Making New Mileys: Disney's Teen-Star Factory

Its movies are tanking, the parks are weak, and ABC is hurting. But Disney is being buoyed by its ability to grow teen talent

Randy Holmes / Disney Channel

A wholesome celebrity- academy graduate, Bridgit Mendler, 16, is the star of the next new Disney Channel sitcom.

Bridgit Mendler is a willowy, blond teen with a sweet singing voice and decent comic timing. She's also the show-biz equivalent of the next iPhone — a young Disney star-in-waiting. Mendler, 16, is getting the full Disney Channel rollout. Introduced with recurring guest spots on two of its hit shows, Jonas and Wizards of Waverly Place, she will star in her own series, Good Luck Charlie, in 2010. "I've been told to brace myself," says Mendler. "If we have the success I hope we have with the show, everything will change."

Mendler is following a path to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!