By KATHERINE NGUYEN
Everyone’s favorite teenage psychic is returning to the small screen!
That’s So Raven, a sitcom which aired from 2003-2007 on Disney Channel, has been commissioned for a revival series. Raven-Symone, having left her host position on The View, will be developing the show as well as starring in it. The series will follow the fan-favorite Raven Baxter as she braces through life as a divorced mother of two pre-teens, Nia and Booker. Just to complicate things further, Nia has inherited her mother’s ability to see snippets of the future.
The trend of sequel series has become quite popular as of late with shows such as Full House, Gilmore Girls, and Boy Meets World returning as Fuller House, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and Girl Meets World. Taking into account that the network has always loved Symone, it isn’t difficult to understand why That’s So Raven would warrant a spin-off as well.
“Raven’s brilliant style of fearless comedy was a driving force for Disney Channel’s success around the world,” Adam Bonnet, Disney Channel’s EVP Original Programming, said in an official released statement. “Her performance in That’s So Raven is timeless. We now have our eyes set on the future with her.”
Joining Raven-Symone will be her real-life BFF, Anneliese van der Pol, who is reprising her role of Chelsea Danvers. As the on-screen best friend, Chelsea will also be a divorced mother raising her son, Levin. The plot will follow as she moves in with the Baxters.
Van der Pol has always been excited about continuing on the Raven legacy. “If I hear [something about That’s So Raven], I will be the first to sign on,” she said during an interview with MovieWeb nine months ago.
The third of the trio, Orlando Brown, who played Eddie Thomas, will not be returning to the show. Brown had originally stated in a video with TMZ that he was fine with being replaced; due to his personal conflicts with Symone and his own legal disputes, it was logical of the network to disclude him. However, in an interview with VLAD TV, Brown revealed that he was not happy with the situation. He believed that a spin-off would not be complete without him and his character, and that the prosperity of the original show was due to the “chemistry of the original cast.”
Regardless, the role was recast to YouTube star Alonzo Lerone. In expressing his delight, he posted on Twitter: “So happy to announce that I will be replacing Eddie on ‘That’s So Raven 2’[…] Thank you @ravensymone.”
Although Eddie’s storyline has yet to be announced, it has been disclosed that he will be the main character’s love interest.
It has not been reported as of now whether Kyle Massey, T’Keyah Crystal Keymah, and Rondell Sheridan, who played the family of the Baxters, are to be part of the revival.
The comeback has brought great joy to fans. “That’s So Raven was my childhood show, and I’m so excited that it’s being brought back to life,” Neha Sharma (So.) said.
But you should’ve seen me when I heard the news. My entire adolescence was defined by weekend ABC Kids reruns of That’s So Raven (mostly because I wasn’t allowed to watch TV during the week). Albeit I haven’t been a huge fan of Raven-Symone and the controversial comments she’s made these past few years, I can fully acknowledge the tremendous legacy that she left behind. I always thought no one could fill her shoes at Disney, but now it looks like she’s filling them herself!
While casting is still in session, production for the series has been scheduled for early 2017.