EXCLUSIVE: Michael Healy, Disney Channel‘s
SVP Original Movies, is leaving the company after nearly 16 years and
more than 90 Disney Channel movies to pursue other opportunities. Healy,
whose last day is April 26, led the Disney Channel Original Movie
franchise to a streak of 11 consecutive year-end finishes as cable TV’s
#1 original movie telecast among tweens 9-14, boasting the #1 scripted
cable TV telecast in total viewers for six of the past seven years. He
shepherded megahits High School Musical and its sequel High School Musical 2 whose premiere became the most watched basic-cable telecast with 18.6 million viewers. The HSM
franchise also crossed over into features and into virtually every
facet of the Disney company to become a billion-dollar worldwide
franchise. Other hit Disney Channel original movies developed by Healy
include Princess Protection Program, The Cheetah Girls (1-3), Camp Rock, Jump In! and Wizards Of Waverly Place The Movie.
“Michael’s contributions to Disney Channel have been enormous and we
will definitely miss his wit, his wisdom and his remarkable
story-telling ability,” said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative
Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, who worked with Healy for his entire
tenure at the channel. “We wish him continued success with his next
ventures.” In light of Healy’s departure, Disney Channel’s Original
Movie department will be restructured. Healy has Disney Channel’s
original movie pipeline well stocked up: His ambitious break-into-song
musical Teen Beach Movie, from writer Robert Horn, director
Jeffrey Hornaday and choreographer Chris Scott, will premiere in July.
It will be followed up by snowboarding adventure Cloud 9, executive produced by HSM‘s Ashley Tisdale and snowboarding superstar Shaun White.
Healy joined Disney Channel in October 1997 as VP Original Movies.
Before that, he was Director of Motion Pictures-for-Television for CBS,
working on more than 50 movies, and VP for Movies for TV and Mini-Series
for Reeves Entertainment. Healy began his career as a writer at The Courier Express in Buffalo, NY, and was a movie critic for The Denver Post and The Daily News Of Los Angeles.