Time will tell if “Teen Beach Movie” becomes the phenomenon that “High School Musical” was, but it’s off to a pretty great start.
The Disney Channel movie debuted Friday (July 19) to 8.4 million viewers, the biggest audience on all of TV for the night. About half that audience was made up of the kids and tweens that are Disney’s core audience, but it also drew 1.6 million adults 18-49 — also the best of the night.
By comparison, the first “High School Musical” drew 7.7 million viewers for its premiere in 2006 before exploding to 17.2 million viewers for “HSM2” the next year.
“Teen Beach Movie” is now the No. 3 Disney Channel original movie ever, behind “High School Musical 2” and “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie,” which brought in 11.4 million people in 2009.
Following the movie, the premiere of Disney’s series “Liv & Maddie” scored a robust 5.8 million viewers.