Demi and Selena Deliver Big Rating with Princess Protection Program


Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez deliver big rating on Disney Channel with ‘Princess Protection Program’

BFFs Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato are proving to be ratings magic for the folks at Disney.

The pair starred in the network’s latest original film, “The Princess Protection Program,” which debuted Friday with 8.5 million viewers, making it the year’s most-watched scripted program on cable.

“I had a hard time imagining that it wouldn’t do well, but it did better than we had hoped,” Michael Healy, senior vice president of original movies for the Disney Channel, told the Daily News yesterday. “We certainly worked long and hard to make it not just a platform for the two girls, but to make it a good story, too. But when you have two of the biggest stars of the network in the same movie and they’re best friends in real life and they’re both great kids, success just kind of looms there, not too far away in the distance.”

Successive telecasts over the weekend continued to build on the film’s numbers. Saturday’s encore was watched by 4.5 million and on Sunday, it drew 4.3 million.

Future rebroadcasts are already planned, including a “pop-up” edition that will include trivia and behind-the-scenes information, like what the network did for repeats of “High School Musical” and “High School Musical 2.”

And the “Princess Protection Program” DVD was released Tuesday.

“At the end of the day, these are both girls who our kids would like to hang with,” said Healy. “They seem to have a lot of fun together, they do genuinely have a lot of fun together, and they’re an idealized friendship that our kids – our audience – want in on.”

In “The Princess Protection Program,” Lovato plays Princess Rosalinda, who has to go to live with tomboy Carter, played by Gomez, in rural Louisiana after her country is invaded by an evil dictator.

Lovato is also the star of Disney’s “Sonny With a Chance” and appeared in “Camp Rock” with the Jonas brothers. A sequel to “Camp Rock” is already in the works.

Gomez stars in the network series “Wizards of Waverly Place,” which thanks to Friday’s “Princess” premiere, experienced a surge in the ratings, pulling in 6 million viewers. A “Wizards” movie is set to debut later this summer.

While a sequel to “Princess” hasn’t yet been greenlighted, Healy said discussions are already underway.

“We’re always ready for a sequel if the stars align,” he said. “We’re wide open to it, but there are no plans for it at this point.”

Source: NY Daily News

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