Seven Years Ago, Hannah Montana Was On Her Way To Superstar Status
She’s Come A (Very) Long Way
Seven years ago, the Disney Channel was on to something. Actually – it was always on to something. Beginning as a pay outlet, they eventually went “free” – airing primarily older Disney content. During the early 1990′s, they dumped traditional programming such as “Vault Disney” and slowly began going after the “Tween” audience – that healthy/vibrant – not child, not quite full teenager. An audience with influence and – one that could be influenced. This required brand-spanking new programming – a kind of “tween” program development/star system, coupled with the famous in-house Disney marketing machine.
“Lizzie McGuire” was its first superstar. Seven years ago, “Hannah” became their second. Hannah Montana debuted in March of 2006 – but by this time, Disney knew they had a superstar – one that was destined all things Disney – music, movies, concerts, merchandise. Born November 23, 1992 – Miley Cyrus was just 13 at the time – and little known. Her dad was famous for one super country hit – “Achy Breaky Heart” – and both did prior TV work. “Hannah” re-ignited dad’s career as well – he being “dad” – and a series regular.
The premise of “Hannah” was part Superman (disguise: a wig instead of glasses) and part, goofy sitcom. It worked – as tween audiences, their younger/older sisters, moms (brothers too) – made the series into the Disney Channel’s most popular to date.
Like Britany Spears – Miley turned into the first thing spoken on gossip shows and columns (and blogs). She was being watched like a hawk. Hard to believe it’s been seven years. Like Justin Bieber of late, she hasn’t made the best decisions and the Internet is a small world. She’s also changed her look several times.
Miley Cyrus has dodged most of it and today – Miley Cyrus is out with a new album and hit single – after taking a hiatus from music. She just may have adult staying power. And this year – she turns 21.