The Lookback Disney Channel
Well , this is interesting ... we taking a lookback somewhere where it hasn't been before. (Can we say somewhere where?, that's got to be improper) Now in this look we are not going for the shows that are talked about most when people lookback at Disney Channel shows. Example : Lizzie McGuire and That's So Raven (which we did a lookback on in 2013) , So Join us as we go somewhere.
Disney Channel now a-days is know for making sitcoms , mostly targeted to tween girls ( sometimes twenty) but in the early days of original shows , they tried their hats at many other genres of TV shows one such example is this one.
1. So Weird
I remember this show , loved it "So Weird" was a Disney Channel show that began in the January of 1999 about a teenage girl named Fiona Phillips (no relation to the British TV presenter, for our UK audience) who toured with her rock star mom , played by Mackenzie Phillips. (Wait this sounds like a current Disney Channel show premise would be ) Where they went there was paranormal goings on . ( I retract my last statement) Since it was a paranormal show it was a dark show, (for Disney Channel, I mean show a kid today and tell them that this was from Disney Channel , they would call you crazy) Fiona also had a brother named Jack , he was a non-believer of paranormal (has to be one ) We also had the bus driver , Ned Bell, his wife and the manager , Irene Bell, and their kids Carey Bell (season 2 starter) and brother Clu Bell. (Get it Clu?)
The First season had an arch of Fiona looking to communicate with her passed away father, as she encountered different paranormal subjects , such as aliens. Season 2 continued , some changes were made as Clu was reduced so they brought in the other brother , Carey. We had a lot more fantastic creatures like Vampires (before they were done to death, then not done to death or something ) , we the audience find out that Fiona's father also investigated paranormal activity . (we get 5 ¢ per each time we say paranormal , oh 5 more) The season was a much darker one than 1 was ( even more darker compared to say, "Dog with a Blog" )
Season 3 , was the final one they decided to lighten it up a bit , also a change in actress happened as well Carla DeLiza , the actress playing Fiona decided to leave and was replaced with Alexz Johnson and her charcter was Annie. Annie had a season arch where she was followed a by a spirit panther. The series ended after 65 episodes (Disney Channel rule at the time , also a major number here in our lookbacks ) it ended in 2001.
2. The Jersey
Sports... meet Quantum Leap or something....
Disney Channel had a TV series called , "The Jersey" it began in 1999, the premise of the show is about 4 friends who find a magical football jersey (so the show doesn't take place in Jersey?) it would transport the wearer to the body of an athlete of any sport, Quantum Leap style. The series ran on Disney Channel from 1999 until 2004, with our magical number of 65 episodes. Though , it's final running was shoved to early mornings and slowed to 3 years after production of the series ended
3. Bug Juice (not a cooking show)
Think about this carefully, Disney Channel had a reality show , Bug Juice was that show. It started on Disney Channel in 1998. It was a summer camp based reality show that for kids ages 9-12 (Or Disney's Channel audience). Each of the seasons took place at a different camp.
It was a more basic reality show where the viewer would follow the drama, the fun , and interesting things that happened at this camp. (Or the fun of going to camp , but watching other people do it instead)
It ran 3 seasons and ended in 2004. Does make you wonder if Disney Channel had taken a different path and this show was more popular than the sitcoms they were making , that kids TV could have been all reality TV.
Well...It was tried again , also Cartoon Network and real don't go together
4. In a Heartbeat
Kind of rarity, Disney Channel along with Family Channel in Canada made a TV drama (yes a drama on Disney Channel) . It follows teenagers who work as part time EMT's as they have to balance school life and work life. The kids on the show were also football player, cheerleader, another football player, and a troubled teen. ( Ummm sure ) It ran 20 episodes for 1 season in 2000-01. It's another show that makes you wonder that if it did well in Disney's eyes , Disney Channel could be the TNT for kids. ( Law and Order Jr. coming soon)
The theme was also called in Heartbeat
5. Totally Hoops/ Totally Circus
Another Reality show, this one was about a group of girls on the Lady Hoopers Basketball team. The series premiered in 2001. Much like "Bug Juice" it was basic reality show (more real than say Real Housewives). It was a spin off of another DC original reality show "Totally Circus" , which we think is about kids in a circus camp for the summer. (Bug Juice , circus edition) . It ran from June-September 2000.
That's our lookback at Disney Channel, and we did it , so thanks tune in next time when we find out Disney Channel's "Suite Life of Zack and Cody" was a reality show. (Not true)