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iCarly is a Hit! Here are 5 Disney Channel Shows Disney Must Bring Back for Adults

Good luck Charlie

Good luck Charlie

In light of iCarly's huge success for Paramount Plus, here are 5 Disney Channel shows (besides Lizzie McGuire) that need to be given the adult treatment!

Paramount Plus’s gamble paid off – iCarly (2021) reboot is a critical and fan hit. Even though she says naughty words! Its’ almost like reviving old IP and directing it towards the people who liked it in the first place instead of their children is… good business?

Before we get into this – yes, they should be begging Hilary right now to forgive them and give her all the creative freedom she needs to make Lizzie McGuire. What they did was a crime. We’ve covered that. But while Hilary is filming How I Met Your Father, what other Disney Channel series could be revived and directed towards the adults who grew up watching them?

Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-2012)

Disney should fast-track a Wizards revival. Only Murders in the Building (2021) wrapped season 1 in April. Before season 2, bring Selena Gomez and Alex Russo back. The cast have spoken about their plans for a revival with David Henrie suggesting Selena Gomez was in. Now that iCarly has gone well, why not up the maturity a bit. Who doesn’t wanna hear Alex Russo call someone a bitch?

Hannah Montana (2006-2011)

When the Hannah Montana 15-year anniversary promo stuff was going on a few months ago, people were sure they were about to announce a revival. That ended up being a huge let down. Miley hasn’t buried Hannah forever… and I imagine the one thing that would get her to don the wig again for Disney is a TV-14 or hard TV-PG Hannah Montana series.

To be honest, I’m fairly confident that Disney and Miley have been in talks for the past year and if the Lizzie stuff and pandemic hadn’t happened, we would have been getting an announcement that just isn’t done cooking yet. Perhaps when she got older Jake Ryan wasn’t quite her thing anymore… maybe she started questioning her feeling of friendship with Lily growing up and now we’ve got LGBT Miley dating women and revitalizing her career…

Phil of the Future (2004-2006)

Hear me out – 🎶Meet a man named Phil and his family coming back from the 22nd Century… 🎶 I envision the new theme song having new lyrics, but the same tune… and sung this time by Aly & AJ. As long as Aly Michalka, Raviv Ullman, and JP Manoux have time that’s enough. Oh, and like the Wizards cast and Miley… RAVIV IS DOWN.

Brenda Song, Raviv Ullman, and Aly Michalka in Phil of the Future on Disney Channel
Brenda Song, Raviv Ullman, and Aly Michalka in Phil of the Future on Disney Channel

Imagine Keely’s reaction. Shock. And then a slap. But hooray, she’s single! Imagine him entering her home unexpectedly to find a young daughter. “You didn’t tell me you had a kid.” “You didn’t tell me you were gonna make me fall in love with you and then abandon me, only to return 15 years later.” “How did you manage this all by yourself, you’re a hero.” Enter Curtis, the Caveman they forgot in the series finale. “I’ve had help.” After a glance at Curtis and then a glance at Keely’s daughter, “You didn’t?” “Of course not! He’s been a gentleman.” (Curtis burps.) “Sort of.” Phil and Curtis embrace, a manly tear dropping down both their faces.

I NEED THIS!!!!! Can you imagine the drama – what took Phil so long to return? They can say his machine broke again as soon as he returned home. Then the drama later when Keely finds out they fixed it 10 years earlier, but since 5 years had passed Phil was afraid to return to her, assuming she’d have moved on. “I waited, Phil. I waited for 5 years. When I should have been dating in college, I was waiting for you to come back to me. After graduation I met someone. But I never stopped waiting… and I think he sensed that. And now I’m here, with your daughter and a caveman. I mean your caveman and a daughter.” WHEN DID THIS BECOME A FAN FICTION?

Good Luck Charlie (2010-2014)

This would be excellent – they could focus it on Charlie who is growing up SO fast. She could be filming videos like “Good Luck Teddy” that she sends to her older sister who doesn’t live at home. It could also focus on Teddy and include naughty words like iCarly. As is the case with just about everything we’ve mentioned – the cast is already on board. Bob Duncan’s actor (Eric Allen Kramer) recently appeared on Sydney to the Max (2019) and Big Shot (2021) so he’s still in the Disney family! Don’t waste time. Greenlight it!

I Didn’t Do It (2014-2015)

Honestly, anything to get Olivia Holt back. And the show never did get a finale. To be honest I didn’t watch this series I’m just an Olivia Holt stan after Cloak & Dagger (2018)… She can do it in between Cruel Summer (2021) seasons.

BONUS:

Jessie (2011-2015)

It’s too soon for Jessie and the Ross kids left Bunk’d (2015) 2 years ago so they wouldn’t be down for a return series which is why I’m not counting this on the top 5. However, I do think a JESSIE film is necessary! After Bunk’d wraps August 6th one of the most popular franchises in history that still dominates the Disney+ trending row and airwaves deserves a REAL send-off. Let Jessie be a big star now as she hoped she’d become and let her return to New York for an event and reunion with the Rosses! Peyton returned to Bunk’d for an episode this season and Karan has directed two episodes of Season 5 so they haven’t left it behind entirely. Find an excuse to bring in some of the other Bunk’d cast that had never been on Jessie. Make it a wonderful ending. And let Luke’s’ character live on off-screen – just says he’s famous on YouTube as a gamer (in a nod to Gamer’s Guide [2015]) and is on a tour.

Other thoughts:

  • Demi has said NO to Sonny With a Chance (2009) revival and I don’t think the characters were strong enough to spin-off.
  • Suite Life franchise would have a hell of a time getting the Sprouses back right now. Maybe post-Riverdale.
  • Liv & Maddie (2013) ended too recently and Dove is trying to get away a bit… but I’m confident she’d be happy to return eventually. And knowing her now with her foul mouth she’d be tickled to bring Liv and Maddie into a realistic adulthood.
  • Raven’s Home (2017) is coming back for a soft-reboot 5th season that brings her back home to San Francisco with her dad, Victor. So while it isn’t going to be mature it’s already in revival state.

What do you think? Did I pick the best choices? Anything I didn’t mention that you feel would make a good “grown up” revival series a la iCarly?

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Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.