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Sonny with a Chance
Sonnywithachance-logo.png
Created by Steve Marmel
Starring
Theme music composer
  • Jeanne Lurie
  • Aris Archontis
  • Chen Neeman
Opening theme "So Far, So Great" by Demi Lovato
Composer(s) Chris Alan Lee
Scott Clausen
Danny Jacob
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 47 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Brian Robbins
  • Sharla Sumpter Bridgett
  • Michael Feldman
  • Steve Marmel
Producer(s)
  • Peter Gary Cox
Production location(s)
  • NBC Studios
  • Burbank, California (2009)
  • Hollywood Center Studios
  • Hollywood, California (2010)
Camera setup
Production company(s)
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original network Disney Channel
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release February 8, 2009 (2009-02-08) – January 2, 2011 (2011-01-02)
Chronology
Related shows

Sonny with a Chance isnroe, portrayed by Demi Lovato, who becomes the newest accepted cast member of her favorite sketch comedy television show, So Random!.

Sonny with a Chance was the first Disney Channel Original Series to be shot and aired in high-definition from the beginning. Like most of Disney Channel's sitcoms, it is shot on tape but uses a "filmized" appearance. In the second season, some scenes were shot on location. The series is one of the three Disney Channel Original Series to feature a show-within-a-show, along with The Famous Jett Jackson and Shake It Up.

In June 2009, Sonny with a Chance was renewed for a second season, which premiered in March 2010 to 6.3 million viewers. Disney Channel had originally renewed the series for a third season in November 2010, but Lovato's role was an uncertainty at the time after she checked into treatment for personal struggles two weeks prior. Production of the third season commenced without Lovato in January 2011, focusing on the So Random! aspect rather than behind the scenes. In April 2011, Disney Channel confirmed that Lovato would not be returning to the series' lead role and Sonny with a Chance would not return, choosing instead to rebrand the already-renewed third season as a spin-off titled So Random!. The spin-off aired for a single season before being cancelled.

The show became available to stream on Disney+ on April 3, 2020 along with the first season of So Random!. Disney branded So Random! as a third season of Sonny with a Chance on Disney+ rather than a separate show. The original cast reunited for a 30-minute virtual reunion titled, "Sonny With a Chance: A So Random Reunion", which was released on April 25, 2020.

Characters

SonnyWithaChaceCast
The cast of Sonny with a Chance.
(Left to right) Tiffany Thornton as Tawni Hart, Doug Brochu as Grady Mitchell, Demi Lovato as Sonny Munroe, Sterling Knight as Chad Dylan Cooper, Allisyn Ashley Arm as Zora Lancaster and Brandon Mychal Smith as Nico Harris.
  • Demi Lovato as Sonny Mnroe
    Sonny is a friendly and well-intentioned teenage girl from Appleton, Wisconsin who lands a main role on her favorite comedy sketch television show, So Random!. She is a rising star of the ensemble cast and works hard to be the best comedian she can be. Sonny often tries to solve the ongoing feud between the Mackenzie Falls and So Random! casts, especially when she dates the star of "Mackenzie Falls," Chad Dylan Cooper. She was Chad's girlfriend as of the episode "Falling for the Falls" until they split in "Sonny with a Choice". As seen in further episodes, all of her co-stars are very fond of her. She does not appear in So Random!, due to Lovato's departure.
  • Tiffany Thornton as Tawni Hart
    Tawni is a main cast member of "So Random!" who is jealous of Sonny. She originally feared Sonny was moving in on her spotlight and acted meanly towards the newcomer. However, after a while, the two become best friends. Tawni is a diva; she loves mirrors, make-up and everything about herself. She is self-centered, but also talented and has a soft side. She has a similar personality to Chad. She prefers to wear "Coco Mocho Coco" lipstick, as stated in many episodes.
  • Sterling Knight as Chad Dylan Cooper
    Chad is a teen heartthrob as the star on Mackenzie Falls, the rival teen TV series of So Random!. He is stubborn, egotistical, pampered, and self-centered, but he has a soft side, which he usually only shows to Sonny. He and Sonny had a love-hate relationship until the 2nd season when he was Sonny's boyfriend as of the episode "Falling for the Falls" until they split in "Sonny with a Choice." As a result of this romance, he started to warm up to the So Random! cast and eventually started to "hang out" with them. It is shown that he still has feelings for Sonny in the episode after they split. In the first season, he was seen as a stubborn, vain young man, but in later episodes, he has changed to be more loving and kind. Throughout season 1 he displays feelings for Sonny. For example, in the episode "Sonny with a Chance of Dating" Chad was jealous when he found out Sonny was going on a date with James. In addition, in the same episode, when Chad and Sonny were fake dating, Chad said to put her head on his shoulder hinting that he likes her. In the episode, "You've got Fan Mail", Sonny seems touched that Chad actually cared enough to dress up as Eric for her. Chad tries to cover it up by saying he just wanted to try on the beard that went along with the Eric costume. Again, in episode 16 of the first season, "Sonny in the Kitchen with Dinner", Chad becomes jealous when he sees the news on a magazine about Sonny kissing Hayden because of the kiss cam.
  • Brandon Mychal Smith as Nico Harris
    Nico is a cast member of So Random! who is best friends with Grady. He is always striking out with the girls and has a crush on Mackenzie Falls star Penelope, who constantly turns him down when he asks her out. A running gag throughout the series is Nico jumping into Grady's arms when he gets scared. He is said to have been discovered in a one-man band.
  • Doug Brochu as Grady Mitchell
    Grady is a cast member of So Random!. He is best friends with Nico who often calls him "G". Grady is always involved in strange plans with Nico. He is shown to be dull-witted, gullible and immature. He also comes up with very strange conclusions to certain situations. He loves to eat and hates exercising. He claims to be an expert lip-reader, but very often misreads his targets' mouths and comes up with non-sensical sentences. In the episode "The New Girl" he tells Nico that when he's around a girl that he believes likes him, he will turn into a Scotsman named Seamus McGregor. He has a big brother named Grant who is in college and is the leader of his own fraternity.
  • Allisyn Ashley Arm as Zora Lancaster
    Zora is the youngest cast member of So Random!. She is very smart, mysterious, crazy and clever. She is the most cunning of the 'So Random!' cast and is known as "the weird one". She often pops out of nowhere, surprising her friends. She is somewhat a detective and puts her skills to use in the "So Random" studio. She listens in on her friends' conversations and then shocks them by speaking to them about it later on. She appeared sporadically throughout the second season.

