Photo Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
You wouldn't want to see Hannah Montana without Hannah, or Two and a Half Men minus one man -- but will viewers watch Sonny with a Chance without Sonny?
Now that Demi Lovato has checked herself into rehab for "emotional and physical issues," Disney is trying to find a way to keep its hit show on schedule. Variety reports that they've come up with an unlikely solution: reworking season 3 to focus on everybody except lead actress Lovato.
"This allows her the time she needs to get well, without distraction or pressure," explains a Disney Channel spokesperson. "Again, we extend our ongoing support to Demi and her family as she works to overcome personal issues."
Since Sonny is already a show-within-a-show (Lovato plays a goofy Midwestern girl who joins the cast of a teen comedy show), the producers have some room to play with the structure. The focus will reportedly shift to So Random, the sketch comedy within the show. Does that mean that Sonny with a Chance will now literally become So Random? Or will writers add a plot about Sonny breaking her leg, and make the show about the other cast members scrambling to fill her absence? Or maybe another actor entirely will take over the lead role? It will be interesting to find out (and to see if kids still tune in).
Of course, the big question is whether Demi Lovato is gone for good. Disney denies that they're writing her out of her own show, saying that the change is temporary. However, the usual Hollywood procedure when a star is incapacitated is to push the schedule back to accommodate them. They may claim they're just making recovery time for their star -- and maybe they even mean it -- but we bet it doesn't look that way from where Lovato is standing. Let's hope this will be a good incentive for the 18-year-old star to get straightened out quickly, and not something that makes her mysterious issues worse.
Do you think Disney should make episodes of Sonny with a Chance without Demi Lovato? Chime in below!