“That’s So Raven” gets the greenlight for a new spin-off


THAT’S SO RAVEN – “Teacher’s Pet” – Raven is excited when young teacher Courtney Dearborn takes over history class, making the lessons fun. When Raven hosts a study session for the class that turns out to be more of a party than anything else, the kids are worried they’ll fail their big test. Raven asks Courtney to postpone the test to no avail, and comes up with a quick plan to dress as an exterminator and spray the classroom. But after Courtney reacts badly to a fake spider Raven brings in, she has a vision of the Principal Stuckerman firing her. She has to come up with a way to keep Courtney from being fired, on “That’s So Raven,” airing on MONDAY, JANUARY 15 (7:30 – 8:00 p.m., ET) on the Disney Channel. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Nathan Siegel

Raven Baxter may be able to tell the future, but even she could not have predicted a second “That’s So Raven” spinoff, as Raven Symone herself announced on “The View.”

Nearly ten years since the final episode of “That’s So Raven”, Disney Channel will introduce a new generation of the then-psychic teen’s adventures. This time, Symoné will star as a single mother of two children, one of whom shares her future-telling abilities. In the original series (2003-2007), the Baxter family, comprised of psychic teen Raven, her younger brother Corey, and their parents in San Francisco, Raven found herself having visions of events in the near future and user her skills as a fashion guru to go undercover and dodge impending danger. Along for the ride were her two best friends, Eddie (Orlando Brown) and dim-witted Chelsea (Anneliese Van Der Pol). Eventually, Raven’s adventures came to an end in 2007, but fans did not have to say goodbye to the Baxters yet; in the same year, “Cory in the House” premiered on Disney Channel and followed Cory and his father to Washington DC as he ventured off to be The White House’s new chef. However, the spinoff only survived two seasons.

For Symoné, life’s post-psychic visions have been full of successes and slip-ups. After her roles in “That’s So Raven,” “The Cheetah Girls” and its sequel “The Cheetah Girls 2,” she went on to star in “Sister Act” on Broadway. She is currently a supporting character on the Fox drama “Empire” and a host on the daytime television talk show, “The View”. Garnering more media attention, she has come under fire for her comments on race, police brutality, transsexuality, and most famously, claiming that she is a descendant of “every continent in Africa”.

Raven Symoné’s squad has also experienced other opportunities and setbacks since the show’s finale in 2007. Anneliese Van Der Pol has stepped back from the screen to pursue roles on Broadway with starring roles in “Beauty and the Beast,” “Vanities,” “Meet Me In St. Louis,” “The Heiress,” “Emma”, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” She is currently starring in an off-Broadway production of “A Taste of Things to Come”.

Following in the path of countless child stars, Orlando Brown has been in and out of jail. While struggling with a meth addiction, he has not pursued acting besides a few guest star roles since the finale of “That’s So Raven.” Recently, he released a self-produced rap song on YouTube that mentions Raven-Symoné aborting his baby, and a video of him under the influence ranting about Raven’s breasts.

So far Raven Symoné is the only original star affiliated with the new untitled “That’s So Raven II” project, and Brown is less than pleased. In a video released by TMZ, the actor says that the plot of the new show sounds “pretty dope” but that the show would not have happened without the entire cast. He expressed his discontent over Raven not telling him about the show prior to her announcement on “The View.” He resents that he had not yet been asked to be part of the new cast, and in reference to Raven Symoné, laments that “she could have handled the situation better”.

Regardless of whether or not Disney decides to bring back the previous “That’s So Raven” cast members, the new project will give new and old fans of Raven’s antics a chance to see Raven’s adult life and meet a new generation.