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Disney tried again in January 1983, planning a partnership with the satellite unit of Group W, though the deal never came to fruition.

In January 1983, the Disney Channel was formed under the leadership of its first president, Alan Wagner.

Outside of daytime programs for children, the network also aired movies and original specials (largely concert specials), largely during the nighttime hours.

Early in 1986, the musical sitcom Kids Incorporated, about a pre-teen (and later teen-to-young adult) gang of friends who formed a pop group, mixing their everyday situations with variety-show and music video style performances.

In early 1977, Jim Jimirro of Walt Disney Productions brought forth the idea of a cable television network with material from the studio.

Since the company was focusing on the Epcot Center, Disney chairman Card Walker turned down the proposal.

It became a hit for the channel, spawning many future stars in both music and acting during its 10-year run, including Martika (who went by her real name of Marta Marrero in the show's first season), eventual Party of Five co-stars Scott Wolf and Jennifer Love Hewitt (billed as Love Hewitt), and Stacy Ferguson, nicknamed Fergie, of The Black Eyed Peas).

By 1992, Nielsen Media Research estimated that a third of its subscriber base were adults without children in the home; and by 1995, The Disney Channel's subscriber base had expanded to 15 million cable homes, eight million of which received the channel through a premium subscription.Soon after, other cable systems began to transition the channel to their basic tiers, either as an experiment or full-time.Even as larger multiple system operators such as Cox Communications and Marcus Cable began to offer The Disney Channel on their basic tiers, Walt Disney Company executives continued to deny any plans to convert the channel to an ad-supported basic service, referring to the switches to basic on some systems as part of a five-year "hybrid" strategy; allowing providers to offer it as either a pay service or a basic service.At the time of its launch, Disney Channel was a premium channel that aired for 16 hours a day, from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Subscribers initially received a monthly program guide/magazine, though it was phased out by the time the channel began targeting itself as a commercial-free basic channel.Disney Channel received a special citation from the United States President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

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