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Demi Lovato quits 'Sonny With a Chance' to focus on music, health

April 19, 2011 | 12:14 pm

Demi Demi Lovato will not be returning to her successful Disney Channel show "Sonny With a Chance."

After withdrawing from the show last fall to deal with personal issues, the channel confirmed Tuesday that the actress had decided not to reprise her role on the hit teen program.

Last October, Lovato made headlines after withdrawing from a concert tour with the Jonas Brothers to seek treatment for "emotional and physical issues." The actress has since revealed she was struggling with eating disorders and self-multilation issues and in January completed three months of in-patient treatment at an Illinois rehab program. 

In an interview with People, Lovato said she decided to part ways with the show in an effort to focus on her music career as well as her health.

"It's kind of sad for me that a chapter of my life has ended, but there couldn't be a better time for me to move on," she told the magazine. "I don't think going back to 'Sonny' would be healthy for my recovery. Being in front of a camera would make me nervous."

On "Sonny With a Chance," Lovato played an outgoing small-town girl who won a national talent contest to land a starring role on a popular variety show. In January, in the wake of her absence, Disney began production on "So Random," a version of the series that focused solely on the sketches and musical acts in the variety show. That show will now continue and will premiere in June with musical guest stars such as  Selena Gomez and Colbie Caillat.

“We respect Demi’s decision to focus full time on her music and not immediately return to her acting career,” the Disney Channel said in a statement. “She is a talented young woman, and our hearts are with her as she continues to take action to improve her health and bounce back from adversity.”

-- Amy Kaufman


Demi Lovato's crisis shows the risks of teen stardom

Photo: Sterling Knight and Demi Lovato in "Sonny With a Chance." Credit: Disney Channel

t was announced on November 12, 2010 that the third season would begin production without Lovato, due to her recovering from her recent health issues. The series would now focus on the sketch/comedy/music-variety show So Random!, centering around guest stars, sketches, digital shorts, and musical performances, a similar format to Saturday Night Live.[8][9] Production of the third season began on January 30, 2011.[10][11]