Production

The original working title for the series was Sketchpad!, and the original name for the main character was Molly Munroe. The show's title was later changed to Welcome to Mollywood. After the first publicity materials about the show were released, the lead character's name was then changed to Holli and the title changed once again to Welcome to Holliwood. The main character's name was later changed to Sonny Munroe, and the show's title was changed for a final time to Sonny with a Chance. The name is a play on the words "Sunny with a chance of rain", as heard in weather forecasts, reflecting the many comical situations in which the cast find themselves in each episode. Bridgit Mendler was among many actresses whom auditioned for the title role, but Lovato was eventually cast.

Sonny with a Chance has a show-within-a-show, So Random!, complete with fully produced sketches. The show's executive producer Brian Robbins previously wrote for and served as an executive producer on the real-life kids sketch comedy series All That and The Amanda Show for Nickelodeon.

Gary Marsh, president of entertainment, Disney Channel Worldwide, stated "This series is rooted in one of the core thematic attributes that we stand for, which is following your dreams, there also was the opportunity to do a hybrid show." The show began production on September 15, 2008 and the first season was taped at Stage 11 at NBC Studios in Burbank, California; for the second season, the show's production moved to Hollywood Center Studios in Hollywood, California, where The Suite Life on Deck, Wizards of Waverly Place and Jonas were also filmed.

Episodes

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 21 February 8, 2009 (2009-02-08) November 22, 2009 (2009-11-22)
2 26 March 14, 2010 (2010-03-14) January 2, 2011 (2011-01-02)

Shows within the show

So Random!

So Random! is a comedy sketch series that employs most of the main cast. It often causes the cast of Sonny with a Chance to dress in ridiculous costumes, and act out nonsensical situations. This was a spin-off to its own series after Lovato's departure.

Mackenzie Falls

The enemies of the So Random! group, Mackenzie Falls is a tween drama series featuring comedic overacting. The show is similar to Dawson's Creek and Gossip Girl, among others. The show's name, Mackenzie Falls, comes from Chad's character's name and the name of the town (which is located near a waterfall). In the season two episode "The Legend of Candy Face", the cast of So Random! made a parody of Mackenzie Falls titled Mackenzie Stalls, which was set in a bathroom. Minisodes and promos can be seen on the Sonny with a Chance website along with one minisode as a bonus feature on the DVD.

Theme song and opening sequence

The show's theme song "So Far, So Great", was written and produced by Jeanne Lurie, Chen Neeman and Aristedis "Aris" Archontis, who have each written songs for several artists on Disney-owned Hollywood Records. It is performed by series actress Demi Lovato. The theme is of pop-rock style (the music cues composed by Chris Alan Lee and Scott Clausen, signaling scene changes and commercial breaks are styled similarly).

