It shouldn't surprise anybody, but Disney Channel wants to stay in the Miley Cyrus business.

Disney announced on Monday (June 1) that it has ordered a fourth season of "Hannah Montana." The series is only a small piece of the entertainment juggernaut, but it will wrap production on its third season later this week and will then resume production early next year.

All of the show's stars, including Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Emily Osment and Jason Earles will return, with Mitchel Musso recurring. Disney Channel says the plot for the fourth season will have the Stewarts grappling with saying goodbye to their beachfront Malibu home.

"'Hannah Montana' has become one of the most iconic series in television history," says Disney Channel Entertainment President Gary Marsh, clearly a man with no fear of hyperbole. "That is a direct result of the extraordinary collaboration between the show's producers, writers and cast -- all of whom constantly challenge each other to raise the bar, comedically, musically and from a storytelling perspective. In keeping with that approach, Miley and the producers have proposed a change of setting for Season Four that will provide the catalyst for wonderful new characters and further expand the storytelling opportunities." 

"Hannah Montana" premiered in March of 2006. The series averages 4.4 million viewers per episode.

In addition a pair of double-platinum soundtracks, the "Hannah Montana" franchise has spawned one-and-a-half hit movies. The half, "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert," made over $65 million domestically and ranks at the top-grossing music concert film of all-time. The returns were even better for this spring's "Hannah Montana The Movie," which has taken in over $77 million domestically to date.

 

 

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