Disney Channel orders fourth season of show

Disney Channel is getting more miles out of Miley.

The cabler has ordered a fourth season of “Hannah Montana,” ending speculation that teenage sensation Miley Cyrus would be saying farewell to the youth-targeted skein. Disney has also renewed Demi Lovato starrer “Sonny With a Chance” for a second season.

Production on the fourth season of “Hannah Montana” will commence in early 2010. Though Cyrus is returning, goodbyes will be an ongoing theme in an arc that will see Cyrus’ character and her family leave their beachfront Malibu enclave.

The show averages 4.4 million viewers per episode and holds the record for highest-rated seg of an ongoing series in basic cable history: 10.7 million viewers on Aug. 17, 2007.

Airing on Sunday evenings, “Sonny With a Chance” ascended to No. 1 among scripted series with kids 6-11 and is on par with “American Idol” in the 9-14 demo. Disney Channel entertainment prexy Gary Marsh said he is looking forward to “tapping further into its comedic potential, adding music and more” in the second campaign.

Steven Peterman and Michael Poryes are executive producers of “Hannah Montana.” “Sonny With a Chance” is exec produced by creator Steve Marmel, along with Michael Feldman, Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett.

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