Disney Junior first launched as a programming block on the Disney Channel in February 2011. The Disney Junior channel was originally slated to debut in January 2012, but on July 28, 2011, the Disney-ABC Television Group pushed back the launch date from January to an unspecified date in late spring 2012, then setting the channel’s launch date to February. On January 9, 2012, Disney-ABC Television Group announced that Soapnet’s shutdown date for most providers was scheduled for March 22, 2012. Disney Junior’s 24-hour subscription channel counterpart officially launched the following day on March 23, at 12:00 a. m. Eastern Time with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode “Mickey’s Big Surprise” as the first program to air on the channel.  Programming featured on the channel’s initial lineup included Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and freshman original series Doc McStuffins; the channel also launched a new short-form series A Poem Is. . . as well as the weekend movie block, the Magical World of Disney Junior.
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