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Disney bringing new show to tablets first, cable later

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With more children picking up iPads and other tablets every day, Disney has announced plans to release an upcoming show first on mobile devices before it airs on cable. Sheriff Callie’s Wild West will debut on the company's Watch Disney Junior app beginning November 24th, eventually making its way to the Disney Channel and Disney Junior television stations next year. “We have been amazed at how quickly kids have embraced this new technology," said Nancy Kanter, executive vice president of Disney Junior Worldwide. Speaking to The New York Times, she added, "We’re talking billions of minutes spent watching."

Disney has numbers to back those claims of success. The Disney Junior app has seen over 5 million downloads by the company's estimate, resulting in views of over 650 million total video clips. And parents are increasingly thankful for the option. “We get a lot of emails from dads saying, ‘Thanks for giving me back my TV,’” Albert Cheng, digital media chief of Disney-ABC Television Group, told the Times. “It’s important that we offer something real there to reinforce the value," Cheng said of the mobile-first strategy. Tablets have become a major area of focus company-wide; last month Disney encouraged young viewers to bring an iPad to theaters for screenings of The Little Mermaid, and released a second-screen mobile app designed to enhance the moviegoing experience.