Disney Channel in New Groove

The House of Mouse is making room for a llama, dusting off a largely overlooked 2000 theatrical release and turning it into a new series to air on Disney Channel. According to The Hollywood Reporter the studio has ordered 21 episodes of a weekly show based on The Emperor’s New Groove. Walt Disney Television Animation will produce The Emperor’s New Skool, which is slated to join the lineup in 2006.

The Emperor’s New Groove stars David Spade as the voice of an egomaniacal Incan emperor named Kuzco, who is turned into a llama and comes to learn the importance of friendship during his quest to reclaim his throne. While the feature did mediocre business at the box office, it has pulled high ratings during Disney Channel broadcasts, prompting the series development.

Exec produced by Bob Gannaway (Lilo & Stitch: The Series) and directed by Dave Knott (Recess), The Emperor’s New Skool places the characters in the Incan public school system. There have been no announcements regarding voice casting.

Disney Channel will also fortify its Playhouse Disney block with 26 episodes of the new half-hour toon series, Little Einstein, from Curious Pictures. Set to debut in the fall of 2005, the show is a sin-off of the Baby Einstein video property owned by Disney. Meanwhile, ABC Family and Toon Disney are sending the Power Rangers into orbit with Space Patrol Delta, the 13th season of the popular action franchise, for the Jetix block.