March 18, 2005 – The Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Premieres
“You and me got the world to see so come on down.”
On March 18, 2005, the Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody premiered. It was highly successful, not only being nominated and winning several awards, but spawning a sequel series The Suite Life on Deck. It ran for 87 episodes in 3 seasons, and was created by Danny Kallis and Jim Geoghan. It starred Cole Sprouse as Cody Martin, Dylan Sprouse as Zack Martin, Brenda Song as London Tipton, Ashley Tisdale as Maddie Fitzpatrick, Phil Lewis as Mr. Moseby, and Kim Rhodes as Carey Martin.
The first episode, “Hotel Hangout,” begins at the Tipton Hotel, where twins Zack and Cody Martin are bummed that their mom Carey can’t take them to the park, as she has to rehearse her performance, but she allows them to invite friends from school. Unfortunately, as new kids, Zack and Cody don’t have any friends, but Carey reassures them that this won’t always be the case. Meanwhile, heiress London Tipton, whose father owns the Tipton Hotel, has effectively been grounded within the hotel as punishment for her poor grades. Candy-counter cashier Maddie Fitzpatrick has been overhearing the conversation between London and hotel manager Mr. Moseby, and Moseby hires Maddie as London’s tutor.
At their new school, Zack and Cody are still having trouble making friends, until they meet kids Max and Tapeworm, and invite them over to their home at the hotel. Max is seen as quite a dancer (and a girl, which Zack and Cody didn’t realize), and Carey asks her for help with her dance moves. Meanwhile, London and Maddie’s study session isn’t going as Maddie planned, as London spends her time shopping online. Maddie decides to get downstairs, as she wants to run into her crush, the new lifeguard. London offers to help Maddie with getting her crush’s attention. The next day at school, word is out that the twins live at the Tipton Hotel, and they are invited to be part of the popular group, abandoning Max and Tapeworm.
Maddie goes back to work at the counter, and uses London’s advice to score a date with the lifeguard, and London offers to help Maddie get dressed for her date. When the popular kids show up at the hotel to hang out with Zack and Cody, they ruin the experience for all the other guests and are rude to Max and Tapeworm. Cody is reluctant to do something so mean, but Zack is desperate to be popular and convinces Cody to ditch them. Later, Carey tells them that they need to make sure that the entire school doesn’t show up at the hotel, but popular ringleader Drew invites more and more people to hang out at the hotel, much to the annoyance of Moseby. After the date with the lifeguard, Maddie doesn’t want to go out with him again, which confuses London. In the end, London convinces Maddie to dump the lifeguard, but Maddie ends up finding herself arranging another date. Moseby warns London that if Maddie doesn’t help pull London’s grades up, she will have to go to a private school with a uniform.
Cody realizes that they are being used by the kids from school, although Zack doesn’t care so long as he is considered cool. The head bellman Esteban warns the twins that Moseby has ordered him to remove all the kids from the premises, and finally, Zack agrees to help Cody get rid of the kids. When the lifeguard shows up to ask Maddie out for another date, Maddie tries to let him down gently, but she finally gets the nerve to dump him. London manages to pass her exam with a D+, and is awarded with a plasma television from her father. Zack and Cody continue to work on dumping all the kids from their school from the hotel, except for Drew and his crew. The two finally stand up to Drew, although not without consequence, which includes a mishap with the hotel’s satellite dish. Max and Tapeworm show up to help Zack and Cody, impressed by their standing up to Drew, and giving the twins their first real friends.