Top 10 Live Action Disney Shows

Script written by Ian Astraquillo If there’s something that made our childhoods memorable, it was these shows. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Live Action Disney Shows. For this list, we're focusing on the Disney shows that were created for or were originally aired on kid-and-teen-targeted Disney Channels, so a show like Boy Meets World will unfortunately not make the cut since it originally aired on ABC. Special thanks to our users Jerusalen Garcia Jordan or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Ian Astraquillo

Top 10 Live Action Disney Shows


If there’s something that made our childhoods memorable, it was these shows. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10Live Action Disney Shows.

For this list, we’re focusing on the Disney shows that were created for or were originally aired on kid-and-teen-targeted Disney Channels, so a show like “Boy Meets World” will unfortunately not make the cut since it originally aired on ABC.

#10: “Life with Derek” (2005-09) 

This sitcom centered on the lives of the McDonald-Venturi family’s step-siblings, with a special emphasis its two eldest, Casey and Derek. Originally slated for the Canadian-based Family Channel, “Life with Derek” was one of two outsider sitcoms picked up by Disney for syndication, remaining on the network through its entire four-season run. Airing a total of 70 episodes, the fact that the show had been nominated for nine Gemini Awards serves to demonstrate how effective its youth-friendly content was as well as the talent of the cast and crew.

#9: “The Famous Jett Jackson” (1998-2001)

If there’s one show that had kids of the ‘90s wanting to be secret agents, it was “The Famous Jett Jackson”. Starring the late Lee Thompson Young as the titular character, this show involved the rare show-within-a-show gimmick, where Young portrayed both the quote-unquote real-life celebrity Jett Jackson and his fictional teen-agent counterpart, Silverstone. One of the more highly-rated and popular coming-of-age shows from Disney, “The Famous Jett Jackson” was nominated for numerous Young Artists’ awards during its original airing, thanks to its clever and entertaining nature and its positive characters. This also led it to enjoy a number of reruns on the Jetix block for ABC Family and on the teen-targeted Disney XD.

#8: “Good Luck Charlie” (2010-14)

Conceived with the idea of creating a show to appeal to all members of the family: parents, teens, children, and babies, “Good Luck Charlie” followed the individual and collective lives of the Duncan family as they adapted to the births of their youngest kin: Charlie and Toby. Reaching unanticipated success levels, “Good Luck Charlie” was quickly picked-up for syndicated reruns in numerous countries, eventually spawning a separate adaptation in India. Because of its refreshing take on the sitcom and efficient comedy, the show garnered an immense amount of positive reception and award nominations throughout its run.

#7: “Phil of the Future” (2004-06)

Centering on a 22nd century family stranded in 2004 with their pet caveman, “Phil of the Future” was beautifully set up to be one of Disney’s best fish-out-of-water and culturally-confused sitcoms. Blending pinches of satire with highly exaggerated truths, it’s one of a few Disney shows to receive a Writers Guild of America award nomination for its brilliance in showcasing a visual and narrative treat rarely found in children-targeted sitcoms. Though the Diffies were around for only two seasons, the show was an instant classic that bewildered viewers everywhere upon its departure and was quickly picked up for reruns on Disney Replay and other syndicated family stations.

#6: “Hannah Montana” (2006-11)

Say what you want about her most recent antics, there’s no denying that Miley Cyrus once ruled the world as a teen pop idol, Hannah Montana.  We mean, come on, even Stewie Griffin obsessed over her! Starring Cyrus as the series’ title character, this show followed the day-to-day life of Miley Stewart and her struggles to live a double life as a normal teenager by day and a recording artist phenomenon by night. It was the ultimate guilty pleasure for its unintended audiences, who helped make it an overnight success that took home countless television and music awards, even landing four Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Children’s Program”.

#5: “Wizards of Waverly Place” (2007-12)

Starring Selena Gomez, David Henrie, and Jake T. Austin as the titular characters, “Wizards of Waverly Place” centered on the lives of these three siblings as they comically competed for sole custody of their family’s magical abilities. It is unquestionably one of Disney’s most finely polished gems, with the show even winning two Primetime Emmys throughout its run and its 2009 television film adaptation earning an Emmy as well. Ending with 106 episodes, “Wizards” not only holds the record for most episodes in a Disney Channel show, but also for the most-watched series finale in the network’s history, with almost 10 million viewers tuning in to see who will be the family wizard.

#4: “Lizzie McGuire” (2001-04) 

Standing as perhaps Disney’s most-relatable and quintessential teen-life show, “Lizzie McGuire” beautifully showcased the daily struggles, downturns, and triumphs of adolescent life, while illustrating that voice inside our heads as a toon version of ourselves. Garnering countless award nominations during its run, including an Emmy for each season and even a BAFTA consideration, “Lizzie McGuire” was undoubtedly a new benchmark for Disney. Not only that, but the teen sitcom was the first Disney show to spawn a full-length theatrical release for its finale, the success of which launched Hilary Duff into a new spotlight as Disney’s first big music star.

#3: “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” (2005-08)

Set in a fictional luxury hotel in Boston, “The Suite Life” centers on the troublesome twins Zack and Cody Martin adjusting to their new extravagant lifestyles with help from befriended hotel employees and guests. With the pilot alone generating a record-breaking four million viewers, the show’s immense popularity made it the thirdDisney Channel series to surpass the normal 65-episode order.  It also spawned a spin-off series set on a lavish cruise ship following the series finale. Today, the three-time Emmy nominated show remains a favorite among young viewers and longtime Disney aficionados, with syndicated runs continuing to air on DisneyChannel, Disney XD, and other Disney media outlets.

#2: “That’s So Raven” (2003-07)

Ever wondered what it’d be like to gaze into the future? Set in San Francisco, “That’s So Raven” revolved around the lives of the titular Raven and her best friends Eddie and Chelsea, as they comically navigated their way through strings of adolescent pickles in an effort to prevent or assure the fulfillment of her haphazard visions. Being the first Disney Channel show to reach 100 episodes, “That’s So Raven” presently remains the highest-rated show from the network, with its unprecedented success leading to a spin-off series featuring the character’s younger brother in the White House, as well as a new adaptation from India in 2015.
 
Before we binge-watch our number one pick, let’s take a look at a few honorable mentions:
-    “Austin & Ally” (2011-)
-    “Sonny with a Chance” (2009-11)
-    “Jessie” (2011-15)
-    “Girl Meets World” (2014-)
 

#1: “Even Stevens” (2000-03)

Siblings. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. If there’s one show that best exemplified this, it was this hilarious and outlandish family sitcom that introduced Shia LaBeouf to mainstream audiences. While the show was one of the short-lived 65-episode cutoffs on the Disney Channel, “Even Stevens” was a tour-de-force for television and Disney, taking home many of the network’s highest honors to date because of its themes and performances. Among these many accolades were a BAFTA Best International Award, multiple Young Artist Awards for its adolescent actors, and even a Daytime Emmy for LaBeouf as the annoyingly quirky yet lovable little brother that all of us never had.

Do you agree with our list? Which Live Action Disney shows were you favorite? For more magically real Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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