Disney has certainly changed a lot in some ways but almost not at all in others. Since it’s October it just feels right to talk about a month in history from 2003 when the Disney channel was still sporting such stars as Hilary Duff, Tia and Tamara from Sister, Sister, and short promos such as Mike’s Super Short Show in which stars from the movies would occasionally drop by and talk about their film. Fourteen years has certainly made a big difference in some of the programming, but to be honest not a lot of it has changed.
Shows like Even Stevens were still big back then thanks to the fact that Shia LeBeouf hadn’t gone all weird yet and the sisters from Sister, Sister weren’t yet old enough to warrant anything but a Disney sitcom. Since then however a few things have changed as the Disney channel has had to let some shows die out and adopt new ones. For instance, Spookley the Square Pumpkin has been one of the top features for the last few years running, and Halloween has been left more to the sitcoms than the short little promos that used to be featured during the commercials.
Depending on what day it is the Disney channel is now mostly cartoons punctuated by commercials every so often. If it’s a weekday during fall, winter, or spring the chances are good that live shows will air until around early morning, when cartoons will take over, and then again in the afternoon once cartoons are all done. On weekends the toons tend to start earlier and last nearly all day, which is kind of odd since you would tend to think that cartoons wouldn’t be as big of a thing when kids are being encouraged to play outside and spend less time in front of the TV.
Anyway, the programming hasn’t really changed except to adapt and evolve along with the changing times. This means the jokes are up to date, the skits are something the kids will like, and the content is still something you wouldn’t mind your children watching, but it’s just a tad more edgy than you might be used to. Disney however will almost never include any type of programming that’s considered too fringe for kids. With what kids are getting used to at earlier ages these days however it goes without saying that fringe is a very subjective thing in this era.
The main point of the Disney channel, be it their shows, commercials, or promo spots, is to give kids a level of programming that they can relate to and enjoy. There are so many channels out there that are programmed for adults that kids tend to get overwhelmed and find that there’s really nothing for them to watch that’s entertaining or on their level. There are a few channels of course, but the Disney channel is all about giving kids something to watch that’s educational and can teach a few good life lessons along the way.
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