Disney Channel telefilm Good Luck Charlie: It's Christmas unwrapped nearly 7 million viewers during its Friday night debut.
The latest entry in the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise averaged 6.9 million watchers on Dec. 2, according to Nielsen data, making it the top live-action cable movie of 2011 in total viewers.
The movie, drawn from the network's Good Luck Charlie series and featuring its cast, drew 3.3 million kids 6 to 11 to rank as the leading live-action scripted telecast in all TV thus far in 2011 with that demo, according to Disney Channel officials. Along with the premiere of Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension in August, Disney Channel now claims the year's top two scripted TV telecasts with kids 6 to 11, and the best two across cable TV overall.
The telefilm also garnered 2.4 million tweens 9 to 14 and inspired a fair amount of co-viewing among older folks: 1.4 million persons 18 to 49 watched the premiere, which was sponsored by video game "Nintendo Mario Cart 7."
The original movie also served as a strong lead-in for the new series Austin & Ally at 9:30 p.m. on Friday night -- the music-centered sitcom averaged 5.7 million viewers, a total including 2.7 million kids 6 to 11 and 2.1 million tweens. The show moves to its regular timeslot on Sundays at 8 p.m. on Dec. 4.
Good Luck Charlie: It's Christmas --which showcases 19-year-old actress and Hollywood Records recording artist Bridgit Mendler performs the song "I'm Gonna Run to You" that she co-wrote - continues Disney Channel's success with original movies. Network executives point out that the service has now delivered the No. 1 movie in total viewers for five consecutive years and the leading movie telecast among tweens for 10 years running with this roster: Cadet Kelly, The Cheetah Girls, Halloweentown High, Twitches, The Cheetah Girls 2, High School Musical 2, Camp Rock, Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam and the aforementioned Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension. The latter is also cable television's No. 1 animated telecast of all time among kids 2 to 11.