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Hannah Montana

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Hannah Montana
The words "Disney Hannah Montana" are showed in various font styles and sizes against a white background.
GenreTeen sitcom
Created by
Starring
Opening theme"The Best of Both Worlds" by Miley Cyrus
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes98 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
DistributorDisney-ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original networkDisney Channel
Picture format
Original releaseMarch 24, 2006 (2006-03-24) –
January 16, 2011 (2011-01-16)

Hannah Montana[a] is an American teen sitcom that was created by Michael Poryes, Rich Correll, and Barry O'Brien, and aired on Disney Channel for four seasons between March 2006 and January 2011. The series centers on Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus), a teenage girl living a double life as famous pop singer Hannah Montana, an alter ego she adopted so she could maintain her anonymity and live a normal life as a typical teenager. Episodes deal with Miley's everyday struggles to cope with the social and personal issues of adolescence while maintaining the added complexities of her secret identity, which she sustains by wearing a blonde wig. Miley has strong relationships with her brother Jackson and her best friends Lilly Truscott and Oliver Oken, who also become aware of her secret. Cyrus's father, singer-songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus, plays Miley Stewart's father and manager Robby Ray. Overarching themes include a focus on family and friendships, and the importance of music and discovering one's identity.

The Walt Disney Company created the series to continue the commercial musical success of its television network after the premiere of its made-for-television film High School Musical (2006) and earlier musical series. Hannah Montana was produced by It's a Laugh Productions in association with Poryes's production company, and premiered on Disney Channel on March 24, 2006. A concert film called Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, in which Miley Cyrus performs as Hannah Montana and herself, was released in 2008. The following year, the feature film Hannah Montana: The Movie was released. The series concluded on January 16, 2011, as a result of Cyrus's growing popularity and music career, and her desire to move into more mature acting roles. All seasons of the show have been distributed through digital download and on streaming service Disney+.

Hannah Montana is one of Disney Channel's most commercially successful franchises; it received consistently high viewership in the United States on broadcast television and influenced the development of merchandise, soundtrack albums, and concert tours. Television critics praised the show for its humor and music. The program is credited with launching Cyrus's musical career and establishing her as a teen idol. Cyrus, however, began to develop an increasingly provocative public image, which led to the series receiving criticism for having a negative influence on its audience. Hannah Montana was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children's Program between 2007 and 2010, and Cyrus won a Young Artist Award for "Best Performance in a TV Series, Leading Young Actress" in 2008.

Premise

Story and characters

A mid shot of a female performer wearing bright pink clothes and playing a musical keyboard. Her mouth is open and head is tilted to the side, with her hair splayed out above. Musical equipment and staging sits around her.
Miley Cyrus, pictured in 2008, serves as the program's central focus during its four-season run.

Miley Stewart is a fourteen-year-old middle school student who appears to live a normal life but has a secret identity, pop singer Hannah Montana, an alias she chose so she could to have a private life away from the public spotlight.[2] To conceal her true identity, Miley wears a blonde wig when she appears as Hannah.[3] Miley's father Robby Ray Stewart was a famous country music singer[b] before retiring after his wife's death to focus on raising his two children, Miley and her older brother Jackson.[5] At the start of the series, the family have moved from Tennessee to Malibu, California, to allow Miley to develop her musical career; Robby Ray works as her manager.[6] While her schoolmates idolize Hannah Montana, Miley is often tempted to reveal her secret and assume a celebrity status at school.[7] In the pilot episode, Miley's best friend Lilly Truscott uncovers the truth about Miley's alter ego and throughout the first season, Lilly adopts the alias Lola Luftnagle to help protect Miley's secret.[2] Lilly later reveals Miley's secret to their close friend Oliver Oken, leaving him and Lilly as the only schoolmates she trusts with the secret.[7] Jackson works for Rico Suave at a local beach food stand; he and Rico often feature in the show's subplots.[8] Miley and her friends begin attending high school at the start of the second season,[9] and in the following season, Lilly and Oliver develop a romantic relationship.[8]

