Growing up in the early 2000s, I was a Disney Channel kid. I watched it evolve and reach its Golden Age with Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens, Kim Possible and That’s So Raven.
As I grew up, Disney Channel and its stars grew with me. I watched their lives unfold with fascination as Kim Possible so effortlessly saved the world and Raven Baxter (somewhat) accurately predicted the future. But I never gazed into the future to predict a That’s So Raven sequel.
Disney Channel created a brief spin-off show, Cory in the House, featuring Raven’s on-screen little brother, Cory, and her on-screen father, Victor, describing their life in the White House with Victor as the president’s personal chef. However, this new series is something entirely different.
Raven Symoné, who played the title character in That’s So Raven, announced on The View she has been working with Disney Channel as the executive producer for a That’s So Raven “sequel,” in which she will still play Raven Baxter, but this time as a single mother raising two children.
While she did not reveal much, Symoné did announce her on-screen daughter will discover she has inherited her mother’s psychic gift, and Disney is currently holding auditions for a new cast.
However, Symoné also announced due to the increased time commitment, she would be leaving The View by the end of the year.
This is not the first time Disney has created a spin off series featuring the original cast as adults, telling the story of their children. In 2014, Disney created Girl Meets World. The series chronicles the life of Riley Matthews, the daughter of Corey and Topanga Matthews from the 1993-2000 series Boy Meets World.
Netflix followed suit when earlier this year it released Fuller House, a spin-off of the 1987-1995 sitcom Full House and it recently announced plans for a Gilmore Girls reunion.
Part of me has to wonder about the timing of this new series. When That’s So Raven first aired in 2003, its title character Raven Baxter was a teenager, the same as the series’ target audience. Is it a coincidence Disney Channel waited 13 years to create a sequel? The original audience is now old enough to be married and have their own children. Is Disney attempting to bring back its now-adult audience by re-creating Raven’s relatability with the hopes of increasing its views?
Whatever Disney’s intentions, I have high hopes for the new series. For years, the Golden Age of Disney Channel has been in a steady decline. From the value of friendship taught by Lizzie McGuire, to girl power demonstrated by Kim Possible, to the importance of honesty from Raven Baxter, each episode used to send a message to its viewers. Recently, however, Disney Channel shows lack substance, and are based around ideas such as talking dogs (Dog With a Blog) and time travel (Best Friends Whenever). While no airdate has been confirmed, my hope is that, as a Golden Age alumni, Symoné will take her new series back to its roots and reclaim the ideals of the early 2000s.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Deviant Art.
Morgan Politzer is a freshman journalism major and can be reached a firstname.lastname@example.org.