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How That’s So Raven Became the First Disney Show to Not Get Canceled After Season 3

Dec 10, 2022


It doesn’t feel like that long ago when Raven-Symoné took over television shows worldwide with her blockbuster hit That’s So Raven. Combining comedy gold and great lessons, it was no wonder that the show resonated with millions of Americans. Despite Disney’s now controversial rule regarding 65 episodes per show, That’s So Raven made history as the first Disney Channel show to pass those 65 episodes, and this is how.

What Was Disney’s 65 Episode Rule

Buena Vista Television 

Before That’s So Raven, Disney shows only went up to 65 episodes. Contrary to popular belief, the rule had nothing to do with the popularity of shows but rather the channel’s programming schedule. The rule applied equally to live-action series as it did to animated series. Thus, fan favorites like Lizzie McGuire, Kim Possible, and Even Stevens reached their conclusion at the 65th episode, sometimes leaving major storylines unresolved. Once That’s So Raven aired, no one at Disney could expect the barriers that the show would break.
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The Exceptional Raven Baxter

Disney

That’s So Raven managed to appeal to many different audiences, with jokes and storylines that were inclusive of race, age, and gender. The series took the essence of shows like Sabrina The Teenage Witch and drew inspiration from the golden age of variety shows, which only further accentuates its cross-generational appeal.

Raven-Symoné’s comedy was refreshing for its time, breathing new life into the art of disguise. Her character, Baxter, is a well-intentioned, fashion-forward teen with psychic abilities. She has the desire to resolve issues based on these visions but anyone who’s watched the show could let you know that they’re always taken out of context, leading to some of the most hilarious moments in Disney Channel history.

Related: Best Disney Channel Animated Series From the 2000s, Ranked

There was the time Raven pretended to be her teacher to avoid punishment from her parents, and her hilarious ride down the steps of her high school; plus, who could forget Liz Anya? The fictional pop-star demanded her way into the hearts of many as she attempted to save her father from being fired.

The Appeal Of Raven’s World

Disney

Despite Raven having extraordinary abilities, it is Raven’s personality, her maturation, and her relationships that take center stage. Even with her powers, That’s So Raven is still about being an ordinary teenager with dreams, crushes, and character flaws. Viewers get to see how meaningful her friendships with Chelsea and Eddie are. Even in their most volatile moments, the trio always rekindles their relationship by the end of the episode. It’s fairly difficult to pack hours and sometimes days into less than half an hour and yet the showrunners have resolved tension realistically.

Raven’s powers are an important part of the show, but they don’t overshadow the overall plot nor do they act as a crutch to move the plot forward. If anything, her visions set off the particular storyline. Raven would still be Raven had she learned about the future another way, from eavesdropping or being at the right place at the right time because her powers only highlight how selfless Raven can be.

Raven Baxter is nothing short of a hero, even if she may be one in the mundane sense. No, she does not have a cape nor can she fly, but she has excellent disguises and a kind heart. Raven’s story arc and characterization are what make her heroism much more accessible. Viewers got to see her mess up, make things better, and ultimately mature and her journey to self-discovery was just too engaging to simply discard because of a 65-episode rule.

That’s So Raven, 65 and Beyond

Disney

After the 65th episode, That’s So Raven continued strong. Not too long after passing the landmark, the channel aired its iconic Country Cousins special, a two-part event that saw Raven and Chelsea visit the former’s paternal aunt, cousins, and grandparents to resolve a generations-long family feud. The special was particularly noted for having Raven portray multiple characters in her family, from her stern grandmother to her innocently mischievous baby cousin.

Later on in the final season, Raven joined the cast of Disney Channel original shows The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Hannah Montana in an epic crossover event that saw her fashion cause a frenzy between beloved megastar Hannah Montana and luxurious heiress London Tipton.

Related: Disney Channel’s Raven’s Home Renewed for Season 6

Almost a decade after the show’s initial conclusion, Raven-Symoné took to The View to announce her reunion with Disney, premiering Raven’s Home shortly after. The series saw Chelsea and Raven reunite as mothers, living together in Chicago as their children navigate life. Raven’s son Booker is the new psychic of the family and has to adjust to having visions the same way Raven did. The series is now in its fifth season and sees the family return to San Francisco to take care of Victor (Rondell Sheridan), Raven’s father after he suffers from a heart attack.

Raven Forever
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Disney

The unprecedented success of That’s So Raven not only laid the foundation for Raven-Symoné ’s iconic career but also helped shows like Wizards of Waverly Place live beyond 65 episodes, surpassing That’s So Raven with 106 episodes.

What That’s So Raven managed to do was redefine family television for a new generation of audiences. With a redeemable, funny, and stylish main character, a series full of hijinks and important life lessons, That’s So Raven forever changed Disney’s trajectory, helping them seamlessly transition into the new century.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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