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Disney Stands By Lovato

In 2008, the Disney Channel touted young actress Demi Lovato as its “next big thing” during its upfront presentation to advertisers.

Today, the network says the next big thing for Lovato is to get better.

The network yesterday released a statement supporting the 18-year Lovato’s decision to check herself into a treatment facility due to“emotional and physical issues,”according to her representatives, prematurely ending her international concert tour with teen heartthrob trio The Jonas Bros.

“We support Demi’s decision to put her health first and we send her our best wishes,” said a Disney spokesperson.

Lovato Lovato has been a ratings driver for The Disney Channel since she burst onto the kids cable scene as the star of the 2008 telepic Camp Rock. That film went on to average 10 million viewers in its debut, at the time the most-watched Disney movie since the network’s record-breaking movie High School Musical 2 in 2007.

The sequel to Camp Rock 2 drew another 8 million viewers this past September. If the film had debuted in the theaters, Disney said its performance would have generated equivalent box office sales equal $63.2 million for its premiere night.

A third movie, the 2009’s Princess Protection Program drew 8.5 million viewers.

Lovato also stars in the Disney Channel series Sonny with A Chance, which Disney reports is the network’s 7th ranked series in total viewers, and fifth-ranked among the network’s core tween 9 to 14 year old audience.

Sources close to Disney said the series is on a scheduled hiatus, but Disney wrapped up filming for the show’s second season prior to the start of the Lovato/Jonas tour.