Disney To Launch Network For Preschoolers, Dropping SOAPnet. After conquering tweens with the current Disney Channel line-up and even giving the boys some love with the launch of DisneyXD, Disney is now giving preschoolers their own network. Disney is launching Disney Junior, a new network featuring kid-friendly programming 24 hours a day. In competition with Nick Jr., which showcases their hits like “Dora the Explorer” throughout the day, Disney Junior will feature brand new series, like “Jack and the Never Land Pirates,” as well as episodes of its original series currently playing under the Playhouse Disney moniker, like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Handy Manny.” Disney Junior, set to premiere in 2012, replaces Disney and ABC’s SOAPnet network. Pulling the plug on the 10-year-old network, Disney will replace soaps like “All My Children” with all children’s programming. “The launch of Disney Junior in the U.S. is the next step in our global preschool strategy, which began 10 years ago with the premiere of our first dedicated preschool channel in the UK,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group. “The decision to ultimately transition SOAPnet to accomplish this was not arrived at lightly,” Sweeney continued. “SOAPnet was created in 2000 to give daytime viewers the ability to watch time-shifted soaps, before multiplatform viewing and DVRs were part of our vocabulary. But today, as technology and our businesses evolve, it makes more sense to align this distribution with a preschool channel that builds on the core strengths of our company.” Disney Junior will also feature hit shows like “Imagination Movers,” “Special Agent Oso,” and “Jungle Junction.” They will also showcase classic and contemporary Disney movies, including “Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “101 Dalmatians.” The new network will also be offered in High-Definition, On-Demand, and with a Spanish language feed.