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Tube Thursday: Want to meet some Disney Channel stars? Then hightail it over to the Roostertail this Sunday afternoon

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Tube Thursday: Want to meet some Disney Channel stars? Then hightail it over to the Roostertail this Sunday afternoon

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I usually get two or three e-mails like this every week:

Jim --

Can you please help me? My kids are huge "Cory in the House" fans and I know that they'd love to attend a taping of this Disney Channel show. The only problem that is I don't know who I should contact about tickets. Is there anyone you could recommend that could set me up with some seats?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Robin J.
West Covina, C

Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

In response to a query like that, I typically direct their attention to Audiences Unlimited. These folks have been recruiting audiences to attend television tapings since the 1980s. And -- as it turns out -- one of the shows that Audiences Unlimited represents is "Cory in the House." Which currently has tickets available for an October 9th taping at Hollywood Center Studios.

But -- of course -- the only way that you'd ever get to attend this taping and/or see your favorite Disney Channel stars up-close was if you were physically out in LA. Unless you happen to be Detroit on Sunday.

"And why would I want to be in the Motor City this coming weekend?," you ask. Because that's when Hollywood is coming to Detroit to take part in the "High School Musicool" fundraising event.

Copyright 2007 MTSFF. All Rights Reserved

Sponsored by the Michael T. Schoenith Family Foundation, this tween-star studded spectacular is the fourth in a series of fundraisers that have been held to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. This time around, this annual event (Which will be held at the historic Roostertail ) will feature appearances by Olesya Rulin (Kelsi Nielsen from Disney's "High School Musical" & "High School Musical 2") ...

(L to R) Zac Efron, Olesya Rulin & Vanessa Hudgens in "High School Musical 2."
Photo by Adam Larkey. Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

... Chris Warren Jr. (Zeke Warren from the two "High School Musical" TV movies) ...

Chris Warren Jr. at the world premiere of "High School
Musical 2" at Downtown Disney. Photo by Adam Larkey
Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

... as well as Kyle Massey (Cory Baxter from "That's So Raven" and its spin-off, "Cory in the House").

Kyle Massey of Disney's "That's So Raven" and "Cory in the House."
Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright 2006 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Other tween favorites scheduled to appear at Sunday afternoon's event are Christoper Massey from "Zoey 101" and Nathalia Ramos & Logan Browning from "Bratz." There'll also be live performances by the Clique Girlz, My Allowance and T-Squad.

In addition to giving folks the chance to get an autograph and/or have their pictures taken with these celebrities-for-the-under-14-set, "High School Musicool" will also feature a wide variety of activities at the event's Outdoor High School Pep-Rally area. Here, your kids can try their hands at a rock climbing wall, have their faces painted or get a temporary tattoo.

There's all this ... Plus a silent auction. And a fireworks spectacular that will put a colorful cap on what's sure to be a fun Fall event. So if you're in the Detroit area and would like to help out a really worthy cause, why not make plans now to attend "High School Musicool" at the Roostertail? For more information and/or to reserve tickets, please call (313) 822-1234 or click on this link.

And speaking of events that will feature Disney Channel stars, have you heard about the "Rock Block" that this cable channel has scheduled for tomorrow night?

This one-hour-long event is actually a pretty clever promotion for Walt Disney Pictures' September 28th release, "The Game Plan."

Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Now what's kind of intriguing about this new family comedy is that -- when the Mouse was looking for a little girl who was tough enough & talented enough to perform alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson -- they held a nationwide search. And eventually after weeks of auditions, they finally came across 7-year-old Madison Pettis. Who -- as "The Game Plan" director Andy Fickman explained:

"When we screen-tested Madison with Dwayne, we all could see it. The first time they interacted, Dwayne looked over at me with this face that said, "Watch ... watch out for this one!' "

So Pettis was then signed to play Peyton, "The Rock" 's maybe-daughter in this heart-warming comedy. But then -- in June of 2006 -- Johnson tore an achilles tendon while prepping to play quarterback Joe Kingman in "The Game Plan." Which meant that Mickey then had to push back production of this film for a few months while Dwayne recuperated.

 Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Photo by Ron Phillips. All Rights Reserved

But Disney was so sure that they had a new star on their hands with Ms. Pettis (More importantly, because the studio was concerned that some other company might come along during "The Game Plan" 's production delay and then cast Madison in another project. Thereby making her unavailable to appear in their picture) that the Mouse went out of its way to find this 7-year-old other work. They showed Ms. Pettis' audition tape to the folks at the Disney Channel who were putting together the "That's So Raven" spin-off, "Cory in the House." And they were so impressed with Madison's work that they immediately offered her the part of Sophie, the daughter of the President of the United States.

