Good Luck Charlie is an American television sitcom, which premiered on April 4, 2010, on Disney Channel. The series was created by Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen, who wanted to create a program that would appeal to entire families, as opposed to children only. It revolves around a Denver family, the Duncans, as they try to adjust to the births of their fourth and fifth children, Charlotte "Charlie" Duncan (Mia Talerico) and Toby Duncan. In each episode, Teddy Duncan (Bridgit Mendler) creates a video diary containing advice for Charlie about their family and life as a teenager. Teddy tries to show Charlie what she might go through when she is older in the video diaries for future reference. Each video diary ends with Teddy (or someone else from the family, even Charlie) saying the eponymous phrase, "Good luck, Charlie".
Among other decisions, executives included adult-centric scenes and changed the series title from Oops to Love, Teddy and finally to Good Luck Charlie in order to ensure the series would appeal to all family members. Good Luck Charlie premiered on Disney Channel in the United States on April 4, 2010. It premiered in Canada on April 5, 2010, the United Kingdom and Ireland on May 14, 2010, and in Australia and New Zealand on July 23, 2010. Good Luck Charlie was renewed for a second season, with production beginning in August 2010 with a season premiere on February 20, 2011. A feature-length Christmas Disney Channel Original Movie based on the series entitled Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! began production in March 2011 for a December 2011 premiere.
On August 29, 2011, Disney Channel announced that they had renewed the series for a third season. The third season premiered on May 6, 2012 and concluded on January 20, 2013. On July 12, 2012, Disney Channel announced that they renewed the series for a fourth season. According to a Fuse interview, Mendler has stated that Season 4 might be its final one. Season 4 will premiere on April 28, 2013.
The series centers on the Duncan family, who are still adjusting to the birth of their fourth child, Charlotte "Charlie" Duncan (Mia Talerico). When parents Amy (Leigh-Allyn Baker), a nurse, and Bob (Eric Allan Kramer), an exterminator, return to work, they ask their three older children—PJ (Jason Dolley), Teddy (Bridgit Mendler), and Gabe (Bradley Steven Perry)—to help raise their little sister. At the same time, Teddy, PJ, and Gabe try to deal with school and typical social challenges in their life.
The events of each episode become material for a video diary Teddy is making for her younger sister. Teddy hopes the videos will provide useful advice for Charlie after they have both grown up and Teddy has moved out. Also at the end of each video, she (and/or other cast members) states, "Good luck, Charlie" or may even say it indirectly such as "Wish them good luck, Charlie." During the movie, Amy reveals to Teddy that she is pregnant with her fifth child, which Teddy is trying to adjust to but this story plot is not carried into the actual series until the third season. In the third season, Amy gives birth to a baby boy, Toby.
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The cast of Good Luck Charlie
(The Duncan family, from left to right), Eric Allan Kramer as Bob
, Leigh-Allyn Baker as Amy
, Mia Talerico as Charlie
, Bridgit Mendler as Teddy
, Bradley Steven Perry as Gabe
and Jason Dolley as PJ.
- Teddy R. Duncan (Bridgit Mendler) is the protagonist of the series, and Charlie's older and only sister, and the second oldest in the Duncan children. Feeling that she will not be around as much when her baby sister Charlie is grown, she produces and directs video diaries for her, hoping that it will give her advice that will help her be successful as a teenager at the end of every episode and at the end of every video diary she says 'good luck charlie'. Her best friend is Ivy Wentz. She is usually a straight-A student. It was mentioned in "Sun Show: Part 1", that her parents were expecting a boy, hence the generally masculine name "Teddy". She dated Spencer Walsh in season 1, but they broke up after she caught him hanging around with a pretty, dim-witted brunette named Skyler, breaking her heart. She and Skyler later become friends despite Teddy and Ivy being annoyed by her at times because of her dumbness but they get used to it, as it is in her nature. She and Skyler also compete in a Battle of the Bands contest, but when Skyler and PJ get together, they combine the two bands together, winning the contest. She and Spencer later get back together in season 2, where Spencer kisses her and says that hurting her was the stupidest thing he's ever done. Throughout the show Teddy has had numerous boyfriends including Derek, a very relaxed guy with a motorbike who could be quite ditzy sometimes; and Evan, a boy that Teddy once liked until she realized that he was into Pokeo - a little kids card game and dumps him because of this in a L.A.R.P. (live-action role play) in the park. Teddy shows a lot of care towards her brothers, as demonstrated when she saves PJ from falling out of a tree house window on the condition of him needing to drive her where ever she wanted for a month, or when Gabe gets a black eye from Jo and Teddy offers to help him with his problem. Teddy is known as a "goody-goody" (G.G.) from her best friend Ivy. It is revealed in "Bye Bye Video Diary", that the reason she wants Charlie to have video diaries with advice in them, because she wants Charlie to grow up to be a good girl. She and Spencer get back together in 'Can You Keep A Secret?'.
