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That's So Raven
That's So Raven
Format Family/Situation/Teen sitcom
Fantasy
Created by Michael Poryes
Susan Sherman
Starring Raven-Symoné
Orlando Brown
Kyle Massey
Anneliese van der Pol
T'Keyah Crystal Keymah (seasons 1-3)
Rondell Sheridan
Theme music composer John Coda
Opening theme "That's So Raven", by Raven-Symoné, Orlando Brown and Anneliese van der Pol
Ending theme "That's So Raven (instrumental)" (used in Season 1-3 and most episodes of season 4)
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 100 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive
producer(s)
Michael Poryes (season 1)
Sean McNamara
David Brookwell (seasons 1-3)
Dennis Rinsler
Marc Warren (season 3+)
Raven-Symoné (season 4)
Location(s) Sunset Gower Studios
Hollywood, California (2001-2004)
Hollywood Center Studios
Hollywood, California (2004-2007)
Camera setup Videotape; Multi-camera
Running time approx. 23 minutes
Production
company(s)
Disney Channel Original Productions (entire run)
Brookwell McNamara Entertainment (seasons 1-3)
That So Productions
Warren & Rinsler Productions (both; season 4)
Broadcast
Original channel Disney Channel/ABC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
First aired January 17, 2003 (2003-01-17)
Last aired November 10, 2007
Status Ended
External links
Official website

That's So Raven is an American cable television teen sitcom/fantasy style show. The show premiered on the Disney Channel on January 17, 2003, and ended on November 10, 2007. The show spawned Disney Channel's first spin-off series: Cory in the House. The series was nominated in 2005 and 2007 for Emmy Awards for outstanding children's programming.

The show is a modern-day sitcom with a teenage twist in the vein of I Love Lucy. Producers added supernatural abilities that Raven, the main character, has that would get her into curious situations. The show is set (but was not produced) in San Francisco and revolves around teenager Raven Baxter, played by Raven-Symoné, her friends Eddie (Orlando Brown) and Chelsea (Anneliese van der Pol), and her family members focusing on brother Cory (Kyle Massey). The title character draws on her talent, ingenuity, psychic powers and a variety of disguises to get into and out of amusing adolescent and pre-adolescent situations.

Reruns of episodes aired on the ABC Kids Saturday morning segment of Disney-owned ABC broadcast network in the United States until August 27, 2011. Reruns currently air in Canada on Family and VRAK.TV, with some episodes also available on DVD. No announcement has been made as to whether the show will get complete season releases on DVD or Blu-ray. That's So Raven is still popular in syndication, earning more than any other Disney Channel show.

Production

The name for the main character changed several times prior to production, starting with Dawn Baxter in a show named The Future Is On Me. Names changed to Rose Baxter in a show called Absolutely Psychic but finally settling on Raven Baxter when actress Raven-Symoné won the lead part, with the show titled That's So Raven. Symoné originally auditioned for the role of the best friend, Stacey[3] but was changed due to ratings. Raven-Symoné is credited simply as "Raven" throughout the series.

The show filmed a pilot episode in July 2001 and first season November 9, 2001-Summer 2002[4] which premiered on Disney Channel UK that September. Disney Channel waited until the new year before premiering it in the United States on January 17, 2003.

That's So Raven was responsible for many firsts for Disney Channel: the series was the highest-rated series in the history of Disney Channel and the first series to garner more than three-million viewers; the longest-running original series in Disney Channel history (and first Disney-produced series to reach 100 episodes); the first Disney-produced series to produce a spinoff (Cory in the House); first Disney Channel sitcom, and one of only three live action original series, where the lead and most of the supporting main characters are minorities (The Famous Jett Jackson and Cory in the House being the others).

In addition, it was also the first Disney Channel sitcom to be shot on videotape, to use a multi-camera format, to be shot in front of a studio audience or use a laugh track,[citation needed] and to use the simulated film look created by FilmLook, Inc. (all of which has become standard on all Disney Channel comedies, though a 'filmized' appearance will be given to all of the channel's videotaped sitcoms produced from 2009 onward, as the live-action Disney Channel Original Series begin being produced in high definition).

