In Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates, which includes time-shifted viewing done Saturday, Sunday and Monday, “Descendants” saw its average audience increase by 61% from its same-night average to 10.54 million viewers. It also surged by 74% among kids 2-11 (5.2 million), by 73% among kids 6-11 (4.2 million) and by 64% among tweens 9-14 (3.8 million). On the WATCH Disney Channel app, “Descendants” has also posted 1.8 million video views since July 24.
“Descendants” is the No. 1 cable movie of 2015 in total viewers and it gives Disney Channel the 17 most-watched cable movie TV premieres since L+3 became available in January 2007. The only three cable movies to draw a larger L+3 audience in the last eight years were “High School Musical 2” in August 2007 (18.22 million), “Wizards of Waverly Movie” in August 2009 (13.25 million) and “Teen Beach Movie” in July 2013 (11.92 million).
Friday’s premiere averaged 6.55 million viewers in live plus same-day estimates, and replays also drew sizable audiences midday Saturday (2.902 million) and Sunday night (3.306 million). The three Disney Channel telecasts reached roughly 15.5 million unique viewers, including 6.1 million kids 2-11 and 4.9 million adults 18-49).
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.