One of Disney Channel’s most beloved stars — Selena Gomez — and one of its most successful series ever, the multiple Emmy Award and BAFTA-winning “Wizards of Waverly Place,” are set to return in an exciting new television event that begins production next month in Los Angeles. Ms. Gomez, an actress and platinum-selling recording artist, will executive-produce and also star along with Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera, David DeLuise and Gregg Sulkin, who reprise the roles they made popular. The one hour television event is scheduled for premiere in early 2013.
Selena Gomez will join Radio Disney’s Ernie D on-air today, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 (3:00 p.m., PT / 6:00 p.m., ET).
The storyline takes the Russo family and friends to Tuscany, Italy, to meet their long lost relatives… but when Alex (Gomez) tries to prove she’s more than a seemingly carefree young Wizard, she inadvertently conjures a spell that creates a Good Alex and an Evil Alex. When Evil Alex gets roped into a charming young wizard’s foreboding plan to take over the world, Good Alex must find a way to save her family and humankind, which leads to a monumental battle between the two versions of herself – all atop the Tower of Pisa.
Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said: “With the phenomenal ratings of the ‘Wizards’ finale earlier this year, it became clear that fans of the series were not ready to say goodbye to Selena or the rest of the ‘Wizards’ cast. As such, we’re thrilled that the cast has agreed to reunite to bring their fans one last grand adventure!”
Gomez’s breakthrough series “Wizards of Waverly Place” is one of Disney Channel’s most successful series ever. It premiered in 2007, became a ratings driver worldwide and, in first quarter 2012, reached over 175 million unduplicated viewers in 163 countries and 32 languages. It inspired “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie,” which delivered 13.5 million Total Viewers, ranked as the #1 cable television movie of 2009 and is the #2 cable TV movie of all time (after “High School Musical 2”). The “Wizards of Waverly Place” series finale in January 2012 was the #1 cable TV telecast — among all kids’ programming — in Total Viewers (11.3 million), and is TV’s #1 scripted telecast among Kids 2-11, Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14, 2012 to-date.
The TV movie won a 2009 Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program, and the series won an Emmy Award in the same category in 2012 and 2010, and was nominated in 2011. It has also been lauded for its portrayal of Latinos and was honored with Alma, Imagen and NAACP Image Award nominations.
On Hollywood Records, Selena Gomez has three Gold certified albums, one double-Platinum single, numerous Gold and Platinum singles and Top 40 radio hits. She’s been honored with Teen Choice, Imagen, Alma and Kids Choice Awards, and is a strong force on social media with over 33 million Facebook likes and over 12 million Twitter followers.
The television special was written by Vince Cheung and Ben Montanio (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) and Dan Berendsen (ABC Family’s “Baby Daddy”). Selena Gomez, Cheung and Montanio and Dan Cross and David Hoge are the executive producers. It will be directed by Victor Gonzalez (“Wizards of Waverly Place”). “Wizards of Waverly Place” was created by Todd J. Greenwald (“Hannah Montana”) and is a production of It’s a Laugh Productions for Disney Channel.