- PJ Duncan (Jason Dolley) is the eldest of the Duncan children. He and Teddy often fight, although they care about each other, and he usually gets along well with his younger brother, Gabe. He often appears awkward, somewhat careless and childish, but on numerous occasions has been known to be resourceful, creative and intelligent. Also, he has also been shown to be a good cook, and Bob once tricked Amy (who isn't a very good cook) into working later so that PJ would cook. He and his best friend, Emmett, have their own band entitled "PJ and the Vibe". PJ occasionally uses his younger sister, Charlie, for his personal gain like when he uses her to make big tips while working for Kwikki Chikki by saying that his mother, Amy, was ill in the hospital when she actually she works there. He dated Teddy's friend and ex-girlfriend of Spencer Walsh, Skyler, who has the same type of scatterbrain he has, but they broke up in "PJ in the City", when Skyler had to move to New York City because of her father's new job which required him to relocate. When he dated Skyler, he became concerned when her former boyfriend kept texting her to get back together, he says to leave Skyler alone. He was originally intended to be named after his great-grandfather, Patrick John, but Bob was nervous as he was writing on his birth certificate, resulting in the legal name of "Potty John" instead of the intended "Patty John". Despite Bob trying to correct this in the season 2 episode "Can You Keep a Secret?", he accidentally changed the intended name to "PP Duncan" instead. In season 3, PJ moves out of the Duncan house and into an apartment shared with Emmett.
- Gabriel "Gabe" Duncan (Bradley Steven Perry) is the middle child of the Duncan children, being both the younger brother of Teddy and PJ, and older brother of Charlie and Toby. It is demonstrated early in the series that Gabe does not approve of Charlie's arrival and takes the longest, of all the Duncans, to get used to her. However, he often reluctantly assists with taking care of Charlie and is gradually beginning to demonstrate more fondness in her. He is a prankster and troublemaker, often sarcastic and lazy, but can also be dutiful and determined at times. He is front-man when it comes to the Duncans' running rivalry with Mrs. Dabney, their neighbor, who is often the target of Gabe's pranks and cracks, which is the only time the family doesn't mind them. He is the only Duncan to have brown hair, unlike the rest of his family, who all have blonde hair. One time he was in a commercial with a fake mom (Perry's real-life mother, Kim) where he claims "she looks more like my mom than my real one." A running gag in the show is that he insults Bob because of his weight and baldness, Amy's cooking, PJ being a goofball, Teddy being a "goody-goody," and occasionally Charlie. He also likes to harass and tease Mrs. Dabney, as he finds her annoying, for example, when she came to their doorstep, he says he's not feeling well and he says he's got a bad case of "Dabneriah" (which Amy finds amusing) or when she tricked him and PJ into digging a hot tub, they poured green food coloring in it, turning her green. Whenever there is a special occasion, he wants to skip the ceremony and get to the cake, like Charlie's first birthday. In "Special Delivery", he said he wanted a younger brother (who is later born in that episode) because he wants to be able to tease him, rather than teasing PJ. He also won the baby naming contest and so his brother's name is Toby. Like his sister Teddy, he makes video diaries for Toby, ending with Good Fortune, Toby!. Also, it was revealed that when Gabe was a baby he was a calm and easy child.
