Playhouse Disney was a television block that aired on Disney Channel for programs aimed at entertaining preschool aged children. Playhouse Disney only aired as its own channel outside the United States. It was introduced in 1997 after Disney Channel's move to basic cable from premium cable, with a target audience of children ages 3–10. The block was rebranded as Disney Junior, Disney Channel's current preschool block, on February 14, 2011.
Playhouse Disney started on Disney Channel on May 8, 1997, under the Disney Channel name and kept its on-air graphics. In January 1999, they changed their slogan for the first time, "Where learning is powered by imagination". However, it didn't use its actual on-screen logo until mid-1999. In the summer of 1999, it re-launched as Playhouse Disney with new graphics. On July 12, 2001, Playhouse Disney introduced a new look and a new presentation package produced by Beehive. On September 2, 2002, the block re-launched with a new logo (the same time Disney Channel did) and Playhouse Disney introduced its first mascot named "Clay" whose catchphrases are "It's true!" and "Are you with me?"
From 2001 until 2007, the programming announcer was actress Allyce Beasley. On March 31, 2007, it received substitute upgrades to its on-air presence. At this time, "Clay" was replaced by two monkey hosts, Ooh and Aah. Every summer since 2007, usually starting sometime in May, Playhouse Disney's end time on weekdays aired only four hours. Disney Channel original series are aired over this time slot during the change of lineup. On weekends, Playhouse Disney still aired seven hours.
On May 26, 2010, Disney announced that Playhouse Disney would be renamed as Disney Junior. Playhouse Disney aired for the last time on February 13, 2011 with the last program to air was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the final short series being Handy Manny's School for Tools. After that, Disney aired an advertisement for Disney Junior, and then Ooh and Aah's daily sign-off. Ooh and Aah continued on Disney Junior: The Channel every weekday morning at 10:55 am ET or 11:25 am ET.
On February 14, 2011, Disney Junior launched, in preparation to launch a 24/7 network for it on March 23, 2012. It replaced Soapnet, owned by Disney, which has a subscriber base of 75 million viewers. The first program to air was Little Einsteins with the episode "Fire Truck Rocket."
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006–2011)
- Charlie and Lola (2007–2011)
- Special Agent Oso (2009–2011)
- Chuggington (2010–2011)
- Little Einsteins (2005–2011)
- Bunnytown (2007–2011)
- Imagination Movers (2008–2011)
- Jungle Junction (2009–2011)
- Handy Manny (2006–2011)
- Bear in the Big Blue House (1997–2007)
- Spot the Dog (1997–2005)
- PB&J Otter (1998–2005)
- Rolie Polie Olie (1998–2007)
- Out of the Box (1998–2005)
- Animal Stories (1999–2002)
- The Book of Pooh (2001–2003)
- Stanley (2001–2008)
- The Wiggles (2002–2009)
- JoJo's Circus (2003–2008)
- The Koala Brothers (2003-2007)
- Higglytown Heroes (2004–2009)
- Breakfast with Bear (2005–2006)
- The Doodlebops (2005–2009)
- Johnny and the Sprites (2005–2009)
- The Koala Brothers (2004–2008)
- My Friends Tigger & Pooh (2007–2010)
- Bunnytown (2007–2008)
- Katie and Orbie (1997–2000)
- The Little Mermaid (1997–2002)
- Madeline (1999–2005)
- Muppet Babies (1997–2002)
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1997–2006)
Program info and history
Playhouse Disney would broadcast 4:00 am to 2:00 pm ET (3:00 am to 1:00 pm CT) on weekdays, and from 4:00 am to 9:00 am ET, (3:00 am to 8:00 am CT) on weekends, each running a different schedule. They would feature 22-minute standard length shows, interspersed with short 3-5 minute shorts and music videos. Introducing each show were two monkey puppets, Ooh and Aah. Between these times, several commercials were played during Playhouse Disney (though Disney Channel air regular commercials anyway), though short "promotional spots" did run every so often, such as often seen on PBS. Between 4:00 and 6:00, when Playhouse Disney programs aired under the regular Disney Channel branding, there were commercials for Disney properties as there are for other Disney Channel programs.
- Disney Junior acing frosh year, Variety, September 26, 2011
- Disney Junior to Replace SOAPnet in 2012, Deadline Hollywood, May 26, 2010
- SOAPnet Can Go Dark to Make Way for Disney Junior, Entertainment Weekly, May 26, 2010
- "Doc McStuffins" Set for Disney, Variety.com, June 24, 2010
- Disney Junior to Debut In February 2011 on Disney Channel, TV By the Numbers, November 5, 2010
- Disney Junior Shifts Focus Away From Educational Programming, Hollywood Reporter, November 4, 2010
- "Playhouse Disney schedule". Retrieved 2007-10-28.