Although the Hollywood trades have announced the renewal of Phineas and Ferb for a fourth season a while back and production started a few weeks ago, Disney hasn't made an official announcement of the renewal...until now. Here's a nice article from Variety about the series and how well it's doing. Congratulations, boys!
DISNEY FUELS "PHINEAS AND FERB" FERVOR
Fourth-season renewal sets stage for more spinoff opportunities
by Jon Weisman
Disney Channel has renewed hit animated series "Phineas and Ferb," a franchise that has rapidly become the Mouse's version of "The Simpsons" in its broad appeal and merchandising capabilities. "Phineas and Ferb," a mainstay for Disney Channel as well as boy-centric Disney XD, is the No. 1 animated series in all of television among kids 6-11 and 9-14, but it also can boast that nearly 20% of its audience in its 9 p.m. Friday timeslot is adults. The confirmation of the fourth season will keep the Disney TV Animation-produced "Phineas" on the air through at least 2014, setting the stage for more spinoff projects throughout Disney's divisions, including a feature release set for July 2013.
"It's a little bit of comparing apples to oranges," Disney Channels Worldwide prexy and chief creative officer Gary Marsh told Variety, "(but) we can look at 'High School Musical' and 'Hannah Montana' in the rear-view mirror and see how they grew into multimillion-dollar businesses. 'Phineas' is on that trajectory."
Further, to Disney's benefit, the "Phineas" cast (led by Vincent Martella, Ashley Tisdale and Thomas Sangster) doesn't age -- at least onscreen.
"Isn't that fantastic," Marsh said with a laugh.
Series creators and exec producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, who wrote the screenplay for the bigscreen "Phineas and Ferb" outing (for which Disney has since hired "Little Miss Sunshine" scribe Michael Arndt to do a pass on), each signed multi-year deals in August to remain on "Phineas" while developing other series ideas, including a "Phineas" spinoff. They also wrote the screenplay for the bigscreen pic, for which Disney recently hired "Toy Story 3" scribe Michael Arndt to do a pass on.
"Breakout shows like 'The Simpsons,' like 'SpongeBob SquarePants,' come from visionary creators who have a very unique, personal artistic vision," Gary Marsh said. "I definitely put (Povenmire and Marsh) in that same category."
Thanks in large part to "Phineas," Disney Channel caught Nickelodeon for the first time among boys 6-11, with a 2.0 rating in September and October. And in combination with such Disney Channel shows of recent vintage as "Good Luck Charlie," "Shake It Up," "A.N.T. Farm" and "Jessie," "Phineas" has helped push Disney Channel past Nick among kids 6-11 year-to-date.
The drawing power of "Phineas" was also illustrated by the August premiere of the franchise's first original smallscreen film, "Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension," which became cable's No. 1 animated telecast of all time among kids 2-11, ranks first year-to-date for all scripted TV in 6-11 and 9-14, and is No. 1 for cable scripted television this year in total viewers. Nearly 8 million viewers overall watched the initial airing of the telepic.
"Phineas" has also been a global success across foreign Disney channels. When it premiered in July on China's CCTV, it reached 145 million total viewers within six weeks.
The show is also a textbook case of Disney machine in motion, with permutations emerging through DVDs, Disney Interactive Studios (including Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation 3 videogames), Walt Disney Records, Disney Consumer Products (from clothes and household items to branded yogurt and an upcoming Kellogg's cereal) and live shows at Disney resorts as well as on tour. Through Disney Publishing, more than 5 million "Phineas" books have been sold via 90 separate titles, along with comics and an eight-issues-a-year magazine in 45 countries.
According to Disney Consumer Products, the burgeoning "Phineas" business is expected to triple in 2012.
©2011 RBI, A Division of Reed Elsevier, Inc.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 9: Disney's official announcement of the renewal:
The following is a press release from Disney-ABC Television Group presented here unedited for the purposes of news reporting. The following is courtesy of Disney-ABC Television Group, not me, and all errors and oversights, if any, are theirs alone.
DISNEY CHANNEL ORDERS FOURTH SEASON OF EMMY AWARD-WINNING ANIMATED SERIES "PHINEAS AND FERB"
Disney Channel has ordered a fourth season of Emmy Award-winning "Phineas and Ferb," TV's #1 animated series in Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14, and will have new episodes rolling out through 2014. Upcoming episodes include a musical featuring the one-hit wonder "Phineas and the Ferb-tones," commemoration of Platypus Day, and a winter vacation special featuring seasonal sports and a New Year's celebration.
Created and executive-produced by Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, the series is a production of Disney Television Animation.
"Phineas and Ferb," TV’s #1 animated series among Tweens for four years in the U.S., exceeded 289 million unique viewers airing on Disney Channels and Disney XD and third party broadcasters -- and in July, premiered on China’s CCTV, reaching 145 million total viewers in its first six weeks. Its latest offshoot, the Disney Channel Original Movie "Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension," is the #1 animated cable telecast of all time among Kids 2-11 in the U.S. and just recently broke Disney Channel ratings records in India, Japan and France.
With over 100 episodes and counting, a live action/animated talk show and a hit TV movie, the success of "Phineas and Ferb" has created opportunities for other Disney divisions including Disney Interactive Studios (Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation 3 video games), Walt Disney Records (soundtracks), Disney Consumer Products (toys/consumer electronics, apparel, accessories, food, health and beauty items), Disney Publishing (over 5 million books, comics and a magazine in 45 countries), Walt Disney Studios Distribution (DVDs), Disney Parks and Resorts (interactive live entertainment experience) and Disney Theatrical Group (a live touring stage show). Disney Studios has a feature film in development for July 2013.
The voice cast includes: Vincent Martella as Phineas Flynn, Thomas Sangster as Ferb Fletcher, Ashley Tisdale as Candace Flynn, Mitchel Musso as Jeremy, Caroline Rhea as mom Linda Flynn-Fletcher, Richard O'Brien as dad Lawrence Fletcher, Dee Bradley Baker as Perry the Platypus, Alyson Stoner as Isabella, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh as Major Monogram and Emmy Award-winning Dan Povenmire as the nefarious Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. It is currently available on basic cable in over 99 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world. Disney XD is a basic cable channel and multi-platform brand for Kids age 6-14, hyper-targeting boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure and humor. In the U.S., Disney XD is seen on a 24-hour, advertiser supported network that reaches over 77 million households via its basic cable affiliates. Disney Channel and Disney XD are part of the Disney/ABC Television Group.