- Charlotte "Charlie" Duncan (Mia Talerico) is the title character and the second youngest of the Duncan children. She is generally portrayed as being happy and rarely cries. Charlie appears as the least of the Duncans in the series as she is little. It sometimes takes a few tries to get her to do the right thing. Charlie can also be mischievous at times. Many of the Duncan family's adventures revolve around Charlie. Both her older brothers, PJ and Gabe, are often seen using Charlie for their own benefit, although PJ shows that he cares about her deeply. However, Gabe seems to dislike Charlie the most although, in some episodes, he is seen being quite fond of her. Amy thinks of Charlie as the perfect baby, being cute and all that. Bridgit Mendler played an older version of Charlie in "Bye-Bye Video Diary", in a dream sequence that shows what Teddy fears if Charlie does not receive the video diaries, Charlie might act badly, quit school, run away with her juvenile boyfriend, and resent Teddy. It was revealed in "Charlie is 1", that it was Teddy's idea to nickname her Charlie. Charlie was seen having short hair, usually tied up like a bun in the first season, but as she grew older, had longer hair in a ponytail or pigtails. Charlie speaks more often in later episodes of season 2 and in season 3. She shares a birthday with Toby and said, "I like this present" when Toby was born. In season 3, her personality begins to develop, as she is seen as sneaky and mischievous, such as pretending to like a doll Amy bought for her to like Toby, but then throwing it away when she wasn't looking, and also telling Amy's "friends" what she really thinks of them, causing her to lose them all. Her personality is most like Gabe.
- Amy B. Duncan – (née Blankenhooper) (Leigh-Allyn Baker) is the mother of Teddy, PJ, Gabe, Charlie, and Toby, and wife of Bob. She works as a hospital nurse and is often portrayed as dutiful, protective and comedic. She is very fond and loving of her family, and does everything she can to care for and protect them. She appears to be somewhat uncomfortable when she is not taking care of her family, especially Charlie, but as the series progresses, she begins to feel assured that her youngest daughter and family are in good hands and now trusts that her husband and three eldest children can take care of Charlie. She used to be on the local news team and was also a poet in her high school days. A running joke on the show is that she mentions her tenure at Southwest Denver Community College, and apparently having been involved virtually every extracurricular activity that the school provided, and yet still earned a nursing degree. She lets special opportunities, such as being on TV or singing in front of a group, go to her head. She has a habit of taking any chance of any publicity that may shine on her family to focus onto her. This never works out well, usually she ends up being cut from the project or tossed out of certain groups (Mommy & Me, etc). Amy seldom accepts her children's misbehavior. It is revealed in the episode "Teddy's Bear" that whenever Amy gets involved in things that may tick her off, she turns into "Mama Bear" and loses control. It is revealed in the movie, that she is pregnant again with her fifth child. In "Teddy on Ice", she reveals that Charlie is the perfect combination of her three older children – "The intelligence of Teddy, the sweetness of PJ, and none of Gabe!" According to Bob, Amy is usually fussy during her third trimester in pregnancy. In the middle of the third season, Amy quit her nursing job to be a full-time mother to Charlie and Toby.
- Bob William Duncan (Eric Allan Kramer) is the father of Teddy, PJ, Gabe, Charlie, and Toby, and husband of Amy. He owns his own pest control company, "Bob's Bugs Be Gone". He sometimes refers to his business as the "Triple B -G". He loves bugs and attends the bug convention every year. Bob is the coach of Gabe's basketball team, but he was temporarily replaced by his wife. It is also mentioned in "Snow Show: Part 1" that Bob and Amy are not legally married because they were scammed by a con man who impersonated a judge. Then they end up getting married legally with all four of their children present(Charlie caught the bouquet!). His dream as a child was to be a professional wrestler named "Bobzilla", which he showed in his company's commercial. Bob gets made fun of a lot throughout the series because of his weight and baldness, usually by his younger son, Gabe. He is very "cheap" and "tight" with his money. He wants his family to know him as a "fix-it" man, though his projects never seem to work out. He is slightly afraid of Amy, but he calls it a "strong respect". He has two positions of authority when it comes to the children: driving lessons and barbecuing. He can be lazy but is determined to spend quality time with his wife and children. Especially his two sons; PJ and Gabe, they often go on a fishing trip which is a nightmare for PJ and Gabe especially when Bob makes his egg salad sandwiches. He has issues with his mother-in-law, Petunia. In the movie he gets a timeout just because Petunia blames him for not raising Charlie properly. In the end, Petunia says he is good at making beautiful babies, with a little sarcasm. It is revealed he has apologized to Amy at least 162 times. In "Baby Steps," it is revealed that he dropped all of his kids including Toby. In multiple episodes Bob brags about having his own band in high school, "The Bob Duncan Experience", which made a grand total of ONE record(an LP, no copies). He can still play bass guitar and occasionally sits in with P.J. & The Vibe. Late in the third season, Bob began exercising and dropped a massive amount of fat, replacing most of it with muscle. After Amy & the kids staged an intervention to stop his more revealing wardrobe choices, he admits the catalyst for his getting back in shape was someone in the park mistaking him for Toby's grandfather!