The first three seasons were produced by Brookwell McNamara Entertainment. Raven-Symoné received a producer credit for the show's fourth and final season. It became the first Disney Channel series to create a spin-off, Cory in the House, which followed her younger brother, Cory, as his dad becomes the head chef for the President of the United States, causing the two of them to move to Washington D.C.

In the fourth season of That's So Raven and on Cory in the House, Victor states that Tanya (T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh) is in England as a lawyer. The show shot its final few episodes in January 2006, but they weren't all aired until a year later, with the series finale airing in March 2007 and the second-to-last episode shown that November.

Opening sequence

The show's title theme song was written by John Coda, who also composed the music cues to signify scene changes and commercial breaks for this series as well as Even Stevens. It was produced by Jeffrey "Def Jef" Fortson and Christopher B. Pearman and was performed by Raven-Symoné, Anneliese van der Pol and Orlando Brown.

Each season had opening credits composed of footage from the episodes of that season. Season two followed the guideline in first-run broadcasts, but once season three began airing, the opening credits from season two were replaced with the opening credits from season three in reruns. Each season also made an exception to the guideline by showing footage from the previous seasons, most of the time when it was needed. For example, if footage being shown was of the characters dancing, then footage of a character or characters would be shown.

Each opening sequence, before going to the title card, always ended with the main cast being together (in clips that were not part of any episode). Seasons one, two, and three were of the Baxters sitting on their living room couch, and season four was of the Baxters (with the exception of Tanya), Eddie, and Chelsea coming down the Baxters' living room stairs.

At the end of the opening credits, Raven stands next to the title card and says, "Yep, that's me." This remained in season four, except with a new addition. Raven's catchphrase "Oh, snap!" was dubbed in right before she says, "Yep, that's me."

Raven-Symoné performs most of the theme, while Brown performs a rap near the end of the theme and some scattered vocals in the beginning of the theme. Van der Pol sings the show's title in the chorus. A full-length version of this theme was heard in a music video which aired a few months before the show's U.S. premiere and also can be heard on the show's first soundtrack, released in 2004.

In Disney Channel Asia, an Asian version of the show's theme song was made. The music video debuted on January 17, 2007, back-to-back with the 100th episode of That's So Raven.

Episodes

Main article: List of That's So Raven episodesThe series is the longest running Disney Channel Original Series, with its popularity extending the show's contract from 65 to 100 episodes. The last episodes produced were "The Way We Were", but then the crossover called "Checkin' Out" was produced as part of "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana". Although it was chronologically the last episode, it did not air last; instead, "When There's Smoke" aired last.

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 21 January 17, 2003 September 12, 2003*
2 22 October 3, 2003 September 24, 2004
3 35 October 1, 2004 January 16, 2006
4 22 February 20, 2006 November 10, 2007

*Three season 1 episodes were left unaired until season 2 episodes began airing.

Characters

That'sSoRavencast

The cast of That's So Raven (seasons 1-3), (From left to right, above): Kyle Massey (Cory Baxter), T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh (Tanya Baxter), Rondell Sheridan (Victor Baxter), (From left to right, below): Orlando Brown (Eddie Thomas), Raven-Symoné (Raven Baxter) and Anneliese van der Pol (Chelsea Daniels).

