Disney Channel’s premiere of “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar” drew some impressive ratings in its premiere on Nov. 22, standing as the calendar year’s top-rated cable telecast among young kids.
The 55-minute movie, which serves as a precursor to a series that will premiere early next year and roll out globally on Disney Channels and Disney Junior channels, averaged 5.358 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates. A family-viewing event, roughly half of its audience was kids 2-11 (2.6 million), while another 33% (1.8 million) was adults 18-49.
“The Lion Guard” is the No. 1 primetime cable telecast of 2015 among kids 2-5 (1.4 million) and became the No. 1 animated telecast across kid cable-TV networks in total viewers, 18-49 and kids 2-11. It was also the No. 1 rated cable TV telecast among girls 2-5 (893,000) since a “Sofia the First” primetime special in November of last year.
In its unprecedented simultaneous post-linear launch on Watch Disney Channel and Watch Disney Junior, “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar” generated nearly 1 million video starts in its first seven days.
Many of the beloved characters from “The Lion King” appeared in the movie, including Mufasa and Pumbaa, voiced by James Earl Jones and Ernie Sabella, who reprise their original roles. Rob Lowe and Gabrielle Union star as Simba and Nala, respectively; Max Charles as Kion; Joshua Rush as Bunga; Atticus Shaffer as Ono; Diamond White as Fuli; and Dusan Brown as Beshte.