- Ivy Renee Wentz (Raven Goodwin) is Teddy's best friend, and is one of the major recurring characters in the series. She is seen spending most of her time with Teddy at the Duncan's residence and often accompanies her on her dutiful, or personal, excursions. Ivy is energetic, witty and humorous and has proven to be quite intuitive; although she does not receive the best grades in school. She is passionate, if not obsessed, about clothes, money, popularity, boys and texting; but on numerous occasions has proven to be a loyal and comforting friend. Ivy briefly dated Emmett when they were younger, and now never misses a chance to insult him, but went to the school dance with him so she and Teddy can have a ride in "Dance Off". It is revealed that she loves country music and animal print clothes. She is dating a classmate named Raymond (Daniel Curtis Lee), or her own nickname, Ray-Ray.
- Spencer Walsh (Shane Harper) is Teddy's boyfriend. At first, they started dating after they begin studying together. He cheated on her in the episode "Girl Bites Dog", and Teddy broke up with him. In "Snow Show", he goes to the lodge that the Duncan family is staying at to get back together with Teddy. They share a kiss on the ski lift. At the end, they just decide to stay friends. He and Emmett share similar dancing abilities that rival each other, and they eventually become friends. In the episode, "Can You Keep a Secret?", he and Teddy get back together.
- Emmett (Micah Williams) is PJ's best friend. He is slender, comedic, and has a desperate, misguided & very one-sided attraction to Teddy, though Teddy constantly rejects him. Emmett accompanies PJ on the drums in his band "PJ and the Vibe", and sometimes assists PJ on his problematic excursions. Emmett has a nephew named Mason who, he claimed, was better than Charlie, until Charlie beat Mason in a "baby race" by learning to walk. Emmett is also an incredible dancer, with skills matched only by Spencer. He once went out with Ivy when they were younger. In his mind, he sees himself as being suave, sophisticated, and very attractive to girls.
- Mrs. Estelle Dabney (Patricia Belcher) is the Duncans' stern and irritable neighbor. In "The Curious Case of Mr. Dabney", she was mistakenly accused of killing her husband. In "Kit and Kaboodle", it is mentioned that Mrs. Dabney and her four sisters were born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in 1958. She wanted the Duncans' tree, which housed PJ and Teddy's tree house, cut down; but the family fought back. It is revealed that Estelle is one of quintuplets; her four sisters are played by Belcher via split screen. Mrs. Dabney is often suspicious of Gabe, because his pranks and troublemaking are often directed at her. She is often antagonistic towards the Duncans—Bob, PJ, and Gabe especially- but is fairly tolerant of Charlie. She was also a big fan of the fictional "Higgins and Zork" television show when she was younger. She loves her son and her cat more than her husband, and some wonder why she married Mr. Dabney if she hated him so much. In "It's A Charlie Duncan Thanksgiving", it is revealed that she and Mr. Dabney had recently divorced. In the same episode, she flirted with the Duncan kids' grandfather, but broke up with him not much later. It is revealed that in "Make Room for Baby" that she does not know the Internet.