Main characters

  • Raven Lydia Baxter, played by Raven-Symoné (credited as Raven), is the main character. Aged 14–15 (Season 1), 15-16 (Season 2), 16-17 (Season 3), 17-18 (Season 4). She is almost an ordinary teenager, but she has psychic abilities. She has a sassy attitude, a grand personality, and is well known for her style. She also loves fashion, and designs her own clothing. She has friends and a loving family, and she goes to public school. However, on various occasions, she gets "psychic visions" about what may or may not happen later. She is only able to "see" a small segment of some future event, and she frequently errs on what it really means, in which case her attempts to change these events only end up making it happen or making it worse. Her main catchphrases are "Oh snap!", "Ya nasty!", "How ya'll doin'?", and "Oh, no he didn't!" She abruptly says, "I'm okay!" if she falls down in one of her disguises. And, if big guys throw her, she tells them to do it "gently!" In addition, when she disapproves of something, she exclaims "Gotta go!" When she makes an appearance on Cory in the House, her father exclaims, "You didn't get kicked out of design school because they don't give out refunds!", which shows she is attending design school. Raven is also a master of disguise, which fits in with her trouble-making antics and passion for becoming a fashion designer, like her idol, , whom she worked for as an intern. Raven Baxter is extremely allergic to mushrooms, and her favorite drink is orange juice. According to Chelsea, her favorite gemstone is diamond, her favorite vegetable is corn, and her favorite animal is stuffed. Raven does not enjoy nature or camping.
  • Edward "Eddie" Thomas, played by Orlando Brown, Aged 14–15 (Season 1), 15-16 (Season 2), 16-17 (Season 3), 17-18 (Season 4). He is Raven's male best friend. He is an aspiring rapper, and is a guard on the school basketball team. He is like a "big brother" to Cory Baxter. He briefly attempts to start a romantic relationship with Raven, and is shown in 2 visions to be Raven's future husband. Occasionally, he says "Told ya! Told ya twice!" after he tells Raven not to do something that they both knew she would do. Another common catchphrase of his is "Holla!" after he finishes talking to his friends or girls that he likes. His parents are divorced, which is mentioned several times throughout the series.
  • Chelsea Ophelia Daniels, played by Anneliese van der Pol, Aged 14–15 (Season 1), 15-16 (Season 2), 16-17 (Season 3), 17-18 (Season 4). She is Raven's female best friend. She is an environmentalist, vegetarian, and closet artist. She is portrayed as being dimwitted (although earlier seasons portray her to be almost as smart as Raven, but to extreme limits); at times, her stupidity is so potent that she is frequently oblivious to what should be obvious and unable to discern sarcasm from sincerity. She usually uses the catchphrases "That makes more sense!" or '"This is awkward!" She also likes to make jokes, which only she would laugh at. Despite her apparent lack of common sense and intelligence, she has a few surprises up her sleeve—such as occasionally knowing certain "smart" things, which usually tends to surprise everyone else. In Season 1, it is revealed that Raven and Chelsea's friendship goes all the way back to when they were in pre-school, but she was also shown to be dimwitted back then because she did not notice Raven blowing out the candles on her birthday cake. It should also be noted that Chelsea was just as caring when she was young as she is now because one of her unfulfilled wishes on that same birthday was to stop global warming. She is quite similar to Newt (from Cory in the House) in personality. Occasionally, Chelsea refers to a specific relative, Cousin Earl, at times.
  • Cory Baxter, played by Kyle Massey, Aged 10–11 (Season 1), 11-12 (Season 2), 12-13 (Season 3), 13-14 (Season 4), is Raven's younger brother. He and Raven often argue, but in the long run, they care deeply for each other. Even as he gets older, he claims that playing pranks on Raven is one of his guilty pleasures. Cory has two best friends, William and Larry. Together, the 3 boys form the band "Cory and the Boys", with Cory as the drummer and lead singer, while Larry is the guitarist. William starts out playing the clarinet, and then plays the keyboard. The band has one song: "Feelin' the Love". Cory is an aspiring businessman. He is shown to be obsessed with money, and often creates "get-rich-quick" schemes behind his parents' backs, in which he always gets into trouble. Cory also has a close relationship with his pet rat, Lionel. Earlier in the series, he had a crush on Chelsea. His catchphrase is "Cha-ching". He and Victor are the main characters in the TSR spin-off series Cory in the House.
  • Tanya Baxter, played by T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh, is the mother of Raven and Cory. She is a firm, but fun and caring mother who, despite the antics of her children, is always there for them. She halted her studies to raise her family, but decided once the children were older to continue studying law. Before that, she briefly worked as Raven's English teacher at the request of Raven's school principal. Her catchphrase is "Momma like!" She has a very competitive nature to her personality. It's learned that her mother, Viv, is also psychic. In season 4, Tanya is not present, saying that she went off to England to attend law school.
  • Victor Baxter, played by Rondell Sheridan, is the father of Raven and Cory. He starts out as a chef in a restaurant, but he later opens his own restaurant, The Chill Grill. His biggest rival is Leonard Stevenson. In Cory in the House, he gets a job as the President's chef, and it is unknown what became of his restaurant. His catchphrases are "Here comes the pain!" and "I'll go pack!" (Cory in the House)

