VIDEO: Q&A With Disney Channels Worldwide President Rich Ross
The Disney Channels Worldwide president talks HSM, Jonas Brothers and the next big Disney Channel stars
By Melissa Grego -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/6/2009 12:23:38 PM
Following the decision to debut the next installment of hit Disney Channel franchise High School Musical on the cable network and the lower-than-expected $12.5 million opening box office for the Jonas Brothers' 3D concert movie, Disney Channels Worldwide President Rich Ross talks HSM, Jonases and the next big stars of Disney Channel with B&C's Melissa Grego at the Hollywood Radio & Television Society's Cable Chiefs Newsmaker Luncheon on March 4. An edited transcript and video of the interview follows.
Walk me through the decision to debut HSM4 on Disney Channel after rolling out HSM3 in theaters.
We knew we had a great opportunity with High School Musical 4 to introduce new castmembers so it made sense to take it back to television. It made sense to go to the movie theaters [with HSM3] because we needed to be able finish the story of those first Wildcats, which I think we did well from a storytelling perspective and it was certainly very profitable.
What can you tell us about HSM4?
You'll be meeting the cross-town rivals, which is probably not a surprise to people who are High School Musical fans. And you'll be meeting new Wildcats that go to the school. There may be guest stars from the past but that remains to be seen; we're still writing the script.
When will this debut on Disney Channel?
We're looking at fall 2010.
Disney channel is known to launch big stars and big shows from scratch. What's the next big star or show?
It always goes back to having great stories and finding great people to tell them. We already have had such a fascinating success with Sonny With a Chance, [series star] Demi Lovato coming off [Disney Channel original movie] Camp Rock, shooting the series that's captured the hearts and minds of viewers so quickly. We're looking at the Jonas series which will come in early May. There are a couple great Disney Channel original movies. And certainly the launch of Disney XD, which is debuting a big new series for us called Aaron Stone, starring I believe a big new star, Kelly Blatz
How do you pick these stars?
We have a small group of people who look for the best there is. And we nurture them, we work with them, we work with their families and we show them a place that is going to be patient and show them a place that will give them a variety of options. We do it all over the U.S. and now we're starting to do it all over the world. So it's challenging, exciting and very fruitful.
As you said, you have a new series coming up in May starring the Jonas Brothers. Were you surprised the Jonas movie didn't do bigger numbers in its opening this weekend?
It's where it is in its gestation for us. Hannah Montana was a giant series for years on the air, and [Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus'] concert [movie] was a capper for that experience midway in their lifecycle. The Jonases, while incredibly successful musicians, are really coming into their own. So I think the movie showed a side of them that we expect to dimensionalize with the series so I'm really excited about May.
Is there an age cutoff? When does somebody become too old to be a Disney Channel star?
We really like when our Disney Channel stars actually mimic the ages that they are playing. One of the not-so-mysterious parts of High School Musical was [star] Zach Efron was 17. It's a lot easier to play a role of a character of the age you're going through than do it as a memory. Miley is 16 and Demi is 16 and Selena [Gomez, of several Disney Channel series] is 16. so I'm a big fan of getting as close to the actual age as possible. And not having sort of the old days when the 38 year old person was playing someone 15 and you're like, isn't he a little too old?
Watch video of the interview below:
Hi Im Davida Grace Arhin and my dream has always been acting on national television.Im contacting you to tell you that I would like to be a new character in Disney channel so I would like to join your organisation.I would also want to hear from you very soon. Thank you.0208 764 3720.Address is 29 Vale Road Mitchem CR4 1NP.
Davida Grace Arhin - 5/8/2009 4:02:38 PM EDT
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more