Ms. Pettis jumped right into shooting the first eight episodes of this new Disney Channel series. Then -- once Madison got word that "The Rock" was sufficiently healed to begin working on "The Game Plan" -- she cut back on her "Cory in the House" appearances and went to work on this Walt Disney Pictures release.

Then when "Cory in the House" debuted on the Disney Channel in January of this year and quickly became a hit with the tweens ... Well, the Mouse's marketing department immediately saw what they thought was a huge cross-promotional opportunity for "The Game Plan."

So -- with the hope that Ms. Pettis' TV fans could be persuaded to become Madison movie enthusiasts -- Mickey quickly had an episode of "Cory in the House" written in which Dwayne Johnson was supposed to meet with the President, but wound up having tea with his daughter Sophie instead ...

Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Photo by Gale Adler. All Rights Reserved

... Which is actually a riff on one of the more charming bits that "The Rock" and Ms. Pettis perform together in "The Game Plan."

And then -- when Mickey's marketing department saw how well Dwayne's appearance in the Disney Channel's second-most-popular series had turned out -- they asked Johnson if he'd also be willing to appear on that cable channel's most popular series, "Hannah Montana." Being a good sport, "The Rock" said "Yes." Which is how he wound up receiving a make-over at the hands of Miley Cyrus and Emily Osment.

 Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Photo by Joel Warren. All Rights Reserved

I'm told that Disney executives were so impressed by Dwayne Johnson's performance in "The Game Plan" as well as by his willingness to do whatever was asked of him when it came to promoting this new Walt Disney Pictures release ... Well, that's why they just signed "The Rock" to appear in the studio's recently announced "Witch Mountain" remake.

So you see. Sometimes being a really good sport can pay off.

And speaking of which ... If you want to be  among the first to catch what I hear is a really good sports comedy, "The Game Plan" is sneaking this Saturday night at theaters all across America. Which -- if these sneak previews just happen to get mentioned as part of tomorrow's "Rock Block" promotion on the Disney Channel ... Well, I can't say that I'll be all that surprised.

But what do you folks think? Do you like these sorts of cross-promotional stunts? Or -- for that matter -- do you think that the Walt Disney Company should use the Disney Channel as sort of a "farm team" for their movie studio? Keeping in mind, of course, that next year will see the production of both "The Hannah Montana Movie" as well as the intended-for-theatrical-release "High School Musical 3."

Your thoughts?

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  • I think that this kind of cross-promotion is very smart and it's what sets Disney apart from its competition.  Bob Iger touches on Disney's cross-promotion and marketing strength in his presentation at the Goldman Sachs conference yesterday.  Point your browser to www.disney.com/investors to listen.

  • Jim - correction to a title of one of the most popular shows on the Disney Channel... it is HANNAH not Hanna Montana.  You dropped the last "h" in the character's first name.

  • You know I'm all about giving someone a shot at having a nice acting career but this seems to be quite out of character for Disney...maybe they have something planned which none of us are yet aware of I mean c'mon folks the guy is a former wrestler he just seems, to me, risky for these types of films...

  • Oops. Sorry about that. This is what comes from having grown up in the 1960s and watching too many Hanna Barbera cartoons. Ms. Montana now has all of her "H"s. Thanks for pointing out that mistake.  

  • I kind of get annoyed at the personality worship of Hollywood but I guess that's life. I don't necessarily care for cross promotion but I do believe that Disney is very smart to do it. I even get annoyed at some promotion that Hollywood does to promote groups that really do need money...then again I am a parent of a child with autism so I do appreciate the results, inspite of my annoyance LOL

    I do admire what Disney does with the Make a Wish Foundation. It makes such a huge difference to the kids and their families.

    I also must add that Disney was absolutely wonderful to me and my daughter when we visited Disneyland last year. Another guest at Disneyland last year asked me about how I got the "neat little tickett" that allowed us to enter the rides through the exits and not wait in line. I first told him that one gets these at City Hall, then I added the disclaimer, but first you have to have a child with a disability. My Becca doesn't have a wheel chair so her disability isn't always obvious at first. Now I must add what will waiting in line do to a child with autism...try "MELT DOWN!!!!!!!" Imagine the worst tantrum you have ever witnessed any child do, then magnify that by about 100% and you get what us parents with an autistic child get.

    Then again, my child doesn't have cancer and will probably live a normal life span. Not so with the kids at Make a Wish Foundation. I know how much I hurt when my daughter hurts...I can not imagine being a parent watching the slow death of your own child. Thus, I am grateful for the support that Disney gives to that organization, inspite of any "promoting" of Disney shows that happens LOL

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