Disney Channel’s premiere of the musical Descendants 3 drew 8.4 million total viewers in Live+3 ratings to rank as the top show across all of television on Friday night. It also was cable’s highest-rated program since 2017’s Descendants 2 in several key young demos.
The threequel — which was dedicated to the memory of its star Cameron Boyce, who died last month — ranked No. 1 on Saturday in every demo Disney Channel tracks. Per Nielsen, it was the top-rated telecast on all of cable in two years among kids 6-11 (2.7 million viewers, 11.3 rating), tweens 9-14 (2.5M, 10.4), girls 6-11 (1.9M, 16.4) and girls 9-14 (1.8M, 15.5).
In July 2017, Descendants 2 premiered to 8.6 million total viewers for Disney Channel and 21 million across six Disney-owned networks including ABC in L+3. The original Descendants did even better for its July 2015 bow. All three pics in the franchise soared in L+3 over Live+same day.
Revolving around the offspring of several classic Disney villains, Descendants 3 stars Boyce, Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart, Mitchell Hope, Sarah Jeffery, Brenna D’Amico, Melanie Paxson, Thomas Doherty, Dylan Playfair, Zachary Gibson, Jedidiah Goodacre, Anna Cathcart, Jadah Marie, Dan Payne, Keegan Connor Tracy, Bobby Moynihan, Cheyenne Jackson and China Anne McClain.
The pic was directed by High School Musical vet Kenny Ortega and written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott. Ortega also executive produced alongside Wendy Japhet, Susan Cartsonis, McGibbon and Parriott.