A smash premiere for a cable movie last month made it the No. 2-ranked film in cable television history. The New York Times’ Arts Beat reports that "Teen Beach Movie" drew 13.5 million viewers for its July 19 premiere on Disney Channel, adding in a week’s worth of DVR playback viewing. The live audience was reportedly 8.4 million.
About 8 million children 2 to 11 watched the show, which the newspaper describes as a "kooky mash-up of ‘Grease’ and ‘Beach Blanket Bingo’ overlaid with a movie-within-a-movie construct and a contemporary girl-power theme."
The story reports: “’Teen Beach Movie’ now comfortably ranks as the No. 2 film in cable television history, behind ‘High School Musical 2’ from 2007, according to Nielsen."
The Aug. 17, 2007, premiere of "High School Musical 2" — also on Disney Channel — reportedly attracted 17.2 million viewers, making it at the time the most-watched basic-cable telecast in history as well as the most-watched made-for-cable movie in history.
The Times adds: "While Disney Channel has not announced a sequel [to ‘Teen Beach Movie’], its young viewers can surely expect one; in addition to strong ratings, tie-in products like a cast album have sold briskly. Gary Marsh, the president of Disney Channels Worldwide, is clearly thrilled. Even before the final viewer numbers became available, he was said to have pushed an ice cream cart around the network’s Burbank, Calif., corporate offices to celebrate."