Disney Channel has announced the animated special Descendants: The Royal Wedding and the comedy series Saturdays. Descendants: The Royal Wedding will premiere on the channel this summer.
Descendants: The Royal Wedding invites viewers to Auradon’s epic social event – Mal and King Ben’s wedding. Descendants, Descendants 2 and Descendants 3 rank as the #1 cable movie among kids and tweens for 2015, 2017 and 2019, respectively. All three Descendants soundtracks reached #1 on the Billboard Soundtrack chart, and the Descendants and Descendants 2 soundtracks are gold-certified.
Reprising their roles are Dove Cameron as Mal, Sofia Carson as Evie, Booboo Stewart as Jay, Mitchell Hope as Ben, Sarah Jeffery as Audrey, Melanie Paxson as Fairy Godmother, China Anne McClain as Uma, Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad, Anna Cathcart as Dizzy, Dan Payne as Beast, Bobby Moynihan as Dude the Dog and Cheyenne Jackson as Hades.
The absence of the character Carlos, played by the late Cameron Boyce, will be acknowledged in the storyline and Boyce’s memory will be honored in the telecast.
Descendants: The Royal Wedding, by Sara Parriott & Josann McGibbon and Ricky Roxburgh, is based on the Descendants movies by Parriott and McGibbon (The Starter Wife, Runaway Bride, Descendants, Descendants 2, Descendants 3). Produced by Le Cube, Salvador Simó is set to direct.
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television, said, “‘Descendants’ introduced a fantasy world of stories and characters anchored in Disney mythology. For the past six years, it captivated young viewers and grew to become among Disney Channel’s biggest entertainment franchises ever.
“It had the benefit of immensely talented stars, who we now welcome back for this animated ‘Royal Wedding’ special that will bridge the audience to what we hope will be a new chapter of compelling ‘Descendants’ stories and characters yet to come.”
Disney Channel has also given a pilot order to Saturdays, a single-camera comedy from 16-year-old Marsai Martin (ABC’s black-ish, Little) and Nicole Dow through Martin’s production company, Genius Entertainment, and executive producer Norman Vance Jr. (Roll Bounce, Girlfriends).
The pilot, which centers on a young girl and her competitive roller skating crew, was written by Vance and will be directed by Charles Stone III (Drumline, black-ish). Dow and Marsai, Josh and Carol Martin will also serve as executive producers.
Danielle Jalade (Yes Day) has been cast in the lead role of Paris Johnson, a 13-year-old girl who has spent most of her life roller-skating. Omar Gooding (Family Time) and Golden Brooks (Girlfriends) will play Paris’ parents, Cal and Deb, and Jermaine Harris (The Map of Tiny Perfect Things) will portray her older brother and aspiring D.J., London.
Daria Johns (Nappily Ever After) and newcomer Samantha A. Smith have also been cast as Paris’ best friends and skating partners, Simone and Roxy, respectively. Additionally, Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Whitaker will appear in a recurring role as roller rink owner Duchess.
“When we met with Marsai about this project, we couldn’t have been more impressed with her passion for diverse storytelling and commitment to female empowerment,” said Rafael Garcia, vice president, Development, Disney Branded Television.
“We’re extremely excited to team up with Norman and the Genius Entertainment team to tap into roller-skating culture in a way that’s truly both authentic and aspirational for our audience.”
Saturdays follows Paris, who, since the age of four, has been honing her skills on the cool parquet floor of “Saturdays,” a local skating rink owned and operated by a former ’90s hip-hop back-up dancer. With its neon lights, galaxy-painted rink and killer D.J. spinning the latest music, “Saturdays” is the place to show and prove.
Paris is the leader of a skate crew and is determined to take them all the way to the top. However, she has sickle cell disease, and when it flares up, it’ll take every ounce of determination to prove the doubters wrong, including her concerned family.