctober 5, 19971st Disney Telefilms movie[15]
Tower of TerrorOctober 26, 1997ZM Productions1st theme park attraction movie[14]
Rodgers & Hammerstein's CinderellaNovember 2, 1997[15]
Angels in the EndzoneNovember 9, 1997Caravan Pictures[16]
Oliver TwistNovember 16, 1997A retelling of the Dickens tale starring Richard Dreyfuss and Elijah Wood[14][15]
The Love BugNovember 30, 1997A remake of the Disney classic[15]
FlashDecember 21, 1997[14]
Principal Takes a Holiday January 4, 1998 [16]
Ruby BridgesJanuary 18, 1998A docu-drama at New Orleans all-white school, which takes in its first African American girl student base[15][11]
The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia PhenomenonFebruary 15, 1998Tony Danza as a trash man who would become a kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles[15]
Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan AdventureMarch 8, 1998[16]
Miracle at MidnightMay 17, 1998Davis EntertainmentStarring Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston and Justin Whalin, a fact-based story in which the Danish save thousands from the Nazi[15][14][17]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Griffin, Sean. "Walt Disney Programs". Encyclopedia of Television. The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  2. Weinraub, Bernard (August 25, 1994). "Chairman of Disney Studios Resigns". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  3. "Fact Sheet: The Walt Disney Company". Press Release. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  4. "Roth, Iger Assume Expanded Responsibilities at the Walt Disney Company". PRNewswire. April 16, 1996. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  5. 1 2 Hofmeister, Sallie (September 17, 1997). "Disney Splits Television Group Into 2 Units". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  6. Hofmeister, Sallie (March 3, 1998). "Disney Taps Lloyd Braun to Head Up Network TV". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  7. Hofmeister, Sallie (July 8, 1999). "Disney Plans to Consolidate Two of Its Television Groups". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  8. Hofmeister, Sallie (July 9, 1999). "Disney Combining Network TV Operations Into One ABC Unit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  9. Schlosser, Joe (November 29, 1999). "A Mouse in-house". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  10. 1 2 Romano, Allison (March 14, 2004). "Game Boy". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media, LLC. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  11. 1 2 3 Littleton, Cynthia (March 9, 1998). "Disney Telefilms ups exex". Variety. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  12. "Company Town/Exective (sic) Suite: New President at Brillstein-Grey". Variety. June 25, 1996. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  13. "Disney TV, Karz cozy up". Variety. May 9, 1997. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 "Disney Sets ABC Pix". Variety. May 1, 1997. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pierce, Scott (September 28, 1997). "ABC revives weekly Disney series". Deseret News. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  16. 1 2 3 "Alley's 'Toothless' tops Disney's Alphabet slate". Variety. February 17, 1997. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  17. Hontz, Jenny (June 4, 1997). "Farrow works 'Miracle' for Disney". Variety. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.