Are the Jonas Brothers poised to take the place of the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana"? It's too soon to tell.
A solid 4 million viewers watched the 8 p.m. premiere of the network's new series, "Jonas," which topped kids and tween rankings Saturday, but didn't come close to delivering the audience watching new episodes of "Hannah Montana."
A Disney Channel news release boasted that the "Monkees"-style comedy starring the pop trio edged out the competition -- Nickelodeon's "Fairly OddParents: Wishology, Part 2," the second night of Nick's three-part original movie -- in the kids 6 to 11 and tweens 9 to 14 categories.
"Jonas" drew 1.6 million in both kids and tweens, giving the network its best numbers in the time period in the last eight months, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research.
So the Jonas Brothers are big. But can they be Miley Cyrus big, dominating the realms of music, film and TV? It doesn't look good so far:
"Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" did not cross the $20-million mark at the box office, while "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" grossed $65 million. ("The Hannah Montana Movie," currently in theaters, has already grossed more than $70 million.)
And here's a sobering fact: "Jonas" is Disney Channel's lowest-rated live-action series premiere among kids 6 to 11 since 2005's "Life With Derek."
The show's debut numbers fall far behind those for a recent new episode of "Hannah Montana," which scored 4.8 million viewers on April 19, and "Jonas" drew fewer overall viewers (4 million versus 4.1 million) and kids (1.6 million versus 1.8 million) than the February premiere of Disney's other new series, "Sonny With a Chance."
"Jonas" was the Disney Channel's first-ever Saturday premiere for a series, part of a strategy to open up the night to original programming.