Disney Channel is a cable television channel specializing in television programming for children through original series and movies as well as third party programming. It is marketed to mostly children; however, in recent years the diversity of viewers has increased with an older audience, typically teenagers and young families. Presently available on basic cable and satellite television, the network is part of Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group, a division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is based in Burbank, California, U.S.A, and also runs a website called DisneyChannel.com. Disney Channel began broadcasting in high-definition on March 19, 2008. A high definition feed of the network is also offered on some cable providers, as well as both satellite providers and telco IPTV providers in the ABC/Disney networks preferred format of 720p.
Disney Channel mostly airs its original sitcoms geared toward teenagers and sometimes airs its original cartoons geared more towards upper-elementary and middle school age children. However, as of 2008 the only original cartoons it airs are The Replacements and Phineas and Ferb. Disney Channel also has a programming block that airs in the daytime geared toward pre-schoolers called Playhouse Disney. Despite these other programming, a great majority of the channel's time-slot is taken up by other teen sitcoms. Series produced by Walt Disney Television or production companies unrelated to the Walt Disney Company used to make up most of the schedule; nowadays, with the explosion of Disney Channel Original Series, fewer of these series have aired on the channel. As of January 2008, the only non-original productions airing on Disney (not including the Playhouse Disney lineup, movies, and short series Minuscule and Shaun the Sheep) are Life With Derek, The Little Mermaid and Recess. The Playhouse Disney block airs daily from 7:00 am until noon. During the summer line-up it ends at 10:00 AM and the regular Disney block begins. On summer weekends, Playhouse Disney ends at 11:00 AM and then Disney airs its summer lineup. As of February 2008, the only Walt Disney related programming is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Playhouse Disney.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Disney Channel aired special shows that featured old-time Disney cartoons (that were usually made in Walt Disney's time). The Disney Afternoon includes Disney's Bonkers (TV series), Disney's Marsupilami (The animated series), Disney's Raw Toonage, Disney's The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show and others, They were mostly taken off the lineup in 2000.
After Totally Rockin' Summer Disney Channel returned to its basic schedule again on September 7, 2008. Phil of the Future ended its run on Disney Channel in the United States on September 8, 2008. It's now being aired on Disney XD. On December 14, 2008, it was announced that Disney Channel in the U.S. will bring back the animated block which has aired from 12 to 6am. Once it becomes official, the rechristened block will have such as Lilo & Stitch: The Series and Recess.
Much of Disney Channel's programming seems to appeal to teenage girls with shows like Hannah Montana. Disney Channel is released programming more appealing to teenage boys with Aaron Stone and other such Disney XD shows in 2009. New programs are expected to premiere on Disney Channel in 2010.
Disney Channel's live-action series usually have no more than six contract cast members, and have between 6 to 8 credited staff writers (fewer than the typical 8 to 11). Its multi-camera sitcoms, which use the classic studio audience/laugh track format, are shot on videotape (note that these shows have Video Control Operators, Video Tape Operators and Technical Directors listed in the closing credits) and use some type of simulated film look: former series That's So Raven, Cory in the House and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and current series Hannah Montana use the FilmLook image processing (Wizards of Waverly Place does not use this due to FilmLook's incompatibility with the visual effects used in the show); while Sonny with a Chance and The Suite Life on Deck use a 'filmized' appearance, but are shot on videotape, that will become standard on other Disney Channel multi-camera sitcoms as they transition to high definition.