The Suite Life on Deck
GenreTeen sitcom
Created byDanny Kallis
Jim Geoghan
Developed byDanny Kallis
Pamela Eells O'Connell
Starring
Theme music composerGary Scott (music)
Steve Hampton &
John Adair (lyrics)
Opening theme"Livin' the Suite Life",
performed by Steve Rushton
ComposerGary Scott
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes71 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Pamela Eells O'Connell
  • Irene Dreayer
  • Danny Kallis (season 1–2)
  • Jim Geoghan (seasons 1–2)
ProducerWalter Barnett (seasons 2–3)
Production locations
Camera setupVideotape; Multi-camera
(FilmLook, season 1;
filmized, season 2–3)
Running timeapprox. 23–24 minutes
Production companiesIt's a Laugh Productions
Danny Kallis Productions
(season 1)
Bon Mot Productions
(season 3)
Original release
NetworkDisney Channel
ReleaseSeptember 26, 2008 (2008-09-26) –
May 6, 2011 (2011-05-06)

The Suite Life on Deck is an American teen sitcom created by Danny Kallis and Jim Geoghan, and developed by Kallis and Pamela Eells O'Connell. The series aired on Disney Channel from September 26, 2008, to May 6, 2011. It is a sequel/spin-off of the Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. The series follows twin brothers Zack and Cody Martin and hotel heiress London Tipton in a new setting, the SS Tipton, where they study-abroad at Seven Seas High School and meet Bailey Pickett while Mr. Moseby manages the ship. The ship travels around the world to nations such as Italy, France, Greece, India, Sweden and the United Kingdom where the characters experience different cultures, adventures, and situations.[1]

The series' pilot aired in the UK on September 19, 2008, and in U.S. markets on September 26, 2008. The series premiere on the Disney Channel in the U.S. drew 5.7 million viewers,[2] and it became the most watched series premiere in Canada on the Family Channel.[3] The show was also TV's No. 1 series in Kids 6–11 and No. 1 scripted series in tweens 9–14 in 2008, outpacing veteran series Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place in the ratings.[4] On October 19, 2009, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a third season, which began production in January 2010[5] and debuted on July 2, 2010. The series was also 2009's top rated scripted series among all children ages 6 to 14 [6]

The series has been broadcast in more than 30 countries worldwide, and was shot at Hollywood Center Studios in Los Angeles (as was the original series). The series was taped in front of a live studio audience, though a laugh track is used for some scenes. The series is the second spin-off of a Disney Channel series (after the short-lived That's So Raven spinoff Cory in the House); as well as the last Disney Channel series to debut broadcasting exclusively in standard definition, and the first of three Disney Channel shows to transition from standard definition to high definition, which occurred on August 7, 2009, with the season 2 premiere, "The Spy Who Shoved Me", and the second multi-camera comedy (after Sonny with a Chance) to utilize a filmized appearance instead of the Filmlook appearance that was used in the first season.

On March 25, 2011, a film based on The Suite Life on Deck and its parent series, titled The Suite Life Movie aired on the Disney Channel. The series' forty-minute finale episode, "Graduation on Deck", aired on Disney Channel on May 6, 2011, officially ending the series.

Premise

Sometime after the events of the previous series, Mr. Moseby has been transferred to manage the SS Tipton, a cruise ship owned by Mr. Tipton. Aboard the ship, Zack and Cody Martin enroll at Seven Seas High School, a Semester at Sea-like study-abroad program offered on the ship, receiving affordability discounts due to their mother being a Tipton employee. London Tipton is also forced to attend the program under the direction of her father, with Mr. Moseby remaining responsible for her. A small-town farm girl named Bailey Pickett also enrolls for the program. The twins set on a range of new adventures and make new friends, as they begin attending classes on the cruise ship, while the ship sails around the world.