In the third season finale, Miley relocates her horse Blue Jeans to California after she feels homesick for Tennessee.[8] The horse, however, is uncomfortable after being moved and Miley contemplates permanently returning to her hometown.[8][10] The Stewart family compromise and move out of their house in Malibu to a nearby ranch.[1][11] In the final season, Miley is faced with extra difficulties in maintaining her double life, which impacts her capacity to attend college with Lilly.[1] Miley must decide between continuing being Hannah Montana and divulging her secret.[12] Ultimately, she reveals her true identity to the world[2] and before leaving for college, she must deal with the effects of this decision.[1] Her celebrity persona must now be merged with her former private identity, and Miley Stewart enters adulthood with a newfound celebrity status.[2]

Themes

The central conflict of the series is the disconnect between the public and private lives of Miley Stewart, and the lengths to which must go to secure her life as a normal teenager and protect her relationships with her friends.[2] Miley values her core identity as "just Miley" and endeavors to protect this sense of self.[2] This is made evident in the pilot when she fears her friends might not treat her the same way if they become aware of her celebrity status; Miley's friendships and social opportunities at school are important to her.[2] Jacques Steinberg of The New York Times said the series suggests celebrity status should not be confused with real life and that happiness comes as a result of staying true to one's self.[7] In the Celebrity Studies journal, Melanie Kennedy states Miley must learn to remain as her "authentic self" while still being a celebrity.[13] Creator of the series Michael Poryes said his goal was not to focus on the gimmick but to write about characters and relationships, exploring the real issues Miley faces and how they would be affected by her celebrity lifestyle.[14] While Miley discloses her secret to her close friends, she largely continues to hide her identity because the loss of the anonymity would, to her, represent a loss of her youth.[2] When Miley reveals her true identity the world, it is a symbolic representation of the end of her childhood.[2] The final episodes reflect Miley's struggle to say goodbye to her alter ego.[12]

According to Kennedy, Hannah Montana parallels the idea of "becoming a celebrity" with "growing up female" and teaches young women the perceived importance of investing in celebrity culture.[13] Tyler Bickford of Women's Studies Quarterly said the series discusses themes of publicness and consumerism.[2] Friendship is an important theme of the series, which is evident between Miley and her best friend Lilly. When Miley tells Lilly about her hidden persona in the pilot episode, Lilly promises not to divulge the secret to anyone.[2] Bickford described these relationships as the "emotionally fraught", "intensely valued" core of the series, reflecting the way best-friendship is an important element of childhood.[2]

Production

Development

In the early 2000s, The Walt Disney Company found success with its pay television network Disney Channel, which had a pattern of original programming for a preadolescent audience that featured music.[3][15] The fictional girl group The Cheetah Girls was made popular by the eponymous television film and found commercial success outside the movie, and Hilary Duff's music was used to cross-promote the series Lizzie McGuire.[3] Disney was able to sponsor concerts featuring music from the network and use their talent to build on the brands; Gary Marsh, the president of Disney Channels Worldwide, cited Lizzie McGuire as its "first success".[3][16] The network believed the new series Hannah Montana could be marketed in a similar manner.[7] Hollywood.com said the show could build on the success of Disney's television film High School Musical, which also includes music.[15][17] The sitcom would premiere two months after the movie.[17][18]

The concept of Hannah Montana was originally labeled "cast contingent", meaning the series would not progress until the central roles were appropriately cast.[3] The project was publicly announced in 2004; casting advertisements for the filming of a pilot were published in January 2005.[19][20][21] Eleven-year-old Miley Cyrus was one of over 1,000 applicants who auditioned for the lead role Chloe Stewart after receiving the script from her agents.[7][22] She was rejected throughout the audition process for being too young to play the character; Marsh cited her lack of professional experience.[9][c] Cyrus persistently sent the producers more audition tapes.[3] After six months of further casting searches, Marsh asked Cyrus, who was now aged twelve, to audition again, and she received the role.[9] Poryes later stated Marsh was responsible for selecting Cyrus over other "safe" choices who were more in-line with the producers' original vision.[14][d] After Cyrus was cast, the character's name was changed to Miley Stewart in an attempt to limit confusion about the show's characters and premise.[25]

