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Tube Tuesday : Hutch Dano & Adam Hicks skateboard into the spotlight with “Zeke & Luther”

Tube Tuesday : Hutch Dano & Adam Hicks skateboard into the spotlight with “Zeke & Luther”

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The Mouse certainly has high hopes for “Mongoose and Luther” … er … “Zeebo and Luther” … um … “Luther and the Z”?

Why the title-related confusion? Here, I’ll let Hutch Dano – one of the stars of this new Disney XD series – explain:

 Hutch Dano is Zeke in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Hutch Dano is Zeke in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Photo by Ron Tom.
Copyright 2009 Disney XD. All Rights Reserved

“Back when we shot the pilot, my character’s name was Mongoose. But then Disney’s lawyers learned that Mongoose was the name of this company that made BMX & mountain bikes. And since they wanted to merchandise this show, obviously my character’s name had to change.”

Speaking of names: Hutch’s last name should be familiar to all you Disney history buffs out there. Given that it’s something that this 17-year-old shares with his late grandfather, Royal Dano. Who – in addition to voicing Abraham Lincoln for the original versions of “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” and “The Hall of Presidents” – appeared in three live-action features for Walt Disney Productions; “Savage Sam,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “Spaced Invaders.”

Anyway ... Given his family ties to this late character actor, you’d think that Hutch had been performing for years. But – as it turns out – “Zeke and Luther” is Hutch’s first professional acting job.

 Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks in Disney XD's new
series, "Zeke and Luther." Photo by Ron Tom.

Copyright 2009 Disney XD. All Rights Reserved

“I was actually working in a skateboard shop when I booked this show,” Dano remembered. “And I didn’t meet Adam until right before I went in to audition for this part.”

The Adam that Hutch is referring to is Adam Hicks. The Luther to Dano’s Zeke. Who – in sharp contrast to his talented co-star – has been acting professionally since he was 10 years old.

“I’ve done a lot of stuff. I was the quarterback in Disney’s ‘Shaggy Dog’ remake. But since my family and I are based out of Las Vegas, I didn’t know if it would ever happen. Whether I’d ever get cast on a really good show,” Hicks said. “Which is why I’m so grateful to be a part of ‘Zeke and Luther.’ “

 Adam Hicks is Luther in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Adam Hicks is Luther in Disney XD's new series,
"Zeke and Luther."
Photo by Bob D'Amico.
Copyright 2009 Disney XD. All Rights Reserved

Mind you, playing the title roles in this highly anticipated Disney XD series means a lot is expected of these two 17-year-olds. Which Adam & Hutch found out this past Sunday when they began “Zeke & Luther” ‘s press tour.

“We spent Father’s Day at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim, where we first met with ‘Zeke and Luther’ fans and then watched an episode of the show with them on ESPN’s video wall,” Hicks recalled. “Then we flew out to New York, where I forgot about the three hour time difference. Which – since I didn’t get to bed ‘til 3 a.m. – made getting up at 6 a.m. to do ‘Good Morning, America’ really, really rough. All I can say is thank goodness for Starbucks.”

Dano looked back on the past 24 hours a little differently than Hicks. He seemed particularly pleased with the number of people who turned out for Sunday morning’s event in Anaheim.

Hutch Dano as Zeke, Adam Hicks as Luther and Daniel Curtis Lee as Kojo in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
(L to R) Hutch Dano as Zeke, Adam Hicks as Luther and Daniel
Curtis Lee as Kojo
in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Photo by Bob D'Amico.
Copyright 2009 Disney XD. All Rights Reserved

“You gotta remember that – at this point – ‘Zeke and Luther’ had only aired once on Disney XD. Sure, we got good ratings. But that doesn’t mean that people will still be willing to give up their Father’s Day in order to come out and see you,” Hutch explained. “So to look outside and see 100 – 150 people standing in line, waiting to get into the ESPN Zone … I’m just so grateful that people have been so quick to embrace our show.”

