February 8, 2009 – The Disney Channel Original Series Sonny With a Chance Debuts
“That’s me! I guess dreams really do come true!”
On February 8, 2009, the Disney Channel Original Series Sonny With a Chance debuted. The series follows the adventures of talented teenager Sonny Munroe after she becomes the new cast member of the live comedy sketch show So Random!. The series theme song, “So Far, So Great,” is performed by lead actress Demi Lovato. The series only lasted two seasons, ending when Lovato departed the show to recover from several health issues. The show was then retooled focus solely on the show-within-the-show, So Random!. The show became the second show where the lead actress left before the series was cancelled, and the fourth to have a major cast member leave during the series’ run.
The first episode, “Sketchy Beginnings” begins with an episode of So Random!, a sketch show for teenagers. The first sketch, “Dolphin Boy,” has cast member Grady play a character that’s half boy, half dolphin, cast member Nico playing Dolphin Boy’s friend, and Tawni playing the cheerleader Dolphin Boy has a crush on. Sonny is laughing as she watches the show, and sees the announcement that she’s the newest cast member of the show. Sonny soon lands in California, and shows up on the set with her mom Connie. They meet with Marshall Pike, the executive producer of the show, although he is a little rattled by Connie’s threats should Sonny not be treated right. Connie then leaves, and Sonny takes a tour of the studio. She soon meets cast members Zora, Grady, and Nico. Tawni walks in and starts bragging about being on the cover of a magazine, and when Sonny greets her, Tawni suddenly feels threatened.
Tawni is forced to take Sonny on a tour of the studio, and when they get back to Tawni’s dressing room, Marshall informs the girls that Sonny is sharing Tawni’s dressing room, although her side is currently filled with Tawni’s gym equipment. Sonny tries to keep a positive attitude, but Tawni tells her to keep out of her spotlight. Sonny then joins the cast for Tawni’s “Queen Bee” sketch, trying to lay low and not cause any problems. Marshall stops the sketch, as it doesn’t seem to be working. Sonny reluctantly comes up with an idea, and is encouraged by the rest of the cast, save for Tawni. After the sketch is rewritten, Sonny is originally happy, but Tawni storms away, leaving Sonny unhappy. Sonny goes home and gets a pep talk from her mother, who encourages her to talk to Tawni and make things up. However, Sonny’s apology doesn’t go very well.
Sonny tries to work on the sketch with Tawni, but it ends up horribly, ending with Tawni injuring herself and accidentally shredding her favorite stuffed cat. They end up in Marshall’s office, and Sonny finally stands up for herself and writes a sketch that doesn’t include Tawni. The final sketch, “One Bad Bee” is performed on the show, with Sonny playing the main rapping bee. The sketch is a hit with the audience, and Sonny gets the chance to say the sign-off, but accidentally whacks Tawni in the nose.