Recurring characters

Señorita Rodriguez, played by Rose Abdoo
Señorita Rodriguez is the Spanish teacher at Chelsea Daniels, Eddie Thomas, and Raven Baxter's school. She also sponsors the Bayside Barracudian newspaper. Other roles she has taken on include teaching the 'Drama Club', advising the "Bayside Outdoor Club", and creating/leading the "FLUB" (Future Leaders United in Business) Club. Retailers say she takes too many freebies. She has appeared in several episodes throughout the series. Whenever she is in a conversation with someone, she quickly gets their hopes up with positive responses, followed by a sly laugh, and an abrupt "NO!" with a negative tone—her catchphrase.
Devon Carter, played by Lil' J
Devon Carter is Raven's steady boyfriend from Seasons 2-4. He previously had braces on his teeth and bad acne, and was known as "Bucktooth Carter". After he had his braces removed and his face "cleared up" over the summer, and came back to school, Raven and Alana were constantly fighting to be his girlfriend. He eventually becomes Raven's boyfriend, and continues to be, even after he moves to Seattle. Although he and his family move to Seattle, he still sees Raven occasionally (when his father visits San Francisco on business trips). Even though they say they are each other's "only love", we also see Raven have numerous crushes between Devon's visits.
Alana Rivera, played by Adrienne Bailon
Alana was Raven's former best friend until the 4th grade when she portrayed "Tooth Decay" in a school play. She finds great pleasure in teasing and bullying Raven. She hangs out with her "posse", which includes followers Muffy and Loca. She was first introduced in Season 2 in the episode "Run Raven Run". In the same episode, we learn that Alana and Raven were previously friends in elementary school, but a fourth grade school play had them both competing for the role of the Tooth Fairy (which Raven got, while Alana portrayed tooth decay), and would ultimately end their friendship. Alana and Raven almost became friends again when Raven "teamed up" with Alana's "posse" (in the episode "Clothes Minded"), which happens after Chelsea and Eddie do not support Raven's school "protest". In the episode Run Raven Run, Raven and Alana briefly become friends until Chelsea reveals that Raven put chewing gum in Alana's hair. This causes her to get her head shaved and covered up. Alana, Muffy, and Loca also spend the night at Raven's house in the episode "Shake, Rattle, and Rae". In this episode, Raven and Alana almost become friends again, until Alana announces that "the score is 1-0". She was replaced in season 3 by Bianca (Erica Rivera), because, according to Muffy, she "was so bad, she got sent to military school".
Muffy, played by Ashley Drane
Muffy is a member of Alana's (and, later on, Bianca's) posse. Her role in the posse is to record important events (like an organizer) and tends to explain what Alana (and, later on, Bianca) say which is usually brief. She took over as Raven's foremost enemy after Bianca left. There is some speculation that she might be psychic because she knows everything that Alana and Bianca are thinking. She also has a younger sister, Buffy, who is Sydney's age, and enemy.
Loca, played by Andrea Edwards
Loca is a member of Alana's (and, later on, Bianca's) posse. She is tough, and she did the "bad work" for Alana (and then Bianca). She is a tall girl, whom nobody likes to mess with. She is also romantically interested in Eddie; she likes to give him arm punches every time she sees him. She is obsessed with the boy band "Boyz in Motion", and also loves S'mores, as seen in the episode Shake, Rattle, and Rae. She even shows compassion (briefly) for Raven in the season 3 episode "Boyz 'N Commotion". Loca is shown to be nicer than Muffy or Bianca in personality and sort of became friends with Raven.
William, played by Frankie Ryan Manriquez
William is one of Cory's best friends. He is known to be very smart, and loves ducks. He is afraid of girls, and he can play the clarinet and keyboard. His classmates call him "Captain Brainypants". He "invents" many different gadgets in various episodes, such as the "remote-controlled refrigerator opener". He once does Raven's science project, in exchange for her designing him a new wardrobe to look "cooler". It has been implied that William is younger than Cory, but it is not known how much younger.
