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THE TV COLUMN: Zack, Cody are saying goodbye to Suite Life

Posted: May 5, 2011 at 2:42 a.m.

Disney Channel's "Suite Life on Deck" stars Dylan Sprouse as Zack Martin and Cole Sprouse as Cody Martin.

— Attention, parents looking for stuff the family can enjoy together.

Disney’s Channel’s The Suite Life on Deck, starring Dylan and Cole Sprouse, wraps things up at 7 p.m. Friday. It’ll be a special 40-minute episode.

The Sprouse twins have starred as Zack and Cody Martin ever since they were 12 in 2005, when The Suite Life of Zack & Cody debuted on Disney.

They transitioned to The Suite Life on Deck in 2008 and sailed on to set a record. With 162 half-hour episodes between the two series, the franchise holds the record for having the longest running continuous characters on air and the most episodes in Disney Channel history.

Well, the boys are 18 now and that’s getting long in the tooth for a Disney child star. It’s time to wish ’em good luck and cut ’em loose.

In the final episode, “Graduation on Deck,” Cody and Bailey (Debby Ryan) grapple with the crushing fact that one of them does not get accepted to Yale University. Also, Mr. Moseby (Phill Lewis) makes a life-changing decision involving Ms. Tuttweiler (ErinCardillo).

What Disney giveth, Disney taketh away - and giveth again.

The Disney child-star factory never sleeps. Immediately following the Suite Life finale is a preview of the new preteen comedy series A.N.T. Farm.

Sorry, the show isn’t about bugs. Set in San Francisco, it revolves around Chyna Parks, an 11-year-old musical prodigy who attends high school as part of the prestigious A.N.T. (Advanced Natural Talents) program.

Chyna, like her fellow A.N.T.s, “must find her place and make the most of her high school experience despite the decidedly lukewarm welcome from some high school students, including Chyna’s older brother, who overcompensates to avoid his sister’s shadow.”

China Anne McClainplays Chyna Parks. Viewers might recognize her from her role as Jazmine Payne in Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.

China is only 12 years old, so if A.N.T. Farm is a hit, expect her to be around forabout six more years.

For cat lovers.

We have a cat who we occasionally call Mr. Bitey, so it’s with some trepidation that I note the debut of My Cat From Hell at 8 p.m. Saturday on AnimalPlanet.

Think of cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy as the cat whisperer - a sort of Cesar Millan for felines.

Except Galaxy is one weird-looking, tattooed dude. If I were a cat, I’d hide under the bed, too.

Galaxy says he’s a musician by night and a cat behaviorist by day. He claims he has never met a bad cat he couldn’t help. That includes thousands of cats.

He analyzes the cat’s behavioral problem and retrains it “and its guardian.” This I’ve got to see.

LIFE ON THE EDGE

Speculation is heating up over which shows will live and which will die when the networks begin announcing their fall lineups in a couple of weeks.

It’s always sad to see a series end - sadder for some than others. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quality show that simply never found an audience or something sucky that should never have been on the air in the first place. If you liked it, then it’s sad.

For those shows that have been around long enough to establish a fan base, losing them is like losing an oldfriend.

I scour the TV wires every morning in search of information from my TV critic colleagues out there who might have some inside line on which shows will make it. Here’s the outlook according to Joanne Ostrow from The Denver Post.

On the bubble:

Shows whose fate could go either way include Chicago Code (Fox), Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC), Harry’s Law (NBC), Human Target (Fox), Lie to Me (Fox), Off the Map (ABC), One Tree Hill (The CW), Outsourced (NBC), Shedding for the Wedding (The CW), The Event (NBC), Traffic Light (Fox) and V (ABC).

Going or gone: Already canceled or with such low ratings they are assuredly already doomed are The Cape (NBC), Chase (NBC), Life Unexpected (The CW), Live to Dance (CBS), Lone Star (Fox), The Good Guys (Fox), Medium (CBS), My Generation (ABC), No Ordinary Family (ABC), Running Wilde (Fox), Perfect Couples (NBC), Smallville (The CW) and The Whole Truth (ABC).

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. E-mail:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 32 on 05/05/2011

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