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Disney: 'Hannah' To Keep Rolling

4/30/2008 6:57 PM Eastern

Disney Channel executives said the network has not changed the schedule or any activity for embattled Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus over her controversial Vanity Fair pictures, but will have a greater role and presence at the teen's  future media endeavors.

Miley Cyrus in Vanity FairThe 15-year-old Cyrus, who has come under fire for seductively posing in a Vanity Fair pictorial that will hit newsstands tomorrow, will perform this weekend in Orlando as part of the network’s Disney Channel Games event, according to Patti McTeague, senior vice president of kids’ communications, Disney/ABC Television Group. The Games fare is slated to air on the network this summer.


McTeague said the network has no plans to alter the scheduling of Hannah Montana episodes in the wake of the controversy. The premiere airings of the first five installments from the series' third season have averaged 4.9 million viewers. 


A sixth original episode, in which Brooke Shields will return in her recurring role as Hannah’s deceased mother, is scheduled to debut this Sunday, May 4.


McTeague said taping of the fourth season of Hannah Montana will begin late this summer. Cyrus is also expected to launch a new album in July. Through her various initiatives, including merchandise from Disney Consumer Products, Cyrus/Hannah is said to be worth $1 billion to Disney.


As for the Vanity Fair shoot (click here for a behind-the-scenes look), McTeague said there wasn't any Disney representative present. That won't be the case going forward -- the network plans to be involved in all Cyrus' dealings with the media.

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“For all press matters, it will be a collaboration and a partnership from this point forward,” McTeague said. "She’s part of our family, and that’s important to us.”

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