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[06/03/10 - 12:27 PM]
The Magic Continues as Disney Channel Orders Fourth Season of Emmy Award-Winning Series "Wizards of Waverly Place"
Plus: development has begun on the sequel to "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie."

[via press release from Disney Channel]

THE MAGIC CONTINUES AS DISNEY CHANNEL ORDERS FOURTH SEASON OF EMMY AWARD-WINNING SERIES "WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE"

Development Also Begins on Sequel to "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie," Cable TV's #2 Scripted Telecast of All Time

Disney Channel has ordered a fourth season of its Emmy Award-winning sitcom "Wizards of Waverly Place," and is in development on the sequel to "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie," cable TV's second-highest rated scripted telecast of all time in Total Viewers (13.5 million), Kids 6-11 and Tweens. The announcement was made today by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. Production on the fourth season is scheduled to begin in August with show runners Vince Cheung and Ben Montanio ("Married´┐Żwith Children," "Greetings from Tucson") executive-producing. Todd J. Greenwald ("Hannah Montana," "Saved By the Bell: The New Class") is the series creator and also an executive producer.

The script for the Disney Channel Original Movie sequel will be written by Dan Berendsen (Disney's "Hannah Montana: The Movie," "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie" and the upcoming "Camp Rock 2 The Final Jam").

In making the announcement, Marsh said, "The Emmy win this past year confirmed what we already believed -- this is a cast of superstar comedic talent, backed by an inspired team of writers and producers."

The series stars Selena Gomez (whose debut album, "Kiss & Tell," from Hollywood Records, debuted in the Billboard Top 10 and has since become gold-certified), David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera and David DeLuise. In Season Four, Disney Channel UK star Gregg Sulkin ("As the Bell Rings" and Disney Channel's upcoming movie, "Avalon High") reprises his recurring guest role.

"Wizards of Waverly Place" debuted in 2007 and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program in 2009. A proven fan favorite, the sitcom has been lauded for its portrayal of Latinos and has won Alma, Imagen and NAACP Image Award nominations.

Set in New York's Greenwich Village neighborhood, the series follows the Russo family -- siblings Alex, Max and older brother Justin, each a wizard in training, and competing with each other to determine who among them will get to keep their powers forever. They live with their Italian-American father, Jerry (who was once a wizard), and their Mexican-American mother, Theresa, a mortal (who prefers that magic not be used in the house). Alex's best friend, Harper Finkle, is the only friend who knows the Russo kids have magical powers.

New episodes of "Wizards of Waverly Place" air FRIDAYS (8:30 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. A production of It's a Laugh Productions for Disney Channel, the series carries a TV-G parental guideline.

Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in over 99 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney/ABC Television Group.





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