Disney Channel officially greenlit Hannah Montana as a new, half-hour live-action comedy in August 2005.[7][21] Twenty episodes were initially ordered for the first season and six extra episodes were later added to the commission.[7][9][21][e] The series was developed by Poryes, who had previously co-created and produced That's So Raven for Disney Channel.[19][21] Poryes created the show with Rich Correll and Barry O'Brien, and Steven Peterman joined Poryes as an executive producer.[21][27] Disney selected the pilot for Hannah Montana to progress to a series against a potential spin-off of Lizzie McGuire, which was the network also considered during the 2004–05 pilot season.[19][21][28] The full main cast were attached to the project in August and filming for the remainder of the first season was scheduled to begin in November 2005.[21] It's a Laugh Productions produced the program in association with the network.[21] Former president of Disney Channels Worldwide Rich Ross stated the concept of the series conforms to the typical Disney Channel formula; "an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation".[3]

Casting

A head shot of a teenage girl with blonde, curly hair, wearing a grey, feathered dress. She is posing at a press event and smiling, looking towards a different camera. Behind her are hoarding signs with names of commercial sponsors.
A head shot of a teenage boy with brown, straight hair, wearing a grey, hooded jacket. He is posing at a press event and smiling, looking directly towards the camera. Behind him are hoarding signs with names of commercial sponsors.
Emily Osment (left, 2009) and Mitchel Musso (right, 2010) portrayed Stewart's best friends, Lilly Truscott and Oliver Oken, throughout the series.

The program and its primary cast were announced in August 2005; Miley Cyrus was revealed to be portraying the central character of Miley Stewart.[21] In 2006, Time commented Disney typically selected actors who had the potential to become popular celebrity figures and that Cyrus would likely experience the same process.[3] Network executives cited her confidence, comic timing, and "husky" singing voice as reasons for her casting on the series.[7]

Cyrus's father Billy Ray Cyrus joined the cast as Miley's father Robby Ray Stewart;[21] he was only asked to audition after his daughter had received the role. Peterman praised the pair's "natural chemistry".[7][18] Billy Ray Cyrus was at first apprehensive about being cast in the show but later accepted the role.[7] He did not want to "screw up Miley's show" and suggested a "real actor" could have been cast instead.[5][7]

The series also stars Emily Osment as Lilly Truscott, Mitchel Musso as Oliver Oken, and Jason Earles as Miley's older brother Jackson Stewart.[21][f] Moisés Arias appears as Rico Suave in a supporting role throughout the first season; he was promoted to the main cast for the show's second season.[30][31] The network dropped Musso's character Oliver to a recurring role in the fourth season because he had been cast in Pair of Kings, which was developed for the sister channel Disney XD.[32][33]

Guest stars including Brooke Shields, Vicki Lawrence, Jesse McCartney, and the Jonas Brothers appear throughout the series.[18][34][35] Singer Dolly Parton, Cyrus's real life godmother, had a recurring role as Miley's godmother Aunt Dolly.[36][37] Parton stated Cyrus persuaded executives to write her into the series and credited her role for gaining her a following among young people.[36][38] The final season includes guest roles from musicians Sheryl Crow and Iyaz; actors Christine Taylor, Ray Liotta, and Angus T. Jones; and television personalities Phil McGraw, Jay Leno, and Kelly Ripa.[1][10]

Music

Hannah Montana includes original music and Disney released albums of songs from the series.[7][15] Miley Cyrus performs as Hannah Montana and sings the show's theme song "The Best of Both Worlds".[7][15] By April 2006, a soundtrack was scheduled for release in the latter half of the year; this would be followed by a studio album by Cyrus the following year.[7] The soundtrack album Hannah Montana was released in October 2006; many of the songs' lyrics allude to the show's premise and Miley Stewart's secret identity.[9][39] The show's music includes elements of teen pop, pop rock, and country pop genres.[40] The music makes prominent use of acoustic guitars, synthesizers, and backing vocals; Heather Phares of AllMusic described the songs' melodies as strong and Cyrus's vocals as charismatic.[40] The soundtrack albums Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), Hannah Montana 3 (2009), and Hannah Montana Forever (2010) were released to coincide with their respective seasons. "Ready, Set, Don't Go", a song Billy Ray Cyrus wrote when Miley was cast, was used in the program.[41]

