"The Future Is Now!"
13 February 2009
"The Future Is Now!"
February 13, 2009; 8 years ago (2009-02-13)
Disney Channels Worldwide(Disney–ABC Television Group)(Disney Media Networks)(The Walt Disney Company)
EnglishSpanish (via SAP audio track)
Burbank, California, United States
The Walt Disney Company, Disney–ABC Television Group, Disney Channels Worldwide
Star Wars Rebels, Gravity Falls, Lab Rats, Ultimate Spider‑Man, Star vs the Forces of Evil
Disney XD is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Disney Channels Worldwide unit of the Disney–ABC Television Group, itself a unit of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. Aimed primarily at pre-teens and young teenagers, its programming consists of original first-run television series, current and former original series and made-for-cable films from sister network Disney Channel, theatrically-released films, and acquired programs from other distributors.
The channel offers an alternate Spanish language audio feed, either via a separate channel with the English track removed as part of a package of Spanish television networks sold by cable and satellite providers or a separate audio track accessible through the SAP option, depending on the provider.
As of February 2015, Disney XD is available to approximately 80,120,000 pay television households (68.8% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.
Disney XD was launched on February 13, 2009 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time, with the Phineas and Ferb episode "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together!" as its first program. The channel debuted its first original series, Aaron Stone, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time that day; the first part of the two-part premiere episode aired simultaneously on Disney XD and Disney Channel. New animated series included in the channel's initial lineup were Kid vs. Kat and Jimmy Two-Shoes.
The network took over the channel space of Toon Disney, an animation-focused channel that debuted on April 18, 1998, which eventually launched a live-action/animation block called Jetix in 2004; Jetix channels outside of the United States were relaunched under the Disney XD brand starting with the France-based service on April 1, 2009. Many of the channel's programs – particularly animated series – previously aired on Toon Disney, mainly as part of the Jetix program block, which ran on Toon Disney until that channel's shutdown. Disney XD carries the same name as an unrelated mini-site and media player on Disney.com, which stood for Disney Xtreme Digital, though it has been stated that the "XD" in the channel's name does not have an actual meaning.
The channel's first original television movie, Skyrunners, premiered on November 27, 2009. On April 1, 2012, Disney XD launched a block called "Marvel Universe", as a result of Disney's 2009 acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. In mid-2012, Disney created Disney Shows, a YouTube channel that hosts episodes of Disney Channel and Disney XD series and shorts (Disney XD series available on the channel include Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil, Kickin' It, Pair of Kings, and Zeke and Luther).
Disney XD's schedule consists largely of animated and live-action programs aimed at pre-teens and young teenagers. Disney XD content is a mixture original series as well as programs inherited from sister network, The Disney Channel. In addition to full-length live-action and animated original series, the channel also debuts short series similar to those seen on Disney Channel during commercial breaks (such as Two More Eggs), which serve as filler for programs scheduled to end during the half-hour and last usually around one to three. The channel also airs a youth-oriented "plays of the week" countdown segment called SportsCenter High-5, which is produced by ESPN's SportsCenter and airs periodically between shows; it also airs a short series featuring edited segments of ABC's Wipeout. Often, these shows are televised in the last two minutes of the program, with the exception of the Disney XD Shortstop, or following the ending of a movie.
A notable aspect of Disney XD's original series is that they tend to feature predominately male casts, and as such, its original programs feature very few females as main characters (with most live-action originals typically featuring only one female in its main cast, an exception to this was Mech-X4, which didn't feature any girls in its main protagonist cast and the 2012-2014 sitcom Crash & Bernstein, Kirby Buckets, & Lab Rats: Elite Force, which featured a predominately female cast) in comparison to Disney Channel's original programs, which tend to feature female leads in most of their series and generally balanced casts.
New episodes of animated original series are usually aired on Monday nights, while new episodes of live-action original series air on Wednesday nights. In addition, Disney XD airs original made-for-TV movies from Disney Channel and theatrically released feature films, but unlike Disney Channel, Disney XD typically does not air these movies in prime time; instead, films generally air during the late afternoon hours at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time with double features airing a few times a week.
Unlike Disney Channel (and similarly, fellow sister network Disney Junior) – whose advertising comes in the form of program promotions, underwriter sponsorships, and interstitials for Disney films, home video and game releases produced by the channel – Disney XD operates as an advertiser-supported service running traditional television commercials in addition to promotions for the channel's shows.
Disney XD, similarly born of a merger between Jetix and Toon Disney, is available around the world.