Cast

Main

Cole Sprouse plays Cody Martin
Dylan Sprouse plays Zack Martin
Brenda Song plays London Tipton
Debby Ryan plays Bailey Pickett
Phill Lewis plays Mr. Moseby
Doc Shaw plays Marcus Little

Recurring

Main article: List of recurring characters in The Suite Life on Deck

Actor Character Seasons
Matthew Timmons Woody Fink 1–3
Erin Cardillo Emma Tutweiller 1–3
Windell D. Middlebrooks Kirby Morris 1–3
Rachael Kathryn Bell Addison 1–3
Zoey Deutch Maya Bennett 3

Special guest appearances

Notable guest appearances

Production

Development

On February 4, 2008, it was announced that the Disney Channel was developing a new contemporary sequel to the Disney channel sitcom The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. The announcement was made by Gary Marsh, the President of the Disney Channel. He stated, "Our audience has shown us that after 88 episodes, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody remains one of their favorite sitcoms ever, we decided to find a new way for Zack, Cody, London, and Mr. Moseby to live 'The Suite Life' in a whole new setting – this time aboard a luxury cruise liner."[9] The series original creator, Danny Kallis was announced to be involved with the project. The elements from the original series remain the same though the setting is completely different.[9]

In December 2008, it was reported that the Disney Channel had renewed the series for a thirteen episode second season.[10] On May 11, 2009, Disney issued a press release stating that the second season had been extended to include a larger number of episodes than the original thirteen. Gary Marsh, the president of Disney Channels Worldwide said: "With this second-season extension, the cast of ‘The Suite Life’ makes Disney Channel history by becoming the longest running continuous characters on our air – 138 half-hour episodes. We are thrilled for them, and for the brilliant, inspired production team that made this extraordinary run possible."[11]

As of 2024, The Suite Life series still holds the record (162 episodes) for having the longest running characters on air in a Disney Channel franchise produced without interruption. However, the That's So Raven/Raven's Home franchise (222 episodes) and the Boy Meets World/Girl Meets World franchise (230 episodes) have since supplanted it in the overall total by being relaunched years after being taken off of the air with certain characters that were consistently on both shows.

Settings

According to show creators and producers, the choice of setting was made to appeal to an international audience with different ports-of-call, such as India, Greece, Italy, Morocco, the United Kingdom and Thailand. An on-board theater serves as an "organic" set-up for musical numbers.[12] Most of the action in the series occurs on board the SS Tipton. However, the ship travels to a variety of places around the world, which are often unfamiliar places to both Zack and Cody Martin.

SS Tipton

The SS Tipton is a cruise ship belonging to London Tipton's father. The ship had its first canon appearance in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody episode "Let Us Entertain You". Unlike most cruise ships it also includes a study-abroad school, Seven Seas High School, which is a common setting on the ship, as are the Sky Deck, the lobby, the corridors outside the students' cabins and the cabins themselves. In the third season, the Aqua Lounge, a newly refurbished space on the ship, was shown, and it replaced the Sky Deck as the main hangout (although the Sky Deck is still commonly shown). There are also various areas on the SS Tipton that are mentioned, but never seen, including several decks and the ship's putt-putt golf course, where the captain spends most of his time. In the crossover episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, "Cast-Away (To Another Show)," Mr. Moseby reveals that the ship itself weighs 87,000 tons.[13] After the events in "Graduation on Deck" the SS Tipton was sold and later dismantled. Moseby mentioned in the season 1 episode "Cruisin' for a Bruisin'", that the ship was not the first ship with the SS Tipton name (indicating that the Tipton cruiseline had been in service long before the events of the first series). Mr. Tipton commissioned a scale model "replica-in-a-bottle" of the first SS Tipton as a gift for Captain Lansferd.

Other settings

Theme song and opening sequence

The show's theme song, "Livin' the Suite Life," was written by John Adair and Steve Hampton (who also wrote the themes for fellow Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Phil of the Future, and Wizards of Waverly Place, as well as the theme for the ABC Kids series Power Rangers: RPM), with music composed by Gary Scott (who also composed the music cues to signal scene changes and promo breaks, some of which are styled similarly to the theme), and is performed by British singer Steve Rushton (who is only credited for performing the theme in the second season).

The series was one of only 4 of Disney Channel shows still running in 2011 whose theme song is not performed by a star of the series (Phineas and Ferb, Fish Hooks and Shake It Up are the others).

