Here’s proof that time-shifted viewing and a target demo whose schedules are horribly unpredictable (at least in a certain Deadline editor’s house) equals victory: Disney said today that its Disney Channel special Sofia The First: The Floating Palace was watched by 7.6 million total viewers last week based on Live+7 ratings, making it the second-most-watched telecast in cable TV history in the kids 2-5 demo and No. 1 in scores of other preschool demos. The only show to beat it? The Sofia The First movie (8.2 million viewers) that officially launched the princess franchise in November 2012. The audience for Floating Palace more than doubled in the time-shifted metric in kids 2-5 (2.63 million vs. 1.10 million) and girls 2-5 (1.85 million vs. 706,000), and grew double digits in total viewers (7.62 million vs. 4.72 million), adults 18-49 (2.15 million vs. 1.40 million) and women 18-49 — aka moms — (1.43 million vs. 911,000). At least around here, our own personal Nielsen viewer watches episodes multiple times and almost never when they’re actually on TV unless by accident, so these kinds of numbers make sense — though the viewership numbers are impressive nonetheless.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney Channel’s original series Shake It Up is wrapping its run after 78 episodes, with the final round of shows set to roll out this summer and in the fall. But one of the series’ stars, Zendaya, is sticking around, inking a deal to star a Disney Channel original movie. The move to end Shake It Up while it’s still going strong (it is the No. 1 TV series year-to-date in kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14 demos) is not atypical of the network, which tends to cap its original series after a set time. In June, Disney Channel said it was ending Good Luck Charlie after four seasons, 100 episodes and a hit TV movie. The Shake It Up shake-up comes as the network is prepping the debuts of new series including I Didn’t Do It and Girl Meets World; Shake It Up executive producer Rob Lotterstein is moving over to co-exec produce the former. Another new series, Liv & Maddie, logged 5.8 million viewers in a preview airing last week following the strong premiere of Teen Beach Movie.
EXCLUSIVE: Bella Thorne’s latest role certainly is a departure from her frothy Disney Channel sitcom. The Shake It Up star has scored a lead role in Home Invasion, rookie feature director Sean Carter’s thriller about a family imprisoned by intruders who play a life-and-death game in which the mysterious rules become clear as the night unfolds. Thorne will play Jamie, a disillusioned teenager intensely guarding a personal secret. Voltage Pictures is financing the project, written by first-time scribe and co-producer Joseph Dembner, and producing with Silver Pictures’ low-budget label Zinc Entertainment. Silver Pictures’ Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce with Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores. Joel Silver, Steve Richards and Michael Fiore will exec produce. Voltage’s Dominic Rustan handled the deal for the company.
Last month Disney said its Marvel characters will cross over to Disney Channel’s most popular animated series for an episode set to air next month in which the titular stepbrothers team with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor …
EXCLUSIVE: After four seasons, 100 episodes and a hit TV movie, Disney Channel has decided to end its sitcom Good Luck Charlie. Production on the series will wrap soon, with new episodes slated to roll out through early 2014. The series, executive produced by creators Phil Baker & Drew Vaupen and Dan Staley, also will remain on Disney Channel’s daily schedules around the world. “On behalf of everyone at Disney Channel, it’s been our great pleasure to work with the extraordinary producers Phil Baker, Drew Vaupen and Dan Staley and the writers and crew of Good Luck Charlie,” a rep for the kids channel said. “We could not have dreamt of a better cast than Bridgit Mendler, Jason Dolley, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Bradley Steven Perry, Mia Talerico and Eric Allan Kramer (and even little Logan Moreau as Baby Toby!) and the many guest stars who make the series so special.” The series, which centers on the everyday adventures of the busy Duncan clan — working full-time parents Bob and Amy; their three teen kids PJ, Teddy and Gabe; and fast-growing toddler Charlie — helped launch the recording career of Mendler and collected more than 25 million online votes in its “name the baby poll.”
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Healy, Disney Channel‘s SVP Original Movies, is leaving the company after nearly 16 years and more than 90 Disney Channel movies to pursue other opportunities. Healy, whose last day is April 26, led the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise to a streak of 11 consecutive year-end finishes as cable TV’s #1 original movie telecast among tweens 9-14, boasting the #1 scripted cable TV telecast in total viewers for six of the past seven years. He shepherded megahits High School Musical and its sequel High School Musical 2 whose premiere became the most watched basic-cable telecast with 18.6 million viewers. The HSM franchise also crossed over into features and into virtually every facet of the Disney company to become a billion-dollar worldwide franchise. Other hit Disney Channel original movies developed by Healy include Princess Protection Program, The Cheetah Girls (1-3), Camp Rock, Jump In! and Wizards Of Waverly Place The Movie. “Michael’s contributions to Disney Channel have been enormous and we will definitely miss his wit, his wisdom and his remarkable story-telling ability,” said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, who worked with Healy for his entire tenure at the channel. “We wish him continued success with his next ventures.” In light of Healy’s departure, Disney Channel’s Original Movie department will be restructured. Healy has Disney Channel’s original movie pipeline well stocked up: His ambitious break-into-song musical Teen Beach Movie, from writer Robert Horn, director Jeffrey Hornaday and choreographer Chris Scott, will premiere in July. It will be followed up by snowboarding adventure Cloud 9, executive produced by HSM‘s Ashley Tisdale and snowboarding superstar Shaun White.
The beloved teacher has joined Disney Channel’s pilot for Girl Meets World, a potential reboot/followup to the ABC series Boy Meets World. William Daniels …
Disney‘s Mickey Mouse started his screen journey in 1928 with a series of shorts, including Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie. Now the classic cartoon character is coming back with a new short-form series of 2D comedy cartoons, Mickey Mouse. After a preview today at noon PT on Disney.com, the series of 19 toon shorts will begin rolling out July 28 on Disney Channel, Disney.com and Watch Disney Channel, among other platforms. The announcement is among several being made today by Disney Channel, which is holding its upfront presentation in New York. While the direction and pacing of the new Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts are contemporary, they also are an homage to the art direction and storytelling of Walt Disney and his animators in the 1920s and ’30s. Each short finds Mickey in a different contemporary setting including Santa Monica, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Venice and the Alps, facing a silly situation, a quick complication and an escalation of physical and visual gags.