Filming

Hannah Montana was recorded in front of a live studio audience at Sunset Bronson Studios on Thursdays and Fridays.[22][42] Cyrus was required to attend school on set while Osment attended an external prep school.[22] While filming the pilot, Cyrus performed a concert as Hannah Montana at Glendale Centre Theatre to acquire footage for the show.[43]

Production of the second season began in Los Angeles, California, in November 2006,[3] and concluded in September 2007.[44] In April 2008, the program was renewed for a third season,[45] which had commenced production by August,[46][47] by which time Disney had optioned the program for a fourth season.[46] That December, the network ordered another six episodes, extending the third season to 30 episodes.[48] Filming for the third season concluded in mid-2009;[49] the following year, the New York Post reported Cyrus earned US$15,000 per episode.[50]

Conclusion and impact on Cyrus

Hannah Montana was renewed for a fourth season on June 1, 2009.[11] The new set of episodes would have a new setting; the Stewart family move out of their Malibu home to a nearby ranch.[1][11] Billy Ray Cyrus stated this would be the final season and that Miley Cyrus hoped there would be a conclusion to the show's story.[49] Production for the season began in January 2010, when Disney confirmed the program would be officially concluding.[10][12][51] The series finale was initially scheduled to air in spring 2011.[10] As the final season was filmed, Cyrus said she wanted to move on from the series, stating, "I can't base my career off of the six-year-olds ... I have to move on".[1] She became increasingly uncomfortable wearing the extravagant, colorful costumes associated with Hannah and stated she had "grown out of it".[52] In 2019, Cyrus said she felt, immediately after having sex, she had matured beyond working on the series and dressing up as Hannah Montana.[53] The final season premiered on July 11, 2010.[1]

In 2011, Billy Ray Cyrus blamed the program for damaging his family and causing Miley's unpredictable behavior.[54] Miley Cyrus expressed her annoyance at her history with the program in 2013, stating she wanted to suppress her previous music and re-establish her career as a mature artist.[55] By 2019, while Cyrus believed many had viewed her as a "Disney mascot" rather than as a person during her time working for the company, and said she was now proud of her work on the series.[53] She said she would at some stage "like to resurrect" Hannah Montana.[56]

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
126March 24, 2006 (2006-03-24)March 30, 2007 (2007-03-30)
229[g]April 23, 2007 (2007-04-23)October 12, 2008 (2008-10-12)
331November 2, 2008 (2008-11-02)March 14, 2010 (2010-03-14)
415July 11, 2010 (2010-07-11)January 16, 2011 (2011-01-16)
  1. ^ The series is titled Hannah Montana Forever in its fourth and final season.[1]
  2. ^ Robby Ray Stewart is known to the public under the stage name of "Robbie Ray". The spelling of this is shown on a prop of his album "Robbie Ray Live" in the episode "For (Give) a Little Bit".[4]
  3. ^ Cyrus originally auditioned for the best friend role of Lilly before producers asked her to audition for the central role. Chloe Stewart was originally planned to be fifteen, and Cyrus was aged between eleven and twelve.[23]
  4. ^ One of the other actors was sixteen years old and had a wealth of sitcom experience; Taylor Momsen was an additional candidate for the role.[18][24]
  5. ^ Cyrus stated thirteen episodes were initially picked up.[26]
  6. ^ Earles was aged 28 when the program first aired in 2006, while portraying a teenager.[9][29]
  7. ^ An additional episode, "No Sugar, Sugar", was produced, but never aired in the United States due to controversy. The episode was reworked as "Uptight (Oliver's Alright)", which aired during the third season.

Reception

Critical reception

Critics said Hannah Montana helped Disney Channel return to a level of commercial success that had been absent since the 1990s, building on the success of programs such as That's So Raven and Lizzie McGuire.[2] Bickford said Hannah Montana adopted a business model of combining celebrity acts with film, television, and popular music for a pre-adolescent audience. He called the series "genre-defining".[2] and compared this model to 1990s teen pop artists such as Britney Spears and NSYNC, who were also marketed to children.[2] Ruthann Mayes-Elma said in a journal article Hannah Montana is a wholesome, "bubble-gum" television show,[35] and that the use of Miley's catchphrase "sweet nibblets" in the place of profanity in the scripts helped solidify the show's family-friendly appeal.[35] Mayes-Elma also said guest stars such as the Jonas Brothers were incorporated by Disney to encourage the viewership of young teenage girls,[35] and that Disney was selling Cyrus—a then-sixteen-year-old girl—to consumers as a "form of pop cultural prostitution".[35] Some critics found fault with the writing of the series. The A.V. Club's Marah Eakin said Hannah Montana, including its "oppressive" laugh track, is full of stereotypes.[57] A review of a DVD compilation said towards the end of the show's run, Miley's double identity had become the source of "throwaway jokes" rather than larger plot points.[8]

