Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire (Hardcover)

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The first unauthorized look at the inner workings—and ultimate breakdown—of the Disney Channel machine

For many kids growing up in the 2000s, there was no cultural touchstone more powerful than Disney Channel, the most-watched cable channel in primetime at its peak. Today, it might best be known for introducing the world to talents like Hilary Duff, Raven-Symoné, Zac Efron, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, and Zendaya.

It wasn't always destined for greatness: when The Disney Channel launched in 1983, it was a forgotten stepchild within the Walt Disney Company, forever in the shadow of Disney’s more profitable movies and theme parks. But after letting the stars of their Mickey Mouse Club revival—among them Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling—slip through their fingers, Disney Channel reinvented itself as a powerhouse tween network. In the new millennium, it churned out billions of dollars in original content and triple-threat stars whose careers were almost entirely controlled by the corporation. Suddenly, everyone wanted a piece of the pie—and there were constant clashes between the studio, network, labels, and creatives as Disney Channel became a pressure cooker of perfection for its stars.

From private feuds and on-set disasters, to fanfare that swept the nation and the realities of child stardom, culture journalist Ashley Spencer offers the inside story of the heyday of TV’s House of Mouse, featuring hundreds of exclusive new interviews with former Disney executives, creatives, and celebrities to explore the highs, lows, and everything in between.

About the Author

Ashley Spencer is a culture writer and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, Vice, Vulture, and elsewhere. Disney High is her first book.

Praise For…

“If you can scrupulously recite the lyrics to ‘The Best of Both Worlds’, then this book is for you. Equal parts sentiment and scoop, Disney High is chock full of details about the child stars of Disney's once-prized asset, and the journey to questioning whether wearing those mouse ears was ever really worth it.” Lynette Rice, New York Times bestselling author of How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy

“An unprecedented level of dish and detail! Spencer pulls back the curtain on one of modern pop culture’s most important (and drama-filled) eras.” —Omid Scobie, New York Times bestselling author of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family

“With deep reporting and sharp prose, Spencer takes us inside the stunning rise and fall of Disney Channel. You’ll come for the stories behind Miley and Raven—and, wow, will you get them—but it’s the merciless grinding of the cable TV machine that will stay with you long after you’ve finished." Zac Bissonnette, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Beanie Baby Bubble

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250283450
ISBN-10: 1250283450
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 24th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English