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. READ MORE »
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.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney Channel has ordered a third season of hit dance-driven buddy comedy Shake It Up. Following its premiere in November 2010, Shake It Up ranked as the No. 1 series of 2011 among tweens 9-14, and for second quarter 2012-to-date, it is the No. 1 TV series among kids 2-11 (2.0 million/4.9 rating) and kids 6-11 (1.6 million/6.7 rating). The series inspired Disney Channel’s first-ever talent competition for kids and tweens, Make Your Mark: Ultimate Dance Off – Shake It Up Edition, a successful soundtrack and merchandizing line.
EXCLUSIVE: In today’s Internet-obsessed society it seems like everyone and their dog have a blog. Well, that is literally the case at Disney Channel, which has greenlighted multi-camera comedy pilot Dog With A Blog, about a talking and blogging family pet. Additionally, Disney Channel has given a back-nine order to new comedy Austin & Ally, bringing its order to 21 episodes, and has expanded the second season of another comedy, Shake It Up, to 26 episodes.
The last time the Disney Channel bet on a 13-year-old Southern starlet, it was Miley Cyrus. So now that Miley is all grown up (turning 18 in 2 weeks), I hear that The Powers That Be are putting the Southern starlet Bella Thorne on the same fast-track teen career path. Tennessee native Miley shared the sitcom spotlight with her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. The brass are counting on Floridian Bella to be the breakout star of the new Disney Channel buddy comedy series Shake It Up which premieres tonight at 8:30 PM in a no-lose slot after the one-hour Hannah Montana Forever special “I’ll Always Remember You”. Miley’s character lived her dream singing while navigating school. In Shake It Up, Bella (who was cast when she was 13) is living her dream dancing while navigating school. Hey, no one ever accused TV execs of having original ideas even though Carolina Lightcap replaced Rich Ross who moved up to movies…