The series has been examined for its depiction of gender roles and stereotypes. Morgan Genevieve Blue of Feminist Media Studies said the series' primary female characters, Miley and her alter ego Hannah, are positioned as post-feminist subjects in a way their representation is confined to notions of femininity and consumerism.[58] Bickford interpreted the theme song "The Best of Both Worlds" as an expression of Miley's choice between her contradictory identities is "as simple as choosing a pair of shoes" and that the character is privileged because she has multiple shoes and identities.[2] Mayes-Elma criticized the portrayal of Miley as an "airhead" rather than as a "strong, agentic girl",[35] and another commentator described the Miley character as "obnoxious".[8] Blue said Lilly is depicted as a tomboy who does not uphold the femininity Miley represents.[58]

A second-season episode titled "No Sugar, Sugar" was planned to air in the United States on November 2, 2008, but was removed from the schedule after complaints about its subject matter.[59] The episode, in which Oliver is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, was previewed online; viewers said it presented inaccurate information about the disorder.[60] Some viewers said there was a risk of uninformed children following the episode's health information while others commended the episode's themes of acceptance and support for diabetics.[60] The network revised the episode after consulting diabetes research-funding organization JDRF and filming new scenes, an updated version of the episode titled "Uptight (Oliver's Alright)" was aired during the program's third season on September 20, 2009.[61]

U.S. television ratings

The series premiere of Hannah Montana was aired on March 24, 2006, as a lead-in to a rerun of High School Musical, and received 5.4 million viewers.[7][9] This was the highest-rating premiere episode in the history of Disney Channel as of 2006.[9] By April 2006, Hannah Montana had an average of more than 3.5 million viewers for each episode, many whom were aged between six and fourteen.[7] The show's most-viewed episode, "Me and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas and Mr. Jonas", was aired on August 17, 2007, as a lead-out to the premiere of High School Musical 2 and was viewed by 10.7 million people.[62]

Hannah Montana season viewership in the U.S. television market
Season Episodes Timeslot (ET) Season premiere Season finale Average viewers
(millions)
1 26 Friday 7:00pm[15] March 24, 2006 (2006-03-24)[7] March 30, 2007 (2007-03-30) 4.04
2 29 Saturday 7:00pm (1–16)
Friday 7:00pm (17–20)
Sunday 7:00pm (21–29)
April 23, 2007 (2007-04-23) October 12, 2008 (2008-10-12) 4.74
3 30 Sunday 7:00pm (1–28)
Sunday 6:30pm (29–30)
November 2, 2008 (2008-11-02) March 14, 2010 (2010-03-14) 4.75
4 13 Sunday 7:00pm July 11, 2010 (2010-07-11)[1] January 16, 2011 (2011-01-16) 5.05

