Wizards of Waverly Place is a Disney Channel Original Series that premiered on October 12, 2007. It won "Outstanding Children's Program" at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009. A film adaptation of the series, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, premiered as a Disney Channel Original Movie on August 28, 2009; In 2010, the film adaptation won "Outstanding Children's Program" at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards. On October 7, 2011, it became the second Disney Channel Original Series to reach 100 episodes (after That's So Raven), and the first to go over that total.
The series was created by Todd J. Greenwald, and stars Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin as three wizard siblings with magical abilities competing to win sole custody of the family powers. Further main cast includes Jennifer Stone, María Canals Barrera and David DeLuise. In June 2010, Disney Channel renewed the series for a fourth season. Gomez confirmed in an interview that the fourth season will be the show's final season. Wizards of Waverly Place currently remains the longest running Disney Channel Original Series, along with the one with the most episodes, surpassing That's So Raven. On November 18, 2011, Disney Channel announced that the series will finish airing on January 6, 2012 with the one-hour series finale called "Who Will Be the Family Wizard?".
Set on Waverly Place in Manhattan, New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood, Wizards of Waverly Place centers on the Italian-Mexican Russo family, which includes Alex (Selena Gomez), her older brother Justin (David Henrie), and their younger brother Max (Jake T. Austin). The three Russo siblings are wizards in training and live with their Italian-American father Jerry (David DeLuise), a former wizard, and their Mexican-American mother, Theresa (María Canals Barrera) who is a mortal. Alex's best friend Harper (Jennifer Stone) also found out about the Russos' wizard powers in the Season 2 episode "Harper Knows". The siblings have to keep their secret safe while living in the mortal world. When they all complete their wizard training, the three siblings will have a wizard competition to decide who will become the family wizard of their generation and keep their powers forever while the others will lose their powers for good and become mortal. Because of this, Jerry tries to get the kids to not rely on magic, since they might not have it someday.
This series was created and as executive produced by Todd J. Greenwald, who began developing the show after working as a writer and consulting producer during the first season of Hannah Montana. The show is produced by It's a Laugh Productions and Disney Channel Original Productions. The theme song, "Everything Is Not What It Seems", written by John Adair and Steve Hampton, is of techno-pop style and is performed by Selena Gomez & the Scene. The series is filmed at Hollywood Center Studios in Hollywood, California.
For the first three seasons the show used the same title sequence. The song is called "Everything Is Not What It Seems" by Selena Gomez. In this it shows Alex, Justin, Max and Harper in the morning before school. Alex is using magic to change the clock. Justin used magic to trap Alex in a mirror. Max uses magic to change an orange into a cupcake. Harper is not a wizard so she uses no magic at all. Max then shows the cupcake to his mother, then changes it back to an orange, satisfying her. Jerry Russo is doing housework in the lair, when his laptop is stolen via magic.Alex, Justin, Max, and Harper leave the sandwich shop when the "Wizards of Waverly Place" logo appears and the creators' name.
In the fourth season of the show the title sequence has changed. The song is the same although slightly altered. In the title sequence they show a crystal ball where Alex and Justin appear, a book where Harper and Max appear, and a cauldron where Theresa and Jerry appear. In each instance a few clips from the show are displayed with the actors name, This differs from the original opening sequence where none of the things seen in the opening sequence occur anywhere in the series. Although it is a clip, the actors don't speak as the music covers the voices. At the end all 6 characters (Alex, Justin, Max, Harper, Theresa and Jerry) who are included in the opening sequence appear in Times Square. Alex waves her wand and the logo "Wizards Of Waverly Place" appears above their heads, they all look away at different times the camera pans down and Alex waves her wand again making the creators name appear at their knees.
The show debuted on Disney Channel on October 12, 2007 after the premiere of Twitches Too, gathering 5.9 million viewers. In February 2009, the episode "Helping Hand" broke the record for the largest audience in the 7:00 PM (Eastern Time) time period on Disney Channel, with a total of 4.5 million viewers. In January 2010, "Wizards vs. Werewolves" one-hour special episode became the series' most-watched episode with 6.2 million viewers, surpassing the 6 million viewers of "Paint By Committee" episode In 2009, the series was the top scripted telecast for teens between the age of 9-14 (1.63 million/6.7 rating) and second in kids 6-11 (1.81 million/7.4 rating), which was only slightly behind The Suite Life on Deck (1.82 million/7.4 rating.)
