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Disney gearing up for ‘That’s So Raven’ spin-off

Raven-Symoné is leaving ‘The View’ but will still be front and center in new series

It was 2003 when actor Raven-Symoné was Raven Baxter on Disney Channel’s hit series That’s So Raven. Now, as she exits the talk show The View — where she has been co-host since June 2015 — she’s announced that she will return in a spin-off series.

The announcement was made Thursday on The View.

“I’m excited and sad, but mostly excited. I’ve had such a great time,” Symoné said on the show, giving a shoutout to some of the crew members behind the scenes. “My experience has been multidimensional.”

Disney Channel’s first original multicamera production, That’s So Raven, told the story of Baxter, a teen whose ability to glimpse flashes of the future often got her into hot water. As the pilot story goes, Baxter is now a divorced mother to two preteens (a son and daughter), one of whom has inherited her ability to catch those glimpses. Symoné will both star in and executive produce the new series.

Symoné was the first African-American woman to have her name in a comedy series title. At age 19, she was named producer of the series. With That’s So Raven, she won four NAACP Image Awards and two Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, among others. The series was lauded by the NAACP Image Awards for four consecutive years and received a primetime Emmy Award nomination in the outstanding children’s program category.

Longtime writer/producer partners Scott Thomas and Jed Elinoff (Disney Channel’s Best Friends Whenever, Emmy nominees for R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour) are working on the development of the untitled spin-off series. Disney Channel and Symoné are beginning preliminary casting for the family sitcom that’s targeted for a new generation of kids, tweens and families. The original series aired from 2003 to 2007 on the Disney Channel.

“Raven’s brilliant style of fearless comedy was a driving force for Disney Channel’s success around the world,” said Adam Bonnett, executive vice president of original programming for Disney Channels Worldwide. “Her performance in That’s So Raven is timeless. We now have our eyes on the future with her, and we’re looking forward to telling more stories for a new generation with an adult Raven Baxter raising her young family.”

That’s So Raven was acclaimed for storytelling that reflected the relationship between children and parents. It also showcased Symoné’s own brand of physical comedy. The reruns are still going strong. In its most recent midnight telecasts on Disney Channel, the series still delivered an average 1.057 million viewers.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.