- Jo Keener (G. Hannelius) is Gabe's tomboyish bully-turned-friend. She was introduced in "Boys Meets Girls", bullying Gabe before revealing she has a crush on him. Since that episode, she appears friendly with Gabe, assisting him with certain situations with an occasional wise-crack and insult at his expense. It is demonstrated that she is good with babies after taking care of Charlie. It is also revealed that Gabe also has a small crush on her but doesn't show it. In "Duncan's Got Talent", Jo played a trick on Gabe that almost ruined his chance of being class president. Earlier in that episode, Gabe revealed that he'd had a dream about Jo, but he stopped himself before he could say what she did in it. In season 2, Gabe and Jo settle their differences in "Duncan vs. Duncan". According to Jo, she and Gabe have a complicated relationship. Jo no longer appears in the series, since G. Hannelius is now playing Avery Jennings in another Disney Channel sitcom, Dog With a Blog.
- Mary Lou Wentz (Ellia English) is Ivy Wentz's mother and Amy Duncan's friend. She first appears to be rather bland; but as the series progresses, she becomes more entertaining and vibrant. She is a skilled knitter; and, in "Gabe's 12-½ Birthday", she is shown to be a talented singer, performing the national anthem at a game. She has appeared in six episodes. In season 1, she appeared in "The Curious Case of Mr. Dabney" and "Butt Dialing Duncans;" and, in season 2, she has appeared in "Appy Days", "Gabe's 12-½ Birthday", "Amazing Gracie", and "Teddy on Ice". She is married to Harry Wentz (William Allen Young), and their highly conservative and traditional ways annoy Ivy and Teddy. In one episode, Teddy visits their home; and they invite her to participate in a family sing-a-long of Row, Row, Row Your Boat and eat liver and onions, leading Teddy to leave the house in the middle of a snowstorm. In "Amy Needs A Shower", she hosts Amy's baby shower. Amy Duncan describes her as too perky.
- Harry Wentz (William Allen Young) is the husband of Mary Lou Wentz and the father of Ivy Wentz, Teddy's best friend. Throughout the series, he has appeared in three episodes, all in Season Two: "Gabe's 12-1/2 Birthday", "Amazing Gracie", and "Teddy on Ice". Harry and Mary Lou do various annoying things to Teddy and Ivy such as singing rounds of Row, Row, Row Your Boat and eating liver and onions. It is shown in "Amazing Gracie" that he had a car named Gracie that he was very attached to. He reluctantly sold it to Teddy before she crashed it. It is also shown that he and Mary Lou own a small cabin by a lake in "Teddy on Ice." In Season 3, Harry quits his plumbing job and starts a weather themed restrauraunt.
- Skyler (Samantha Boscarino) is Teddy's friend and Spencer's ex-girlfriend. She first appears and was introduced in the episode "Girl Bites Dog", as a complete stranger to Teddy. Later Teddy finds out that she is Spencer's other girlfriend and they break up with him. She then appeared in "Teddy's Broken Heart Club Band", where she and Teddy record a mean song about Spencer to get back at him. Teddy and Skyler become good friends. She and PJ become a couple when she and Teddy enter a battle of the bands contest to compete against PJ and Emmett and also Spencer. She and PJ broke up in "PJ in the City", when Skyler moved to New York due to her father's new job. Skyler is a gifted guitarist and pianist, a talented singer, and is able to write incredible poems and songs.
- Jake (Tucker Albrizzi) is Gabe's friend. He first appeared in "Pushing Buttons", where he bought Gabe's bike from him for $10. He then appeared in "Baby's New Shoes", where he went to a movie theater with Gabe and Teddy to help her expose an employee selling children age-inappropriate movie tickets in exchange for money. He also appeared faking a broadcast with Gabe at the end of the episode. He made another appearance in "Termite Queen", where he helps Gabe shoot a monster movie, and "Special Delivery", where he convinces Gabe to buy a video game over a toy for Charlie.
- Vonnie (Cyrina Fiallo) is a girl who is friends with Teddy. She first appears in the Season 3 episode, "T. Wrecks", when Teddy joins the girls' volleyball team. She later appears in the episode "Team Mom", when the volleyball team is on a losing streak and Amy is their new Team Mom. She is also friends with Kelsey (Coco Jones). In "Nurse Blakenhooper", she teams up with Teddy to do a project because she knows Teddy can get them a good grade.