Currently, "Wizards vs. Angels" is season 4's most-watched episode, with 5.13 million viewers.
Main article: List of Wizards of Waverly Place episodes
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||21||October 12, 2007||August 31, 2008|
|2||30||September 12, 2008||August 21, 2009|
|Film||August 28, 2009|
|3||28||October 9, 2009||October 15, 2010|
|4||27||November 12, 2010||January 6, 2012|
Main article: Wizards of Waverly Place: The MovieThe Disney Channel Original Movie, based on the series, premiered on August 28, 2009 on Disney Channel. Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie was filmed in Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, and New York City from February 16 to March 27, 2009. The movie received 11.4 million viewers on its premiere, making it the second-most-viewed DCOM premiere in the US after High School Musical 2. It was also one of the top scripted telecasts in 2009. It won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2010 for "Outstanding Children's Program".
Main article: List of Wizards of Waverly Place charactersSeason four main cast (L-R): María Canals Barrera as Theresa Russo, David DeLuise as Jerry Russo, Jake T. Austin as Max Russo, Selena Gomez as Alex Russo, David Henrie as Justin Russo, and Jennifer Stone as Harper Finkle.=== Main===
- Selena Gomez as Alex Russo
- David Henrie as Justin Russo
- Jake T. Austin as Max Russo
- Jennifer Stone as Harper Finkle
- María Canals Barrera as Theresa Russo
- David DeLuise as Jerry Russo
Main article: Wizards of Waverly Place (soundtrack)The soundtrack album for the hit Disney Channel Original Series of the same name. The album was released as a physical CD, enhanced CD and digital on August 4, 2009, under Walt Disney Records. The album includes songs from and inspired by the TV series and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.
In response to the soundtrack, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic recognized Wizards for its "teen revamps of boomer classics that parents can enjoy too". He also stated that the album is "agreeable" and that Selena Gomez "inevitably stands out from the pack". However, Erlewine said: "the dang-awful version of America's "You Can Do Magic" by Drew Seeley is sunk by its hyper-claustrophobic rhythms, the biggest rearrangement of a tune here and easily the worst cut."
|Name||Episodes||Region 1||Region 2||DVD extras|
|Wizards of Waverly Place: Wizard School||Wizard School Part 1, Wizard School Part 2, Curb Your Dragon, Disenchanted Evening||July 29, 2008||TBA||Work It Like a Wizard - Selena, Jake and David's favorite things to do.|
|Wizards of Waverly Place: Supernaturally Stylin'||Credit Check, Smarty Pants, Beware Wolf, Graphic Novel||February 10, 2009||TBA||Fashionista Presto Chango! - Go behind the scenes with the stars for some wardrobe magic!|
|Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana||Cast-Away (To Another Show) (Wizards), "Double Crossed" (Suite Life), "Super(stitious) Girl" (Hannah Montana)||September 22, 2009||TBA||Justin's Award Winning Essay - It's A Suite Life Having Fun With Hannah & The Wizards|
|Name||Episodes||Region 2||Region 4||DVD extras|
|Season 1: Volume 1: Work It Like a Wizard||Crazy 10-Minutes Sale, First Kiss, I Almost Drowned in a Chocolate Fountain, New Employee, Disenchanted Evening, You Can't Always Get What You Carpet, Alex's Choice||October 5, 2009||March 3, 2010||Work It Like a Wizard - Selena, Jake and David's favorite things to do.|
|Season 1: Volume 2: Magic Training||Curb Your Dragon, Movies, Pop Me and We Both Go Down, Potion Commotion, Justin's Little Sister, Wizard School Part 1, Wizard School Part 2||October 5, 2009||June 2, 2010||Casting A Spell|
|Season 1: Volume 3: Stylin' Powers||The Supernatural, Alex in the Middle, Report Card, Credit Check, Alex's Spring Fling, Quinceanera, Art Museum Piece||October 5, 2009||August|
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