UPDATED, July 26: Disney said today that the premiere of Descendants 2 drew a Live+3 total audience of 21 million across six of its networks — good for a 61% surge over the same-day number. The sequel to the 2015 live-action movie about the teenage children of classic Disney villains drew the biggest cable number since the original aired in July 2015. The original movie, which only aired on Disney Channel, also grew by 61% from Live+Same Day to L+3, amassing 10.5 million viewers.
Breaking down the L+3 numbers: The new pic ranks No. 1 since the original Descendants among all major youth demographics: kids 2-11 (3.9M/10.0 rating), kids 6-11 (3.1M/12.8), tweens 9-14 (2.8M/11.7) and kids 6-14 (4.2M/11.6). It also was the most-watched telecast among kid cable TV networks in total viewers (8.6 million) since the original two years ago.
Descendants 2 also eclipsed its own social media records, driving more Video Views (185.5 million), Impressions (108.7 million) and Engagements (16.3 million) than any social campaign in Disney Channel’s history.
The highly rated Descendants sequel gave a boost to the premiere of the new Disney Channel comedy series Raven’s Home, which followed the movie. Headlined by Raven-Symoné reprising her Raven Baxter role from That’s So Raven, Raven’s Home was the #1 live-action cable TV series premiere in two years among Kids 6-11 (1.3 million in Live+3), Tweens 9-14 (1.5 million) and Kids 2-11 (1.6 million). It was also the #1 series premiere among all kid cable TV networks in Total Viewers (4.0 million) since BUNK’D, which followed the original Descendants movie in 2015. Raven’s Home also generated an additional 2.4 million full-episode views on YouTube and nearly one million views via the Disney Channel App and Disney Channel VOD.
PREVIOUSLY, July 22: Disney pulled all the stops for the launch of the Descendants sequel, with the Disney Channel original movie debuting last night in a simulcast on six different networks, its original Disney Channel, Disney-ABC siblings ABC, Disney XD and Freeform, as well as Lifetime and Lifetime Movies, whose parent A+E Networks is co-owned by Disney-ABC. The premiere amassed a combined 13 million viewers. That is twice the 6.6 million who tuned in for the premiere of the first movie, which only aired on Disney Channel.
As could be expected, the bulk of the Descendants 2 viewing was on Disney Channel (5.3 million), ranking as Friday’s #1 scripted TV telecast in total viewers. On Disney Channel, Descendants 2 was the #1 top-rated cable TV telecast since the original Descendants’ July 2015 premiere among all major youth demographics – Kids 2-11 (2.2 million/5.7 rating), Kids 6-11 (1.8 million/7.4 rating) and Tweens 9-14 (1.9 million/7.7 rating) – and is the #1 most watched telecast across kid cable TV networks since Descendants in total viewers (5.3 million).
Descendants 2 — a modern-day coming-of-age tale about the teenage sons and daughters of Disney’s most infamous villains- – also broke social media records for Disney Channel driving more Video Views (174.1 million), Impressions (90.8 million) and Engagements (14.6 million) than any social campaign in the network’s history.
On ABC, Descendants 2 posted a modest 1.72 million viewers and 0.4 in A18-49. Among the broadcast networks, a special Friday edition of CBS’ Big Brother (5.42 million viewers, 1.4 rating in A18-49) was the top program of the night in both measures. The only other original offering last night, the CW’s Masters Of Illusion (0.2) was steady.
Descendants 2 stars Dove Cameron as Mal, Cameron Boyce as Carlos, Sofia Carson as Evie, Booboo Stewart as Jay and Mitchell Hope as King Ben; and ushered in new villains China Anne McClain as Uma, the daughter of Ursula; Thomas Doherty as Harry, son of Captain Hook; Dylan Playfair as Gil, son of Gaston; and Anna Cathcart as Dizzy, daughter of Cinderella’s evil stepsister Drizella and granddaughter of wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine.
Kenny Ortega (Descendants, High School Musical movies) is the director, executive producer and choreographer of Descendants 2. Wendy Japhet is also executive producer. Writers Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon, who won a 2016 WGA Award for Descendants, wrote Descendants 2 and also serve as executive producers.