Over the years, the Disney Channel has offered viewers a plethora of great live-action shows. Several of them have been massive hits that launched careers like Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, Wizards of Waverly Place and more. A few even inspired some original movies and remain loved on Disney+.
The output of these shows has lessened as the pandemic was a bit of a blow and some cost-cutting. Currently, the Disney Channel has just a half-dozen live-action shows, but each is unique. Most are classic sitcoms with some different themes, while the others are without a studio audience but with some good material. Here are how each current live-action Disney Channel show ranks, and all fun to watch either on the Channel or Disney+.
This series can be pretty offbeat. Set in Chicago, it follows three friends who love roller-skating and mixing it with dancing as they dream of getting into music videos. The characters will often address the camera and some odd animation like cartoon special effects.
There is some good music to it, and showcasing life in the inner city to spice things up. It's a slow start so far, but still building up as a show to catch any day of the week.
5. Pretty Freeking Scary
The newest show on the list has the wildest plot. Just as life is going great for her, teenager Frankie falls through a manhole and lands in the Underworld. The good news is the (female) Grim Reaper agrees this is a mistake to send Frankie back to life. The bad news is Frankie has two undead watchers and has to perform certain "tasks" for GR or she's dead again.
Using death as humor on a kid's show is daring, but the series works thanks to the leads, as Frankie learns she has weird powers and tries to make sense of the missions she's on. It's setting up mysteries like if what happened to Frankie was really an accident and a spooky series for this time.
4. The Villains of Valley View
Superhero shows are a dime a dozen, but how about one focusing on the bad guys? A family of supervillains accidentally anger an even bigger villain and are forced to go on the run. Settling into a small town, they try to blend in only to find it hard as they have no idea how "normal people" behave.
The show has fun showing the clashes of the bad guys being law-abiding and their daughter making an unlikely friend in a superhero fan. There are special effects fights but also some nice humor, and as its second season goes on, this is a fun spin on the usual comic book-style formula.
This spin-off of Jessie has ended up lasting longer than the show that inspired it. The original idea was a few Jessie characters attending a summer camp and getting into misadventures. The original stars left with Lou (Miranda May) left in charge of a new pack of campers.
The last couple of seasons have shifted it up as Lou now runs a ranch camp in Wyoming with a mix of older characters and new ones. Now in its seventh season, the series continues to provide good laughs and so remains an enjoyable show no matter if it's summer or fall.
2. Secrets of Sulphur Springs
This dramedy is more in line with a Freeform show than something on Disney Channel. It's a classic setup as a family moves to a small town to own its supposedly haunted hotel. The son meets a new friend, and they discover a portal that leads them back in time to 1990.
From there, the series mixes time travel, ghosts, and other mysteries, often needing a rewatch to fully understand. At three seasons so far, it's as close as Disney Channel comes to a junior version of Lost and deserves more attention.
1. Raven's Home
Disney is not immune to the trend of sequel series to past shows. Raven-Symone reprises her role as Raven Baxter, the gal who keeps getting visions of the future that lead her to trouble. The new show has a grown Raven raising her twins, Booker and Nia, with Booker having inherited his mom's prophetic gift. Originally, Raven could get aid from old friend Chelsea and her own quirky son Levi to handle life in Chicago.
Season 5 shifted the series as Raven and Booker move back to San Francisco so Raven can help her dad Victor recover from a heart attack. The show remains delightful, with Raven and Booker misinterpreting their visions for escapades, yet it can work in some surprisingly mature themes on bullying, racism, and other problems. It shows Raven can still keep up her fun humor for a new generation.