Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse! The Mickey Mouse Club

1980's, programmers at The Disney Channel noticed something strange- one of the most popular shows on their schedule was the 30 year old Mickey Mouse Club and it wasn't just wistful adults watching; their kids were watching in droves as well. If the classic show was such a hit, would a new version be just as successful?

The company was a bit gun shy after a late 1970's version failed to connect with kids. However, times had changed. The company had its own channel now, so a huge flop wouldn't be too big of an embarrassment. Also, the new Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park at Walt Disney World was having problems getting shows to actually film there, so a new Mouse Club show would actually fill a void at the park while also promoting it to viewers. The network gave the green light and soon production began on Disney-MGM's first and ultimately only production- MMC: The New Mickey Mouse Club.

The show took the mainstays of the original show, gave them some 1980's polish and hit the cable airwaves in 1989. It was a phenomenon, quickly becoming the channel's top rated show and introducing America's kids to an impressive number of future superstars.

Future stars included Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, J.C. Chasez, Keri Russell and Ryan Gosling. The show didn't really help in luring more television productions to Orlando, but it did attract viewers. Disney Channel wouldn't have as big a hit until Lizzie McGuire premiered nearly ten years later.