Nellie Andreeva

As part of her blitz of post-rehab interviews, Demi Lovato announced today she is not going to return to her Disney Channel series Sonny With A Chance. “It made sense for me to go ahead and leave the show to focus on my music,” Lovato said in a statement to People magazine. “It’s kind of sad for me that a chapter of my life has ended, but there couldn’t be a better time for me to move on. I don’t think going back to Sonny would be healthy for my recovery, being in front of a camera would make me nervous.”

The news is not surprising, and Disney Channel has been preparing for a future of the show without Lovato ever since she entered rehab at the beginning of November. In January, the channel started production on So Random, a comedy series based on the sketch comedy show within Sonny, for a June premiere. The new series features all other Sonny regulars, guest stars and musical acts, and, by continuing the Sonny franchise, it was able to preserve 75 jobs. (Disney Channel first tested So Random as two stand-alone specials in 2010, which did well.) “We respect Demi’s decision to focus full time on her music and not immediately return to her acting career,” a rep for the Disney Channel said in a statement. “She is a talented young woman, and our hearts are with her as she continues to take action to improve her health and bounce back from adversity.”

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