Disney Channel caught a wave on Friday night, raking in 8.4 million viewers for its latest original telepic, “Teen Beach Movie.”
The broadcast-level turnout made “Teen Beach” Disney Channel’s most-watched telepic in four years — and a higher number than the 7.7 million that “High School Musical” delivered in its 2006 debut.
In key kid demos, “Teen Beach” was channel’s top original telepic in nearly six years and No. 3 among all Disney Channel movies to date (behind “High School Musical 2” and “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie”)
The strong showing is no surprise, given the months of heavy-duty promotion it received across various Mouse House outlets and other partners. The musical telepic, helmed by choreographer Jeffrey Hornaday, put a clever spin on the beach musical genre with stars Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell playing surf-loving tweens who go back in time and get trapped in a 1960s beach party pic.
Among major youth demos, “Teen Beach” easily ranks as the top cable TV telecast of the year across kids 2-11 (4.6 million/11.6 rating), kids 6-11 (3.9 million/16.5 rating) and tweens 9-14 (3.4 million/14.3 rating).