Episodes

Main article: List of The Suite Life on Deck episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
121September 26, 2008 (2008-09-26)July 17, 2009 (2009-07-17)
228August 7, 2009 (2009-08-07)June 18, 2010 (2010-06-18)
322July 2, 2010 (2010-07-02)May 6, 2011 (2011-05-06)
FilmMarch 25, 2011 (2011-03-25)

Note: The show's first ever air date was in the United Kingdom on September 19, 2008.

Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana

Main article: Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana

The episode "Double-Crossed" is the second part of a three-way crossover that begins on Wizards of Waverly Place and concludes on Hannah Montana. Cody promises to get tickets for himself and Bailey to a concert in Hawaii featuring Hannah Montana, who has boarded the SS Tipton. In the meantime, the Russo siblings enjoy a cruise of their own until Alex pulls a prank that causes Justin to turn blue.

Film

Main article: The Suite Life Movie

On September 20, 2010, Disney Channel announced that production had begun for a Disney Channel Original Movie based on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck.[14]

The Suite Life Movie premiered on the Disney Channel in the United States and Canada on March 25, 2011.[15]

Cancelled revival

In 2013, during an interview with Gawker, Dylan Sprouse revealed he and his brother had pitched an idea to the Disney Channel about continuing the Suite Life series. The show would see Zack and Cody return to the Tipton Hotel in Boston to live with their mother, and would become mentors to a boy who lived with his father at the hotel. Disney rejected the idea initially, but contacted the twins a year later with an edited concept that retained the boy and his father storyline, but Zack and Cody would move to a Miami hotel instead, Selena Gomez would also star and the twins would not get producer credits like they had requested. The Sprouses rejected the concept, leaving the project abandoned.[16]

Broadcast

The Suite Life on Deck premiered in Australia and New Zealand October 6, 2008.[17] It is broadcast on Disney Channel and on NZ MediaWorks TV3 and FOUR.

Merchandise

DVD releases

DVD Title Region 1 Discs Extras
Anchors Away! August 25, 2009[18] 1 "The Suite Life Sets Sail", "Parrot Island", "Kidney of the Sea", "International Dateline", "Maddie on Deck", and "Mulch Ado About Nothing". In addition, Debby Ryan's interview with the Sprouse twins is featured on this DVD.[18]
Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana September 22, 2009[19] 1 Crossover episodes from Wizards of Waverly Place, The Suite Life on Deck, and Hannah Montana.

Other media

An activity book based on the series was released on July 13, 2009. The book is called "The Suite Life on Deck Sink or Swim Sticker Activity Book".[20] A photo album based on the series was also released, and it includes several posters, colored images from the series, captions and activities for the reader.[21] In August 2009, two new books titled "Suite Life on Deck: A Day in the Life" and "Suite Life on Deck Party Planner" were released by Disney.[22]

Reception

U.S. Nielsen ratings

The show's pilot premiered on the Disney Channel in the U.S. on September 26, 2008, and gathered 5.7 million viewers on the night of its premiere.[2] The series premiere in Canada was also the most watched series premiere on Family channel.[3] In December 2008, Business Wire reported the show was 2008's #1 top scripted television series for children between the ages 6 to 11 and pre-teenagers between the ages 9 to 14, beating the veteran series Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place in the ratings.[4] The show was in the #1 spot for the top rated children's television series for many months.[23] The show has been one of the top 4 live-action television series for many months.[24] Since then, "The Suite Life on Deck" held a commanding lead in the time slot (Friday 8:00 p.m.), ranking as TV's #1 program among the key children demographics, virtually doubling Nickelodeon among children between the age of 9–14, and defeating it by a 6% among children between the age of 6–11. In addition, the series would reach #1 in total viewers on all cable, outperforming #2 networks Fox News and Nickelodeon by 800,000 more viewers.[11]

As of August 2009, the highest rated episode of The Suite Life on Deck was "Double-Crossed," the second part of Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana, a trilogy of crossover episodes featuring guest stars from Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana which premiered on July 17, 2009, on Disney Channel. The special was viewed by more than 10.6 million viewers, program of the night across both cable and broadcast television, and ranks as one of the highest-rated episodes for a Disney Channel original series. This was the first episode that Cody and Bailey go out on a date.[25]