Larry, played by David Henrie
Larry is Cory's other best friend. He is Jewish, as revealed in the episode "Raven, Sydney, And The Man", when he invites Cory to his Bar Mitzvah. He is the guitar player in "Cory and the Boys". He also has a yellow sweater that he wears all the time during the winter, as mentioned in the episode "The Lying Game", although no other reference to this is made. He takes cotillion class, as revealed in the episode "Mad Hot Cotillion". He is also known to be over-worried, and slightly strange, at times.
Stanley played by Bobb'e J. Thompson
Stanley is Eddie's next-door neighbor, who is obsessed with Raven. He serves as the primary antagonist of the show, he has a frenemy relationship with Eddie and Cory, although he is usually seen scamming them. Stanley was originally brought in as a love interest for Raven's next-door neighbor, Sierra, but he becomes much more interested in Raven -- and in one episode, Loca. Stanley is rude, obnoxious, mean, sarcastic, and chauvinistic to everyone. He is a young salesman, who usually tricks Cory into buying something that would eventually go wrong. He is always trying desperately to get Raven to like him, but he suddenly leaves her alone after seeing her kiss Andre in the episode "Mr. Perfect". He loves cheese sandwiches. He also competes against Chelsea in a ping-pong match, and loses. In the same episode ("Taken To The Cleaners"), he asks Victor to make him a cheese sandwich in the shape of a ping-pong paddle. His catchphrases include "My brotha!", which he exclaims whenever he is trying to "show someone up"; and "I may have said that, but I say a lot of things." This is a partial denial of his ability to be nice to other people. He appears primarily in Seasons 3 and 4, in the episodes "Opportunity Shocks"; "Taken To The Cleaners"; "The Grill Next Door"; "Mr. Perfect"; "The Four Aces"; "Driving Miss Lazy"; "Sister Act"; "Checkin' Out"; "Fur Better or Worse" and "When 6021 Met 4267". He also appeared in the Cory in the House episode "Uninvited Pest" when he covets the "Presidential Medal" Cory was going to receive for his "Young Businessperson of the Year" Project. He got into the "Up with Goodness" program, feigned an ankle injury, and stole Cory's presentation. It is also noted that he has a fear of bones, which helps Cory prove that Stanley faked the injury and stole his presentation.
Sydney, played by Sydney Park
Sydney is a girl at Bayside Community Center, whom Raven mentors. When they first meet, Sydney embarrasses Raven by constantly insulting her. However, when Raven learns that Sydney is a foster child, they quickly develop a friendship. Sydney is an aspiring comedian, and she even "performed" at Cory's "Bro Mitzvah" in the episode "Raven, Sydney, and the Man". Raven and Sydney are now very close friends, and even enter a Little Miss and Her Big Sis pageant. Raven and Sydney are often compared as sisters, although they are not actually related.
Donna Cabonna, played by Anne-Marie Johnson
Donna Cabonna is a world-renowned fashion designer, and Raven's arrogant, snooty, trashy boss. Her name is a parody of real-life designers Donna Karan and Dolce & Gabbana. Donna has started Raven as an intern, in which she is often stuck with many tedious jobs such as getting Donna her coffee and picking after her dog Coco. In one episode in Season 4, she makes Raven her "temporary assistant" when Tiffany goes on a business trip. Raven's full devotion to her boss causes Devon to break up with her, but they quickly re-unite after a brief talk. Donna has a boyfriend named Teddy (Richard Steven Horvitz), who is much shorter than her, with whom she plays "break-up and make-up" every weekend. Despite the many conflicts between Raven and her boss, Donna is very supportive of Raven and believes that she could go far in the fashion industry with her talents.
Tiffany, played by Jodi Shilling
Tiffany is Donna's "personal assistant", and Raven's primary nemesis in the fourth season. Ever since their first meeting, Tiffany and Raven have disliked each other. On Raven's first day working for Donna (in the episode "Dues & Don'ts"), Tiffany lies to Raven by telling her that Donna Cabonna's office belongs to Raven. They are constantly "competing" to be Donna's favorite assistant. She apparently shares many similarities with Muffy.

