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Disney Channel’s ‘Jonas’ premiere: Not burnin’ up the ratings

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Are the Jonas Brothers poised to take the place of Disney Channel’s ‘Hannah Montana’? It might be too soon to tell.

A solid 4 million viewers watched the 8 p.m. premiere of the network’s new series, ‘Jonas,’ which topped kids and tween rankings Saturday, but didn’t come close to delivering the audience watching new episodes of ‘Hannah Montana.’

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A Disney Channel news release boasted that the ‘Monkees'-style comedy starring the pop trio edged out the competition -- Nickelodeon’s ‘Fairly OddParents: Wishology, Part 2,’ the second night of Nick’s three-part original movie -- in the kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14 categories.

‘Jonas’ drew 1.6 million in both kids and tweens, giving the network its best numbers in the time period in the last eight months. Of its tween audience, 73% was female.

So the Jonas Brothers are big. But can they be Miley Cyrus big, dominating the realms of music, film and TV? It doesn’t look good so far:

‘Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience’ did not cross the $20-million mark at the box office, while ‘Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour’ made $65 million. (‘The Hannah Montana Movie,’ currently in theaters, has already made more than $70 million.)

And here’s a sobering fact: ‘Jonas’ is Disney Channel’s lowest-rated live-action series premiere among kids 6-11 since 2005’s ‘Life with Derek.’

The show’s debut numbers fall far behind those for a recent new episode of ‘Hannah Montana,’ which scored 4.8 million on April 19, and drew fewer overall viewers (4.1 million versus 4 million) and kids (1.8 million versus 1.6 million) than the February premiere of Disney’s other new series, ‘Sonny With a Chance,’ starring Demi Lovato. ‘Jonas’ fared better with tweens (1.6 million versus 1.5 million).

A rep for Disney Channel pointed out that ‘Jonas’ was the network’s first-ever Saturday premiere for a series, part of a deliberate strategy to open up the night to original programming. The rep also noted that Disney has a ‘robust business’ with the group across its ‘music, studio and consumer products divisions.’

-- Denise Martin

Related:
High ratings for ‘Camp Rock,’ the Disney Channel’s Jonas Brothers movie


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