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1986: The Disney Channel Signs Off One Last Time
November 30, 2012  | By Christy Slewinski
 
On this day in 1986, The Disney Channel — an 18-hours-a-day premium channel — signed off the air one last time. The next day, Dec. 1, it became a 24-hour network.

Launched in 1983, The Disney Channel started as a 16-hour-a-day premium channel that offered a mix of programming for kids, families and adults. In 1989, it debuted one of its first original hits, The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, a revival of Disney's hit 1950s series (and less-successful '70s series), The Mickey Mouse Club. The show introduced numerous future stars including Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez, Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

In 1991, The Disney Channel (which dropped the "The" in 1997) began transitioning to a basic cable channel, with select cable providers offering the network as a basic cable channel. Disney Channel's transition from a premium channel continued through 2004.

 
 
 
 
 
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