Abandoned film project

In 2010, to promote her latest film Vampires Suck, Anneliese van der Pol revealed in an interview that a That's So Raven film had been written but never happened. "The storyline saw us going to France. She was going to start a fashion line in France. Eddie and I were going to fly out and meet her. Of course, something tragic happens. We have to rescue the situation.", van der Pol admitted that Raven's schedule at the time was booked solid for a year and the possibility of the film seemed unlikely. "But no, It's not ever happening. If I hear something, I will be the first to sign on.", van der Pol commented on reprising her role of Chelsea Daniels.

Merchandise

The That's So Raven franchise has been modeled after fellow Disney Channel hit Lizzie McGuire. Raven has a clothing line, DVD releases, novels, bedroom sets, a perfume, a GirlTalk board game,[6] three video games[7] and two soundtracks, That's So Raven: Songs from and inspired by the hit TV show and That's So Raven Too!.

In February 2005, That's So Raven toys were featured in the McDonald's Happy Meal. In April 2005, a doll based on Raven Baxter was released[8] and another was released the following year.

In September 2005, the show also spawned a fragrance and an MP3 player. That same month, the clothing line was shipped to Macy's stores. As of 2006, That's So Raven merchandise has made $400 million.

Spin-off

Cory in the House

Main article: Cory in the HouseCory in the House is the first Disney Channel spin-off and premiered on January 12, 2007. It was the one chosen out of the many pitched and proposed spin-offs that were to have aired after the completion of That's So Raven, including one about Raven going off to college. Originally Raven-Symoné was offered her own spin-off, but she declined it, therefore Disney Channel decided to give the spin-off to Kyle Massey.

The storyline involves Cory and his father Victor adjusting to life in Washington, D.C.; Victor has received a job as the Head Chef to the President. The show takes place while Raven is attending fashion college and Cory's mom is still in London.

The series is similar to its sister show, That's So Raven. Cory has two best friends, one a boy, Newton Livingston III (Jason Dolley), and one a girl, Meena Paroom (Maiara Walsh). Note that in That's So Raven, the main character also has two best friends, one a boy and one a girl. Cory attends a middle school in Washington, D.C. Also in the series, the president's daughter Sophie (Madison Pettis) constantly pesters Cory, like Cory did to Raven in That's So Raven. Cory also participates in crazy situations in which he learns a moral lesson and will most likely get punished. Candy Smiles plays in Cory's love-life multiple times, and Stickler continuously spies on Cory, Newton and especially Meena.

In one episode, Raven-Symoné guest starred as Raven Baxter, who came to show designs of new tour guide uniforms to President Martinez (John D'Aquino). Unfortunately, she has a vision of a clock falling on the President, and tackles him, earning the Secret Service a chance to chase her around the grounds. Cory poses as his sister to display the uniforms, modeled by Newton and Meena. Raven is discovered outside the Oval Office window, and chased, until she actually does save Mr. Martinez from the clock. The episode ends with the credits sequence for That's So Pooshnick, a show from Meena's country about a psychic girl who can see the past and always ends up messing up trying to stop the vision from happening again.

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