- Genre: Comedy
- Movie Type: Teen Show
- Main Cast: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Emily Osment, Jason Earles, Mitchel Musso
- Release Year: 2006
- Run Time: 30 minutes
Another teen-oriented Disney Channel comedy series, Hannah Montana was a tailor-made vehicle for
- * Miley Cyrus as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana
* Emily Osment as Lilly Truscott/Lola (Various last names)
* Mitchel Musso as Oliver Oken/Mike Stanley III
* Jason Earles as Jackson Stewart
* Billy Ray Cyrus as Robby Stewart
* Moises Arias as Rico (Season 2; recurring role Season 1)
* Frances Callier as Roxy (recurring role)
* Cody Linley as Jake Ryan (recurring role)
The show centers on 14-year-old Miley Stewart and takes place in Malibu, California. She’s a teenage girl who has a big secret. Only her close family, best friends Lilly and Oliver, ex-boyfriend Jake Ryan, and bodyguard Roxy know that she is living a double life as “Teen Pop Sensation” Hannah Montana. She lives in a house by the beach with her father Robby (played by Miley’s real life father Billy Ray Cyrus) and older brother Jackson (played by Jason Earles), who works down at Rico’s Surf Shop by the beach. The Stewarts are from Nashville, Tennessee. Miley’s mother died before the show began, leaving singer-songwriter Robby a widower and the sole caretaker of their children, giving up his previous career as a famous country singer. He is also the disguised father and manager of Hannah Montana. Miley’s two best friends Lilly Truscott (played by Emily Osment) and Oliver Oken (played by Mitchel Musso) also live nearby and attend school with her. Each episode deals with life, personal conflicts, or problems that are easily solved with lessons learned by the show’s end.
The show is co-created by Michael Poryes, who also co-created the hit Disney Channel Original Series That’s So Raven and is produced by It’s a Laugh Productions, Inc., in association with Disney. It is filmed at Tribune Studios in Hollywood, CA. The series premiere scored record ratings for Disney Channel: 5.4 million viewers, a response “beyond our wildest expectations,” according to the president of Disney Channel Entertainment.
The original idea for this show was based on the That’s So Raven episode “Goin’ Hollywood” which was supposed to be the pilot episode for a sitcom called Better Days in which a child star of a popular TV show of the same name was to try her hand at going to a normal school. The episode New Kid in School has the basic premise as that aforementioned episode. Other names considered for the title were The Secret Life of Zoe Stewart (discarded as too similar to Zoey 101 on Nickelodeon), The Popstar Life!, and Alexis Texas. Former American Juniors finalist Jordan McCoy and Pop/R&B singer JoJo (who rejected the role) were considered for the role of Zoe Stewart. Miley Cyrus originally auditioned for the role of the “best friend” Lilly Romero, later changed to Lilly Truscott, but they thought she would be better for the main character, so she tried out for Zoe Stewart/Hannah Montana. Zoe Stewart was later changed to Chloe Stewart (due mainly to the release of Nickelodeon’s new show Zoey 101), which was eventually changed to Miley when she got the part. The names of Hannah Montana were changed a few times. Three of the previous names were Anna Cabana, Samantha York, and Alexis Texas. Alexis Texas was almost used, but they thought that it would overrate Texas as a hillbilly state.
In December 2006, Disney announced plans to release Hannah Montana products including clothing, jewelery, apparel, and dolls at select stores. . Play Along Toys will be releasing the Hannah and Miley dolls and other merchandise. Hannah Montana is signed for at least one more season according to Disney Channel. Filming for the second season started in December. The new season started in April, 2007, in which she is in high school.
The theme song for Hannah Montana is “The Best of Both Worlds” written by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil, produced by Gerrard and performed by Miley Cyrus (as Hannah Montana). John Carta, who also composes the music cues to signify scene changes and commercial breaks, composed the music for the song. The song’s lyrics describe the basic premise of the television series.
The full-length version, which is 2:54 (minutes/seconds) in length, was included on the show’s soundtrack, released in October 2006. For the TV version of the theme, which lasts only 50 seconds, stanzas one and two and stanzas seven and eight were only used.
“Just Like You” and “The Other Side of Me” were originally tested for the opening theme song, before “Best of Both Worlds” was chosen as the theme. Stage and features episode clips of each cast member when each cast member’s name appears. Each cast member’s name is “wiped” on the screen in a marquee light style. The sequence then switches to full screen episode clips (most of the clips used in the season one version of the sequence were of the early produced episodes) with the creator’s names appearing in the second-to-last clip. The show’s title logo design appears at the beginning and again at the end of the sequence (the latter portion as with most other portions of the sequence on the “concert stage” feature Cyrus as her character Hannah Montana).
On August 23rd, 2007 Buddy Sheffield, a comedy writer who wrote for The Smothers Brothers Show, The Dolly Parton Show and In Living Color, sued Disney over Hannah Montana alleging that he originally came up with the idea for Hannah Montana but was never compensated by Disney. The lawsuit claims breach of contract, breach of confidence, unfair competition and unjust enrichment. Sheffield, in the lawsuit claims that he pitched an idea for a TV series with the name of “Rock and Roland” to Disney Channel in 2001 with the plot of a junior high student who lived a secret double life as a rock star. The lawsuit claims that Disney Channel executives at first liked the idea but passed on the series. Sheffield claims that he deserves a share of the revenue generated by Hannah Montana.
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