Sunday, August 28, 2011

From Primetime to Daytime: That's So Raven (2003)

All this week, we're looking back at some of the shows from ABC's now-defunct ABC Kids block, programmed mostly by cable cousin Disney Channel. ABC & Disney have cleared the decks as of yesterday to make way for a new block packaged by Litton Entertainment and launching on September 3.

First up is That's So Raven, easily the most successful Disney Channel sitcom, having logged 100 episodes over 4 years. Production ended in 2006, but Disney held back the final episodes until 2007, and reruns continued on ABC's Saturday morning block until August 27.

Set in San Francisco, the series revolves around teenage psychic Raven Baxter (Raven-Symone, credited only as Raven, ex-The Cosby Show) and her closest friends, Chelsea (Annaliese Van der Pol) & Eddie (Orlando Brown, Fillmore!, ex-Family Matters). The series' pedigree can be traced all the way back to I Love Lucy, particularly with Raven's penchant for disguises. Raven, Brown, & Van der Pol perform the show's theme song. Here's a block of the year-by-year theme songs:

T'Keyah "Crystal" Keymah (ex-In Living Color) was written out of the series after three seasons when her character left for England to go to law school. After the series ended, Disney launched a spin-off series, Cory in the House, focusing on Cory (Kyle Massey) and his father, Victor (Rondell Sheridan), who'd moved to Washington, DC. Unfortunately, Cory didn't last long, and ABC never bothered picking it up, as Disney decided not to make any wholesale changes with the lineup, leaving a number of other series that fit the E/I guidelines on the sidelines.

Rating: B-.

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