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations received by Hannah Montana
Award Year Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
Artios Awards 2006 Carol Goldwasser and Howard Meltzer Outstanding Achievement in Casting: Children's Television Series Programming Nominated [63]
2007 Won [64]
2008 Won [65]
2009 Nominated [66]
2010 Nominated [67]
2011 Nominated [68]
British Academy Children's Awards 2008 Hannah Montana BAFTA Kids' Vote Won [69]
2009 BAFTA Kids' Vote: Television Won [70]
Golden Icon Awards 2006 Hannah Montana Best New Television Comedy Nominated [71]
Gracie Awards 2008 Miley Cyrus Outstanding Female Lead - Comedy Series (Children/Adolescent) Won [72]
2009 Miley Cyrus Outstanding Female Lead - Comedy Series (Children/Adolescent) Won [73]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (Australia) 2008 Miley Cyrus Fave International TV Star Won [74]
Hannah Montana Fave Comedy Show Nominated [75]
2009 Miley Cyrus Fave International TV Star Nominated [76]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (Brazil) 2009 Hannah Montana Favorite TV Program Nominated [77]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (Mexico) 2010 Miley Cyrus Favorite International Female Personality Nominated [78]
2011 Hannah Montana Favorite International Program Nominated [79]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (United Kingdom) 2007 Hannah Montana Best TV Show Nominated [80]
Miley Cyrus Best TV Actress Nominated
2008 Hannah Montana Favorite Kids' TV Show Nominated [81]
Miley Cyrus Favorite Female TV Star Won [82]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (United States) 2007 Miley Cyrus Favorite Television Actress Won [83]
2008 Hannah Montana Favorite TV Show Nominated [84][85]
Miley Cyrus Favorite Television Actress Won
2009 Hannah Montana Favorite TV Show Nominated [86]
Miley Cyrus Favorite Television Actress Nominated
2010 Miley Cyrus Favorite Television Actress Nominated [87]
2011 Miley Cyrus Favorite Television Actress Nominated [88]
Primetime Emmy Awards 2007 Hannah Montana Outstanding Children's Program Nominated [89]
2008 Nominated [90]
2009 Nominated [91]
2010 Nominated [92]
Teen Choice Awards 2007 Miley Cyrus Choice TV Actress: Comedy Won [93]
Hannah Montana Choice TV Show: Comedy Won
2008 Miley Cyrus Choice TV Actress: Comedy Won [94]
Hannah Montana Choice TV Show: Comedy Won
2009 Miley Cyrus Choice TV Actress: Comedy Won [95][96]
Emily Osment Choice TV: Sidekick Won
Billy Ray Cyrus Choice TV: Parental Unit Won
Hannah Montana Choice TV Show: Comedy Won
2011 Miley Cyrus Choice TV Actress: Comedy Nominated [97]
Television Critics Association Awards 2008 Hannah Montana Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming Nominated [98]
Young Artist Awards 2007 Miley Cyrus Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Nominated [99]
Emily Osment Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actress Nominated
Cody Linley Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Recurring Young Actor Nominated
Morgan York Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Recurring Young Actress Nominated
2008 Miley Cyrus Best Performance in a TV Series – Leading Young Actress Won [100]
Ryan Newman Best Performance in a TV Series – Recurring Young Actress Nominated
Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Mitchel Musso, Moises Arias and Cody Linley Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series Nominated
Hannah Montana Best Family Television Series Won
2009 Miley Cyrus Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Nominated [101]
Moises Arias Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actor Nominated
Emily Osment Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actress Nominated
2010 Miley Cyrus Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress Nominated [102]
Nate Hartley Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor 14 and Over Won
2011 David Burrus Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor 11–13 Nominated [103]
Mary-Charles Jones Best Performance in a TV Series – Recurring Young Actress Ten and Under Nominated

Controversies

Criticism of Cyrus's public image

In 2008, Marsh commented on the importance of Cyrus maintaining a wholesome public image while starring on the network. He said, "for Miley Cyrus to be a 'good girl' is now a business decision for her".[16] Cyrus, however, continued to develop an increasingly provocative image as Hannah Montana progressed and the series received criticism for appearing to be a negative influence on its younger audience. In 2009, Cyrus performed a seductive pole dance during her act at the Teen Choice Awards; she later defended the dance, saying it "was right for the song and that performance" while Disney representatives did not comment.[35][52] In 2010, her suggestive persona continued with the music video for "Can't Be Tamed".[1] In 2010 and 2011, Cyrus was listed as the worst celebrity influence in a poll on JSYK, which children voted on, following the leakage of a video showing her smoking the psychoactive plant Salvia divinorum at the age of eighteen.[104][105]

After the conclusion of the series, Cyrus's public image continued to become more provocative and sexualized. According to Oona E. Goodin-Smith, once Disney stars grow out of their "cutesy" roles it seems as though Disney "simply drops the star, forcing them to fend in the world of celebrity on their own".[106] Journalists called Cyrus "the epitome of the anti-role model" and said there was a "danger" in children following her provocative public image.[107][108] After a controversial performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Melissa Henson of the Parents Television Council said parents would no longer feel comfortable allowing their children to watch Hannah Montana due to Cyrus's sexualized stage persona.[109]