Which – admittedly – is something of a departure for Disney. “Zeke and Luther” is this single-camera comedy that details the misadventures of 15-year-old Zeke and Luther. Two lifelong buddies who dream of becoming are world-class skateboarders.

The only problem is – given that Zeke and Luther live in Pacific Terrace, a mythical beach community in Northern California -- fame & fortune seem far, far away. But these teens think that skateboarding really holds the key for them making the big time. So Zeke and Luther are forever practicing in that alleyway behind the mini-mall. Always dreaming up new schemes and/or planning ever crazier stunts in order to ‘board their way into the big time.

Hutch Dano (L) and Adam Hicks in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Hutch Dano (L) and Adam Hicks in
Disney XD's
new series, "Zeke and Luther." Photo by Ron Tom.
Copyright 2009 Disney XD. All Rights Reserved

“Zeke and Luther” was created by Matt Dearborn and Tom Burkhard, the team behind the Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-nominated and BATFA-winning series, “Even Stevens.”

Will The Walt Disney Company be able to catch lightning in a bottle with Dearborn & Burkhard’s new show? As I said at the very start of today’s story, Mouse House officials certainly have high hopes for “Mongoose and Luther” … er … “Zeebo and Luther” … whatever. I mean, Disney XD already has 22 episodes of “Zeke and Luther” in the can. And I’m told that Matt & Tom are already knocking around ideas for a second season of the show.

Which should make Hutch very happy. Given that he really enjoyed his time on set on “Zeke and Luther.”

Adam Hicks (L) and Hutch Dano in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Adam Hicks (L) and Hutch Dano in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Photo by Ron Tom.
Copyright 2009 Disney XD. All Rights Reserved

“I came into this not knowing how to hit my marks, being somewhat freaked out whenever I saw those 70 people standing behind the camera staring at me while I acted,” Dano recalled. “But we all became so close as we were turning out two new episodes every week that I can’t wait to get back on set and do it all again.”

Adam’s also eager for “Zeke and Luther” to go back into production. But not for the same reasons that Hutch is.

“I thought that I was a pretty good skateboarder before,” Hicks said. “But as I worked with the pros that Disney hired to coach Hutch and I on the show, I got so much better. That’s why I’m looking forward to ‘Zeke and Luther’ going back into production. So that I can learn some new skateboarding tricks.”

Hutch Dano as Zeke in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Hutch Dano as Zeke
in Disney XD's new series, "Zeke and Luther."
Photo by Bob D'Amico.
Copyright 2009 Disney XD. All Rights Reserved

And given the huge numbers that this new Disney XD series racked up during its primetime debut (i.e. “Zeke and Luther” broke records last Monday night, delivering the largest audience ever for a series premiere on this cable channel), it looks like Adam may get a number of seasons to perfect his skateboarding skills.

“Zeke and Luther” airs on Disney XD Monday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET /PT, 7:30 C. For further information on this new series, please click on this link.

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  • hey guys i hope u get this coment and hutch do you speak spanish adam u spanish to

  • very cute

  • what language

  • the show is very cool

  • I♥YOU HUTCH U ARE VERY BEAUTIFUL AND I THINK THAT U ARE VERY FRIENDLY

  • iestas wuuuaaauu

  • i think that adam hicks is super hot.i may only be 13 years old but i know cuteness when i see it.    ;)

  • ayyy yoll guys r the best in skating i wish i can be like yoll i really wish somdayyy i can slow butter yoll i am only 11 years old i wish i can be yorr friends ... well if we can u can go to gmail and my email is [email protected]  pls invite me 4 me yoll my bst frndzz tnx

  • I am the best skater in cape town. I am a bige fan. we must meet somewhere, I am 15 yers old an I have the same helmet than jou. and were is jour fan club. my ramps is in derbanville skate club. I have a msponshirship. but my dek is than elament.

  • hi i am Dino your biggest ever so please write back.p.s i am from south Africa and i am 12 years old

  • wow who is in love with hutch

  • Hutch dano

  • You love hutch

  • hi im your biggest fan please get back to me p.s i watch your show everyday

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