The big audience for the musical, which chronicles how the children of four classic Disney villains came to choose good over evil, puts it ahead of the network’s “Teen Beach Movie” sequel from June and makes it the year’s most-watched cable TV movie. “Descendants” also ranks No. 1 among all 2015 cable telecasts in kids 2-11 (3 million) and tweens 9-14 (2.3 million).
Disney Channel next week is expected to release additional ratings information, including how “Descendants” fared vs. the Friday competition as well as its viewership in “live plus-3” estimates from Nielsen.
Leading into its television premiere on Friday, “Descendants” had posted more than 1.4 million viewers on the WATCH Disney Channel app in just six days, setting records for engagement and viewing for the app which allows consumers to watch programming anytime and anywhere via their desktop, smartphone, tablet and connected TV devices.
The “Descendants” soundtrack is currently No. 1 on the iTunes soundtrack chart and No. 2 on the iTunes album chart, and its prequel novel, The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz from Disney Publishing Worldwide, maintains its 10-week stronghold at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List (Children’s Middle Grade).
On Twitter, Disney Channel’s premiere of “Descendants” was the No. 1 most social non-sports program of Friday, as topics from nearly half-a-million users produced more than 2 million impressions, according to Nielsen.
A modern-day coming-of-age adventure, “Descendants” stars Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent, “Liv and Maddie’s” Dove Cameron as her daughter Mal, Sofia Carson as the Evil Queen’s daughter Evie, Cameron Boyce as Cruella de Vil’s son Carlos and Booboo Stewart as Jafar’s son Jay.
It was written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, and directed and co-choreographed by Kenny Ortega.
The premiere of “Descendants” helped ushed in Disney Channel’s new comedy series “BUNK’D,” which delivered 4.2 million total viewers, including about 2 million kids 2-11, in its 10 o’clock debut.