Disney is trying something different with “Good Luck Charlie,” a show it hopes will reach across generations in the same way that NBC’s “The Cosby Show” and ABC’s “The Wonder Years” once did. In seeking out this older demographic, however, the network faces a dilemma: Can it craft a comedy sophisticated enough — and realistic enough — to appeal to adults without alienating its core viewers, who, after all, come to Disney to avoid racier programming?
“What ‘Good Luck Charlie’ represents is an evolutionary step to really put the family into our kid-driven family brand,” said Gary Marsh, Disney Channel’s entertainment president. “Do I think this will be a first choice for 35- to 40-year-old moms? Not necessarily . . . . But if we do our jobs properly and we create the authenticity we’re talking about, it will allow us to tackle stories in a more grounded way that will be more appealing to parents than other shows we’ve done before.”
Disney Channel’s attempt to capitalize on the timeless appeal of the family sitcom in hopes of luring children and adults reflects a larger industrywide return to more inclusive comedies — such as ABC’s “Modern Family,” CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and Fox’s high school-centered musical comedy “Glee.”
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