In early October 2009, the series one-hour special episode "Lost at Sea" became the most watched episode of the series, with 7.6 million total viewers, including 3.2 million in the Kids 6–11 demographic, and 2.8 million in the Tweens 9–13 demographic.[26] The episode delivered Disney Channel's best numbers in the hour with regular programming in the net's history.[26] In 2009, the series was the most watched scripted series in the children and tween demographic (6–14), outpacing Hannah Montana and several other teenage shows.[5] The series second season's ratings grew 25% higher than the show's season one ratings, the second season has averaged approximately 5.1 million viewers.[6]

Season premiere ratings

Season Episode Air date (U.S.) Ratings Viewers (in millions)
1 The Suite Life Sets Sail September 26, 2008 4.8 5.7[2]
2 The Spy Who Shoved Me August 7, 2009 4.7 5.1[27]
3 The Silent Treatment July 2, 2010 2.7 3.4[28]

Record breaking episodes

No. Episode Air date (U.S.) Ratings Viewers (in millions)
1.21 Double-Crossed July 17, 2009 8.8 10.6[29]
2.08 Lost at Sea October 2, 2009 3.9 7.6[30]
3.19 Twister: Part 3 January 16, 2011 4.0 7.2[31]

iTunes

Before the series officially made its debut on air, the first episode entitled "The Suite Life Sets Sail" was made available as a free download on iTunes. All series have since been made available.[citation needed]

Resurgence of Zack and Cody's dinner reservation episode

In November 2023, an episode entitled "When in Rome..." went viral over social media due to Zack and Cody's restaurant reservation date. The episode featured Zack and Cody attempting to reserve a table at an Italian restaurant, only to find out their table was reserved for November 16, 2023.[32]

Accolades

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2010 Green Globe Film Awards Outstanding Actors Asians in Hollywood Brenda Song Nominated[33][34]
2010 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Show The Suite Life on Deck Nominated[35][36]
Favorite TV Actor Cole Sprouse Nominated[35][36]
Dylan Sprouse Won[36]
Hollywood Teen TV Awards Teen Pick Show: Comedy The Suite Life on Deck Nominated[37]
2011 2011 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Show The Suite Life on Deck Nominated[38][39]
Casting Society of America Best Casting – Children's Series Dana Gergely
Brandi Brice
Won[40]

References

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  3. ^ a b Scott Campbell (October 20, 2008). The Suite Life on Deck sets sail on Family Channel with record-breaking premiere ratings[permanent dead link]. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Disney Channel/DisneyChannel.com Highlights For 2008". Business Wire. Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Retrieved December 24, 2008.
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  8. ^ Wiest, Brianna (13 September 2017). "People Think Paris Hilton STOLE This Meme About "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"". Teen Vogue.
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  11. ^ a b Robert Siedman (May 11, 2009). "Disney Channel orders more The Suite Life on Deck". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
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  13. ^ "Cast-Away (To Another Show)". Wizards of Waverly Place. Season 2. Episode 25.
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    "Production to Begin on The Suite Life Movie For Disney Channel". Disney Channel Medianet. Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
    Seidman, Robert (September 20, 2010). "Production to Begin on The Suite Life Movie For Disney Channel". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
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    "The Suite Life On Deck Sticker Activity Book". Disney Books. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  21. ^ "The Suite Life On Deck Photo Album". Disney Books. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  22. ^ "– Suite Life On Deck Party Planner". Disney Books. Archived from the original on October 28, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2009.;
    "Suite Life On Deck: A Day in the Life". Disney Books. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
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    Disney Channel weekly ratings Archived 2012-10-23 at the Wayback Machine;
    Football, Future President, and Zack & Cody Lead Weekly Cable Viewing Archived 2009-04-18 at the Wayback Machine;
    Disney Channel Weekly Highlights
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  40. ^ "Casting Society of America Announces 2011 Artios Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2012-11-19.