Lawsuits

Television writer Buddy Sheffield alleged he pitched the concept for a television series titled Rock and Roland to Disney Channel in 2001; it would have focused on a junior-high school student who leads a secret double life as a rock star.[110] The initial proposal was unsuccessful and in August 2007, Sheffield filed a lawsuit against the network based on the similarities between his pitch and Hannah Montana.[110] The lawsuit said Sheffield was owed millions of dollars in damages.[110] A trial was scheduled to begin in August 2008 but the case was resolved privately beforehand.[111]

In April 2010, Correll and O'Brien filed a lawsuit against the Disney Channel for US$5 million over profits from the program.[27] The pair alleged they were denied their share of profits based on requirements for creators from the Writers Guild of America West.[27] Correll, who also directed a number of episodes, further alleged he was unfairly terminated by Disney.[27] By 2016, it was reported the arbitrator found US$18 million in under-reported amounts but the franchise was still operating at a US$24 million deficit so no compensation was owed.[112] The pair took their case to open court and claimed they were prejudiced by their arbitrator; in 2018, however, the request to overturn the ruling was refused.[113] Poryes had filed a similar lawsuit in October 2008 but this was ultimately settled.[27][112]

Other media

Films

In 2008, Walt Disney Pictures released a concert film entitled Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert as a three-dimensional film for a limited theatrical run.[114] The movie consists of footage of Cyrus performing as herself and as Hannah Montana at a concert during the 2007–2008 Best of Both Worlds Tour.[114] The film earned a gross of $70.6 million worldwide and as of 2008 became the highest-selling concert film of all time.[115] A soundtrack album of the live performances, entitled Best of Both Worlds Concert, was released in April 2008.[116]

In 2007, Cyrus reported plans to adapt the television series into a theatrical feature film had commenced, and that she would like to film it in her hometown, Nashville, Tennessee.[117] Billy Ray Cyrus stated the movie would be about the Stewart family's return to Tennessee and that Disney was eager to film on location there.[118] Filming began in Los Angeles and Nashville in April 2008.[119][120] The film, titled Hannah Montana: The Movie, was originally scheduled for release on May 1, 2009,[121] but its release was preponed to April 10 that year.[122] The film, which was directed by Peter Chelsom, follows Miley as the popularity of Hannah Montana begins to take control of her life.[119] The film grossed $169.2 million worldwide.[123] A soundtrack album titled Hannah Montana: The Movie, was released in March 2009.[124]

Merchandising

In December 2006, Disney released its first line of merchandise linked to Hannah Montana, which included clothing, jewelry, toys, and dolls; the line of clothing duplicated outfits Hannah wears in the series.[7][35][125] A line of video games was also developed; the first, Hannah Montana, was released on the Nintendo DS on October 5, 2006.[126] By February 2008, the Hannah Montana franchise had become so profitable Disney convened an "80-person, all-platform international meeting" to discuss its future.[16] Disney's 2008 annual report to shareholders listed the brand as one of the leading contributors to growth across the company.[35] MSNBC estimated the Hannah Montana franchise was worth US$1 billion by the end of 2008.[35] The program remains one of Disney Channel's most commercially successful franchises.[127]

Rumored spin-off

In February 2020, Hollywood Life reported a prequel series that would be about Miley Stewart's rise to fame as a pop singer, with another child actor playing the character, was being discussed for Disney+.[5][128] Billy Ray Cyrus expressed his interest in being involved in the potential series while reports said Miley Cyrus would was unlikely to be involved.[5] In 2011, Billy Ray Cyrus had said he wanted to produce a prequel.[129]

References

Notes

Citations

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kit, Zorianna (July 6, 2010). "Hannah Montana starts final season as Miley moves on". Reuters. Archived from the original on December 6, 2020. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Bickford, Tyler (2015). "Tween Intimacy and the Problem of Public Life in Children's Media: "Having It All" on the Disney Channel's Hannah Montana". Women's Studies Quarterly. Feminist Press. 43 (1): 66–82. doi:10.1353/wsq.2015.0022. JSTOR 43958468. S2CID 86464092. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
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External links