Disney Channel's Friday (Aug. 28) night telecast of "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie" drew the network's biggest audiences since the premiere of "High School Musical 2" two summers ago.

The "Wizards of Waverly Place" movie drew a whopping 11.4 million viewers, a figure that includes 4.5 million kids 6-11 and 4 million tweens 9-14. In total viewers, it became cable's most-watched entertainment telecast of 2009, but in the two aforementioned demos, it stands as the year's most watched entertainment telecast on any network.

Disney Channel now has basic cable's four most-watched scripted telecasts since 2007. The August 2007 premiere of "High School Musical 2" averaged an insane 17.2 million viewers and helped lift an episode of "Hannah Montana" that same night to 10.7 million. Earlier this summer, the crossover "Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana" averaged 9.3 million.

For the summer, "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie," "Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana" and the Disney Channel telefilm "Princess Protection Program" are the top three scripted cable telecasts in viewers.

In addition to delivering Disney Channel's top ratings in nearly every major demo since the "High School Musical 2" premiere, "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie" dominated the Friday night television landscape. On the network side, CBS was the night's champ with an average of only 5.9 million viewers.

The third season of "Wizards of Waverly Place," which stars Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin, is now in production.


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A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.