via press release:


Kids and Tweens Connect to Milestone Making Series on TV, Online and at Retail

Disney Channel has ordered additional third-season episodes of its Emmy Award-winning comedy series, “Wizards of Waverly Place,” bringing the episodic count to 86 episodes thus far, plus a blockbuster Disney Channel Original Movie that premiered in August.

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In making the announcement, Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, said: “The appeal of ‘Wizards’ is simple: it’s our extraordinary cast. This is undoubtedly one of the strongest comedic ensembles on television. When you couple that with an incredibly gifted writing and producing team, the result is pure comedic magic.”

Created by Todd J. Greenwald and executive-produced by Peter Murrieta, Greenwald, Vince Cheung and Ben Montanio, the series stars Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera and David DeLuise.

The series recently reached a new pinnacle of achievement by winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program, and inspiring the critically acclaimed “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie” that ranks as cable TV’s #2 scripted telecast of all time in Total Viewers (13.5 million), Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14, and TV’s #1 telecast of 2009 among Kids 6-11, surpassing NBC’s Super Bowl coverage. The series was also a key part of a special Disney Channel series crossover episode, “Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana,” which delivered a noteworthy 9.2 million Total Viewers.

Its solid rapport with kids and tweens has also cast a spell off TV with a Walt Disney Records CD that ranks #3 on the Billboard Kids Chart. Its debut track, “Magic,” by Selena Gomez, has been on Radio Disney’s Top 5 most requested chart since its July premiere. Also available are books, two compilation DVDs from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, and a fast-selling DS console game from Disney Interactive Studios. The Disney Consumer Products “BoHo Chic”-inspired back to school fashion collection, available nationwide at retailers including Sears, Kmart and Wal-mart, exceeded expectations, and new lines are currently in development with character Alex Russo’s style as inspiration. The consumer products line also includes accessories, bedding, stationery and fashion dolls and will continue to expand as the franchise grows.

Series star Selena Gomez makes her solo recording debut with the CD “Kiss & Tell” from Selena Gomez & The Scene, releasing September 29 on Hollywood Records.

Selena Gomez is the national spokesperson for Sears’ Back to School initiative, “Don’t Go Back Arrive.” Sears was the exclusive sponsor of “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie” premiere and “Wizards of Waverly Place Arrive in Style” sweepstakes on Disney Channel, Radio Disney and Disney Online and in-store at Sears.

Sara Lee features “Wizards of Waverly Place” on 40 million packages and in-store displays as part of its school year-long promotion of Soft and Smooth bread products. A sweepstakes promotion for a chance to win lunch with the stars of “Wizards of Waverly Place” is on Disney Channel, Disney Online and Radio Disney and in FamilyFun Magazine.

“Wizards of Waverly Place” anchors ‘Wiz-tober,’ a Halloween programming event hosted by Gomez, Henrie, Austin and Stone, beginning THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1. Season three premieres FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT), with new episodes presented on Friday nights throughout October on Disney Channel.

“Wizards of Waverly Place” is a production of It’s a Laugh Productions for Disney Channel and carries a TV-G parental guideline.

Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in over 98 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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