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Disney’s `Minutemen’ Maintains Movie Momentum

Disney Channel last Friday continued its two-year run of successful original movie debuts as its time-travel-based Minutemen telepic drew 6.5 million viewers.

The Jan. 25 premiere of the movie, starring Jason Dolley (Corey in the House) as one of three picked-upon high school geeks who travel time to spare other kids like them of the same fate, also drew one-third of all kids 6 to 11 (2.9 million) and tweens 9 to 14 (2.6 million) watching television that evening, according to Disney officials.

The movie easily outdistanced runner-up USA Network’s shows during the 8 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. time period (Law and Order: SVU and Monk) by 3 million viewers, according to Disney. USA’s 9 p.m. Monk original episode finished second for the night with 5.3 million viewers.

Minutemen’s performance continues an amazing run of successful original movies for Disney Channel. The movie becomes the 11th out of the last 12 Disney Channel releases to draw more than 5 million viewers in its premiere run, dating back to the supernatural dramedy Twitches movie in October 2005. Disney’s last original movie – a sequel to the Tia and Tamera Mowry-starrer Twitches this past October – drew 6.9 million viewers.

The run includes the cable movie record 17.2 million viewers Disney’s High School Musical 2 movie drew during its Aug. 17, 2007 debut.

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.