October 20, 2011 2:26pm PT by Jethro Nededog
Disney Junior Begins Production on Animated 'Oki's Oasis' Starring Mandy Moore (Exclusive)
Disney Junior announced its plans for a new animated western for preschoolers, Oki’s Oasis, during the Summer Television Critics Association earlier this year. It has now given the series a 26-episode order and started production on the program. It stars singer Mandy Moore as the voice of Oki and The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive first look photo of her character above.
"Oki's Oasis uses the legend of the Old West to impart social skills and lessons for young kids about being a good friend and neighbor, reinforcing what parents are already teaching their children at home about forgiveness, honesty and sharing,” says Disney Junior’s GM and Original Programming SVP, Nancy Kanter.
“The series further demonstrates Disney Junior's dedication to programming that highlights the importance of great, heartfelt storytelling as an impetus for learning and development,” she adds.
Oki’s Oasis stars Moore as the voice of the cat Oki, the sheriff of Nice and Friendly Corners, who’s charged with making sure the town upholds its reputation for being the friendliest town in the West. Scheduled to air in 2013, each episode features two 11-minute stories and two original songs.
The series is a production of W!LDBRAIN Entertainment, a DHX Media company, in association with Disney Junior. It was created by series executive producers Denis Morella and George Evelyn and developed for television by co-executive producer Holly Huckins (the team behind Disney Channel's Higglytown Heroes).
Disney Junior, currently Disney Channel’s programming block aimed toward children aged two to seven-years-old, will add a basic cable and satellite channel in the U.S. next year.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro