‘Raven’s Home’ Comes Home Again

Raven's Home on Disney Channel
(Image credit: Disney Channel)

Season five of Raven’s Home, the spinoff to That’s So Raven, premieres on Disney Channel Friday, March 11. The season sees Raven, played by Raven-Symoné, and son Booker move back to San Francisco to help out her father, who has had a heart attack. Raven finds herself being a parent to her parent, who at times pushes the limitations he has due to his health. 

That’s So Raven, about a teen with psychic abilities, was on Disney Channel 2003 to 2007. It’s all available on Disney Plus. The show was set in San Francisco, while Raven’s Home has taken place in Chicago.

“As we started to work on the fifth season, we wanted to change things up and make it feel fresh again,” said Jed Elinoff, a showrunner and executive producer. “We wondered, what would it be like to send Raven home again?”

Elinoff is showrunner along with Scott Thomas and Anthony C. Hill. 

Issac Ryan Brown plays Booker and Rondell Sheridan plays Raven’s father, Victor. Booker is the new kid at the high school where his mom attended. 

Back in the world she knew as a teen, the new season sees Raven revert to her teen ways, to a degree. Elinoff called it “a really fun way to get back into it.”

The show shoots on a soundstage in Hollywood. Anything that looks like San Francisco–a cable car, the Golden Gate Bridge, even Alcatraz–had to be constructed. 

The third episode sees the kids, including Booker and some new Bay Area friends, visit Alcatraz and get stuck in a cell together. “It’s the first moment we see the characters become friends, and that was really fun,” said Thomas.  

New kid cast on the show includes Mykal-Michelle Harris as Raven’s cousin Alice, Felix Avitia as Booker’s classmate Neil, and Emmy Liu-Wan as neighbor Ivy. Harris, who is 10, has been on Mixed-ish. The producers said she has an exceptional knack for delivering a punchline. “She says a line and everyone erupts,” said Hill. 

The producers also rave about Raven. “She’s an incredibly gifted comedic actor but she’s also kid-funny,” said Thomas. “She’s adult-funny and kid-funny. We’re very lucky to have an adult on the show that kids find funny.”

Thomas said she’s also “an incredible mentor” to the kids in the cast. 

As the producers sought to build a series that both kids and their parents will enjoy, Hill said they kept Shrek in mind as a model. “We wanted to create that balance between a show that kids watch and one that parents want to watch with them,” he said. 

Writing the scripts, the producers said they relied on their own children, along with younger writers in the writers’ room, to get the youthful language correct. 

“It’s, what should we say here, what’s the word that means the old thing I’m trying to say?” said Thomas. ■

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.