Disney Channel original movie Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie conjured enough viewers on Aug. 28 to become the top program on cable thus far in 2009.
Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie, the 77th original telefilm for the network, averaged 11.4 million watchers Saturday night, according to Nielsen Media Research live + same-day data. That number included 4.5 million kids 6 to 11 and 4 million tweens 9 to 14, totals that also made it the No. 1 entertainment show of the year with those demos.
Filmed in San Juan Puerto Rico, the movie stars Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera and David DeLuise in the roles they made popular in Disney Channel's hit series Wizards of Waverly Place. (Click here for a video interview with the telefilm's cast.)
Moreover, Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie debuted as Disney Channel's No. 2 original movie of all time in total viewers, kids 6 to 11 tweens 9 to 14, behind the Aug. 17, 2007 debut of High School Musical 2, the most-watched telecast in cable history with 18.6 million, based on a live + seven day data.
Disney Channel officials said that with the Aug. 28 premiere of the telefilm, the network now claims cable's top four scripted shows since 2007 among total viewers: High School Musical 2 (17.2 million); Friday's Wizards movie; a Hannah Montana episode that led out of HSM2 on Aug. 17, 2007 (10.7 million); and the crossover event on July 17 this year, Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana (9.3 milion).
The Aug. 28 airing of Wizards easily was TV's top show of the night and the No. 1 Friday telecast in summer 2009.
It also set the stage for Lights, Camera, Take Action! Backstage with Disney's Friends for Change at 9:55 p.m, which averaged 4.8 million viewers, 1.9 million kids 6 to 11 and 1.7 million tweens 9 to 14 during its half-hour showing.