Disney Channel Hopes For Ratings 'Suite Life' With October Special

Hoping to continue its summer ratings momentum, Disney Channel will debut a one-hour special in October based on its popular Suite Life On Deck series.
The Oct. 2 special, Suite Life On Deck: Lost At Sea, is part of a week-long Suite Life programming stunt that will highlight special episodes of the cruise ship-based series, which stars Dylan and Cole Sprouse [Zack and Cody Martin], Brenda Song [London Tipton], and Phill Lewis [Mr. Moseby], said Paul Debenedittis, senior vice president of programming strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide.
The special comes on the heels of a strong summer for Disney, which averaged 2.9 million primetime viewers during the period of June 1 and Aug. 30, second only to USA Network's record setting 3.6 million summer viewers.

Disney's Aug. 28 Wizards Of Waverly Place The Movie finished as the most watched show on cable during the summer as well as for the year, drawing more than 11 million viewers.
"This summer we had fantastic, multiple series and movies that connected with our kids, as well as talent that are emerging as superstars," he said. "We absolutely have to continue the momentum -- we owe it to our audience and we have a fantastic plan."
Along with the Lost At Sea special, Debenedittis said that the network will also launch a new season of Wizards Of Waverly Place in October with a month-long series of new episodes, including a Halloween-themed show.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.