Disney eyes another teen star
Bridgit Mendler takes lead in new sitcomIt's too early to compare her to Miley Cyrus or Vanessa Hudgens, but Disney Channel thinks it could have another star in the making and has given her the lead role in a new sitcom.
The show is called "Good Luck Charlie" and the star is 16-year-old Bridgit Mendler.
"We just fell in love with her," said Adam Bonnett, senior vp original programming at Disney Channel. "She has all the attributes of a Disney star."
Disney Channel first cast Mendler on freshman comedy "Jonas," where she appeared in two episodes playing a love interest for Nick Jonas.
That was followed by a four-episode stint on "Wizards of Waverly Place." In the upcoming arc, Mendler plays "an everyday girl with a sunny disposition who is a blood-sucking vampire," Bonnett said.
In her first starring role on "Charlie," slated to debut next year on Disney Channels worldwide, Mendler plays Teddy Holliday alongside Disney Channel regular Jason Dolley, who plays her brother Casey. When their parents go back to work full time after having a baby, the care and feeding of their new sister -- nicknamed Charlie -- falls to the teenage siblings.
A hook in the show has Teddy creating a video diary for Charlie that chronicles the day's adventures and offers her baby sister advice for when she grows older.
Bonnett describes "Charlie" as "a family show from a kid's point of view."
"It felt like the right time to have a show with two parents, to debunk the myth that Disney never has the mom in the picture," he said. "Because it is a myth."
The parents on the show are played by "Will & Grace" veteran Leigh Allyn Baker and Eric Allan Kramer. Also in the family is a 10-year-old son, played by newcomer Bradley Perry.
From It's a Laugh Prods., "Charlie" was created and is executive produced by Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen ("What I Like About You"). Also exec producing is "Cheers" veteran Dan Staley.