A full-length version of this theme was released via the Radio Disney network on March 31, 2009, less than two months after the show's U.S. premiere. The theme song is also featured as a track on the Disney compilation album, Disney Channel Playlist, released by Walt Disney Records on June 9, 2009. The song is also available as the bonus track on Lovato's second album Here We Go Again, released by Hollywood Records on July 21, 2009.

In the Russian version of the series ("Дайте Санни шанс" aka Give Sonny a Chance), the cast members' names are rendered in Cyrillic—and the intro is performed by a different Russian girl in Russian (not by Demi Lovato). Otherwise, in translation the intro music is not changed.

In the Brazilian Portuguese version ("Sunny Entre Estrelas"), the intro music is sung in translation.

Broadcast

Season 1

The series originally premiered on February 8, 2009 on Disney Channel, Family Channel, and Disney Channel (UK and Ireland). In Australia it premiered on April 27, 2009 on Disney Channel and on February 13, 2010 on Seven Network. In New Zealand the series premiered on April 27, 2009 on Disney Channel and on August 15, 2010 on TV2. The series started airing on May 22, 2009 on Disney Channel (India), on September 5, 2009 on Disney Channel (Europe, Middle East and Africa), and on October 17, 2009 on Disney Channel (Southeast Asia).

Season 2

The second season originally premiered on March 14, 2010. It premiered on April 5, 2010 in Canada and on April 23, 2010 in the UK and Ireland. In New Zealand it premiered on May 10, 2010 on Disney Channel. In Australia it started on the same date on Disney Channel and on February 12, 2011 on Seven Network. It premiered on November 20, 2010 in India, on May 1, 2010 in the EMEA region and on April 3, 2011 in Southeast Asia.

Merchandise

Video game

Sonny with a Chance is a video game published by Disney Interactive Studios for the Nintendo DS. It was released on March 16, 2010 in America.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on October 5, 2010. It was preceded by the single "Me, Myself and Time", was released on August 3, 2010.

Home media

The complete first season, containing all three volume, was released in Poland on May 7, 2010, in Czech Republic on June 9, 2010, and in Spain on November 10, 2010.

DVD Title Release dates Ep # Features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Volume 1: Sonny's Big Break August 25, 2009 N/A N/A 4
  • "Sonny in the Middle" Bonus Episode
  • Mackenzie Falls Season Finale Cliffhanger Short
  • Demi's Big Break
Season 1: Volume 1: Hello, Hollywood! N/A August 2, 2010 March 3, 2010 7
  • Mackenzie Falls Mini-Episodes
Season 1: Volume 2: So Far, So Great! N/A August 23, 2010 June 2, 2010 7
  • Cast Auditions
Season 1: Volume 3: Star On The Rise! N/A September 13, 2010 August 3, 2010 7
  • Blooper Reel

Demi Lovato's departure and So Random!

It was announced on November 12, 2010 that the third season would begin production without Lovato, due to her recovering from health issues. Instead, the series focused on the sketch/comedy/music-variety show So Random!, centering on guest stars, sketches, digital shorts, and musical performances, a similar format to Saturday Night Live, but targeted at a much younger audience. Production of the third season began on January 30, 2011.

On April 19, 2011, People.com reported that Demi Lovato would not be returning for the third season. As a result, the show was renamed So Random! and focused on the sketches rather than the behind-the-scenes antics. As a result of Lovato's departure from Sonny with a Chance, the series became the second Disney Channel original series to have its lead actor/actress leave during the series' run (after So Weird), and the fourth Disney Channel series to have a main cast member leave the series during its run (with That's So Raven and Jonas also included).

The third season was then turned into its own new series based on the new format.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient Result Refs.
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Breakout Star Female Demi Lovato Won
Australian Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Comedy Show Sonny with a Chance Nominated
2010 2010 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Show Sonny with a Chance Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show: Comedy Sonny with a Chance Nominated
Choice TV Actress: Comedy Demi Lovato Nominated
Choice TV Actor: Comedy Sterling Knight Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Performance In A TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actress Allisyn Ashley Arm Nominated
Hollywood Teen TV Awards Teen Show Pick: Comedy Sonny with a Chance Won
Teen Pick Actor: Comedy Sterling Knight Won
Teen Pick Actress: Comedy Demi Lovato Won
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Comedy Demi Lovato Nominated
ALMA Awards Favorite TV Actress – Leading Role in a Comedy Demi Lovato Won
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