Ever since its launch in the 1980s, the Disney Channel has been noted for its ability to create compelling, funny, and deeply entertaining series in both animated and live action formats. It definitely hit its stride during the 2000s, when it managed to create a number of highly-regarded series, many of which continue to have a devoted following.
Given just how many of them have been created, it can be somewhat difficult to know which are truly worthy of being seen as the best. Fortunately, the site Ranker has provided a compelling list which represents the best Disney Channel has to offer.
10 Liv And Maddie (2013-2017)
As with so many of the best shows from the Disney Channel, Liv and Maddie focuses on a family. In this case, it hones in on the relationship between twin siblings Liv and Maddie Rooney. While Liv has only recently returned from a stint as a popular star, her sister Maddie has always been a tomboy and more down-to-earth. From this relatively simple premise, the series manages to explore many issues of pressing interest to its teenage audience, while never losing sight of the family love at the center
9 That’s So Raven (2003-2007)
Raven Symone has been in many great TV series, but arguably That’s So Raven is one of her best. Focusing on the character of the same name, it follows her adventures as she contends with both the usual teenage dramas as well as her hidden psychic abilities. There’s no question that the series’ appeal stems from Raven’s tremendous charisma as an actress, as well as the willingness of the series to take some risks creatively. As a result, it became one of the Disney channel’s most popular and successful offerings.
8 Kim Possible (2002-2007)
There have been many great animated television series, and there’s no doubt that Kim Possible deserves to be seen as one of these. As with many other series from the Disney Channel, the title character finds herself caught between two worlds, on the one hand fighting crime and on the other contending with the many issues that plague any adolescent. It crosses many different genres–including action, teen comedy, and drama–and, as a result, it manages to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, both young and adult.
7 The Suite Life On Deck (2008-2011)
Given the enormous success of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, it’s unsurprising that it would generate a spinoff, in this case titled The Suite Life on Deck. It has many of the attributes that made its predecessor so appealing for audiences, including the dynamic between the titular twins.
However, it also adds a new dimension to the story, as they travel around the world aboard the ship that doubles as their school. It manages to breathe fresh life into the traditional form of the sitcom.
6 Jessie (2011-2015)
At first glance, the sitcom Jessie looks very much like many similar series, focusing as it does on a rebellious young woman who goes to New York City seeking stardom but becomes a nanny to a quarter of rich children. However, there’s an undeniable magic to the series, thanks in large part to the charisma from the lead actress, Debby Ryan. What’s more, there’s a warmth to its material, particularly as it shows the title character’s gradual development and increasing closeness to the children she cares for.
5 Good Luck Charlie (2010-2014)
Even though the Disney Channel has a reputation for creating programming exclusively for children, Good Luck Charlie is, by design, intended to appeal to all members of the family. It is, in some ways, a bit of a throwback to an earlier era of sitcoms, but it is precisely its old-fashioned approach to its material that is key to its appeal.
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Furthermore, there is something more than a little charming about its central premise, in which an older sister records a series of video diaries for her younger sister.
4 Hannah Montana (2006-2011)
There’s no question that Hannah Montana is one of Miley Cyrus’ best roles, and it remains a key part of her appeal and her success as a star. As the title suggests, it focuses on the character of Hannah Montana, a teenager who has adopted a double identity so she can enjoy both her status as a music star and also live a normal life. It’s a charming comedy that has extraordinary staying power, in no small part because of Cyrus’ undeniable charisma and appeal as a star.
3 Phineas And Ferb (2007-2015)
Many of the best Disney channel series have tended to be live-action sitcoms, but it has also been known to create more than a few animated successes. The long-running Phineas and Ferb is one of these. Focusing on the title characters, a set of stepbrothers, it follows their various misadventures, many of which are opposed by their elder sister. With its unique animation style and its quirky sense of humor, it’s easy to see why this would earn its place as among the best Disney Channel series.
2 Wizards Of Waverly Place (2007-2012)
Wizards of Waverly Place joins the many other series dealing with young people with extraordinary powers trying to live something of a normal life. In this case, it focuses primarily on Alex Russo (one of Selena Gomez’s best roles), as she learns how to use her magical powers and also deals with the many pressures that come with being a teenager. Though the series can at times be a bit formulaic, it has nevertheless managed to spawn an entire franchise.
1 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody (2005-2008)
Though it only ran for a few seasons, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody still managed to captivate audiences. Set in the Tipton Hotel, the series revolves around the twin brothers of the title, as well as their many misadventures and scrapes. Like many other Disney Channel series, it is a fairly typical sitcom, but there’s no denying that the on-screen chemistry between the twins, as well as their interactions with the other members of the cast, elevates to its deserved position.
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