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Disney net, Poryes head to ‘Montana’

Mouse orders 20 half-hours of laffer

Disney Channel has greenlit the live-action comedy “Hannah Montana” from exec producer Michael Poryes (Disney’s long-running hit “That’s So Raven.”)

Kids cabler has ordered 20 half-hours of the comedy revolving around a pint-sized pop star who has an alternate identity in order to continue living life as a “normal kid.”

Real-life kin Miley Cyrus and country singer dad Billy Ray star as Hannah and her widowed father. Latter appeared in the PAX hospital drama “Doc.”

Poryes and Steve Peterman (“Murphy Brown”) will exec produce. 

“Having a secret identity is a private fantasy for lots of kids. There are lots of shows about boys with a secret identity, but no one’s really created that same kind of wish-fulfillment fantasy for girls until now,” said Disney Channel exec VP of programming and production Gary Marsh.

Production begins in November for a first-quarter premiere. It’s A Laugh Prods. (Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”) will produce in association with Disney Channel.

“Hannah” had been one of two live-action series pilots under series consideration since last fall. Other was “Stevie Sanchez,” a spinoff of “Lizzie McGuire” from “Lizzie” creators Terri Minsky and Stan Rogow (Daily Variety, Nov. 4).

Skein will join Disney’s roster of live-action originals that includes “Raven,” “Suite Life” (recently renewed for a second season) and “Phil of the Future.”

Rounding out the case for “Hannah” are Emily Osment (both sequels to “Spy Kids”), Mitchell Musso and Jason Earles.

Poryes’ “That’s So Raven” is basic cable’s top series with tween girls 9-14. He was a co-exec producer on “Veronica’s Closet” and a producer on “Cybill.”