Disney Channel has ordered additional second-season episodes of the hit comedy series “The Suite Life on Deck” and will bring aboard a new character played by actor Larramie “Doc” Shaw (”House of Payne”). The series is in production in Hollywood and is a spin-off of the Emmy-nominated “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” It stars Dylan Sprouse (winner of the 2009 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite TV Actor), Cole Sprouse, Brenda Song, Debby Ryan and Phill Lewis.
In making the announcement, Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, said: “With this second-season extension, the cast of ‘The Suite Life’ makes Disney Channel history by becoming the longest running continuous characters on our air - 138 half-hour episodes. We are thrilled for them, and for the brilliant, inspired production team that made this extraordinary run possible.”
A ratings juggernaut since its September 2008 premiere, “The Suite Life on Deck” ranked as TV’s #1 series among Kids 6-11 and the #1 scripted TV series among Tweens 9-14 for all of 2008. Since then, “The Suite Life on Deck” has enjoyed smooth sailing with original episodes holding a commanding lead in the timeslot (Friday 8:00 p.m.), ranking as TV’s #1 program among the key kid demographics, virtually doubling runner up Nickelodeon among Tweens 9-14 (1.7 million vs. 878,000), and defeating it by a whopping 58% among Kids 6-11 (1.9 million vs. 1.2 million). In addition, “The Suite Life on Deck” is #1 in Total Viewers (4.1 million) on all cable, outperforming #2 rank (Fox News and Nickelodeon) by 24%, or an impressive 800,000 viewers. Premiere to date, “The Suite Life on Deck” improved its primary Friday 8:00 p.m. time period, surpassing year-ago averages by 32% in Total Viewers, by 46% in Kids 6-11 (1.9 million vs. 1.3 million) and by 55% in Tweens 9-14 (1.7 million vs. 1.1 million).
In addition to its Friday (8:00 p.m.) telecasts on Disney Channel, beginning June 15 encore episodes of “The Suite Life on Deck” will join the lineup on Disney XD, where “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” also airs daily (7:00 a.m.).
In “The Suite Life on Deck,” identical twins Zack and Cody Martin and London Tipton have embarked on a new adventure — a semester-at-sea aboard a luxurious cruise liner, the SS Tipton, with friend and classmate Bailey Pickett from Kettlecorn, Kansas. More often than not, their antics make cruise director Mr. Moseby want to walk the plank. Episodes debuting in Fall 2009 will introduce a new character, Marcus Little, a former singing sensation whose career ended when his voice changed, so he’s now making a fresh start by studying world music at Seven Seas High on the SS Tipton.
Larramie “Doc” Shaw starred as Malik Payne on Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” for which he received a 2009 NAACP Image Award nomination, the 2009 Young Artist Award and a 2009 NAMIC Vision Award for Best Performance in a Comedy. He is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.
“The Suite Life on Deck” is executive-produced by Danny Kallis (”Smart Guy,” “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper”), Pamela Eells O’Connell (”Family Matters”), Jim Geoghan (”Family Matters”) and Irene Dreayer (”Sister, Sister,” “Smart Guy”). “The Suite Life on Deck” is produced by It’s A Laugh Productions in association with Disney Channel.