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Disney Channel's 'Jonas' premiere: Not burnin' up the ratings

May 4, 2009 |  4:02 pm

Kixu9tnc Are the Jonas Brothers poised to take the place of Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana"? It might be too soon to tell.

A solid 4 million viewers watched the 8 p.m. premiere of the network's new series, "Jonas," which topped kids and tween rankings Saturday, but didn't come close to delivering the audience watching new episodes of "Hannah Montana."

A Disney Channel news release boasted that the "Monkees"-style comedy starring the pop trio edged out the competition -- Nickelodeon's "Fairly OddParents: Wishology, Part 2," the second night of Nick's three-part original movie -- in the kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14 categories.

"Jonas" drew 1.6 million in both kids and tweens, giving the network its best numbers in the time period in the last eight months. Of its tween audience, 73% was female.

So the Jonas Brothers are big. But can they be Miley Cyrus big, dominating the realms of music, film and TV? It doesn't look good so far:

"Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" did not cross the $20-million mark at the box office, while "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" made $65 million. ("The Hannah Montana Movie," currently in theaters, has already made more than $70 million.)

And here's a sobering fact: "Jonas" is Disney Channel's lowest-rated live-action series premiere among kids 6-11 since 2005's "Life with Derek."

The show's debut numbers fall far behind those for a recent new episode of "Hannah Montana," which scored 4.8 million on April 19, and drew fewer overall viewers (4.1 million versus 4 million) and kids (1.8 million versus 1.6 million) than the February premiere of Disney's other new series, "Sonny With a Chance," starring Demi Lovato. "Jonas" fared better with tweens (1.6 million versus 1.5 million).

A rep for Disney Channel pointed out that "Jonas" was the network's first-ever Saturday premiere for a series, part of a deliberate strategy to open up the night to original programming. The rep also noted that Disney has a "robust business" with the group across its "music, studio and consumer products divisions."

-- Denise Martin

High ratings for 'Camp Rock,' the Disney Channel's Jonas Brothers movie

Photo credit: Disney Channel