- Victor (Kevin Covais) first appears in the episode, "Baby's First Vacation" when he helps Teddy put video feed in the home security system so she can have a party while the family is on vacation. He reappears in "Teddy and the Bambino" to help Teddy win the Student U.N. Competition. Finally, in "Study Buddy", he preps Teddy for the SAT's since he got a perfect score. In "Baby's First Vacation" he is shown to have some dislike for Spencer, and also, Ivy does not get along with him.
- Toby Duncan (no credited actor) is the fifth and youngest of the Duncan siblings. He was born in the back of an ice cream truck. Bob and Amy were riding in on the way to the hospital and Teddy helped deliver him. He and Charlie share the same birthday. Gabe came up with that name and Gabe started to make a video diary for him to impress a girl and at the end he says "Good Fortune Toby" In the episode "Special Delivery" it is mentioned that Toby is born on the same day as Charlie except that he is three years younger. According to the July 12, 2012 Disney press release announcing season four, casting will soon begin for the role of Toby, by which time, he will be a toddler.
- Linda Duncan (Shirley Jones) is Bob's despicable mother, who belittles and attempts to upstage Amy no matter what her daughter-in-law does (this could well explain Amy's disturbed need to steal the spotlight from all other family members). She has appeared twice, in the episode following Toby's birth and the third season Christmas episode, in which she brags about how she'll be singing the same carol at the family talent show as Amy(probably after eavesdropping from the front porch), even trying to silence Amy during their agreed duet. Her cruel tactics include faint praise by her favorite expression "and whatnot," and making fun of Amy's "Ba-Bam!" tagline.
Shake It Up crossover
In Season 2, Good Luck Charlie released a crossover episode with Shake It Up titled Charlie Shakes It Up. It is about Teddy, Amy, and Charlie visiting Chicago to see Great Aunt Nell, but they mistake that they got a car rented by Nell that takes them to the set of Shake It Up, Chicago!, where they are mistaken for dancers. Meanwhile, PJ and Gabe have a yard sale out of stuff from the attic.
Development and production
"A lot of the high-concept shows have kids in an extraordinary situation where the parent or adult takes a backseat, and sometimes the adult isn't as smart as the kid, or it's all about the kids putting one over on the adults. But we have a new show called "Good Luck Charlie" that has a very different kind of concept. It is very grounded, very relatable, and it's not about the parents being dumber than the kids. We try and mine as much comedy out of the parents as possible, but it doesn't mean the kids can't learn from the parents and get guidance from the parents".
Adam Bonnett, senior Vice President of original programming for Disney.
The Good Luck Charlie pilot, entitled "Study Date", was shot in February 2009, at Sunset Bronson Studios (where Hannah Montana was taped) and the series was picked up later that year. The show's production occurs at Sunset Bronson Studios in Los Angeles even though the show is set in Denver, Colorado. Starting with the 2nd season, the series is taped at Los Angeles Center Studios, where Shake It Up is also taped. The show operates on a weekly schedule. Scripts for a new episode are issued on Monday before a read-through, Wednesdays are rehearsal and network run-through day, final scripts are issued on Thursday, and the episode is shot in front of a live studio audience on Friday night. According to Mendler, occasionally "episodes are too big to handle with a live audience [and are] taped without an audience, but mostly they're live".
Good Luck Charlie was created by Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen, who have been writing together since 1993 on shows ranging from Suddenly Susan to Sonny with a Chance. The pair aspired to create a program that would appeal to entire families rather than simply kids. Inspired by the success of reruns of shows such as Full House and George Lopez with young audiences, Vaupen and Baker turned to family sitcoms. "We wanted to do a show about a family, to bring back a family sitcom and make it about a real family, not wizards, nobody's a pop star, nobody has a TV show", said Vaupen, referring to Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, and Sonny with a Chance.
Veteran writer-producer Dan Staley (Cheers) later joined the show as executive producer. Disney’s Gary Marsh said “because most network television abandoned the traditional sitcom, Disney has been able to snatch up a lot of experienced talent for behind the camera, including executive producer Dan Staley…”
Good Luck Charlie's central family, the Duncans from Denver, Colorado, was carefully crafted for broad appeal. While the series is still told primarily through the view point of the Duncan children, the children's parents, Amy and Bob, are less on the periphery and writers attempt to add scenes that adult viewers can relate to. For example, in one scene in the pilot episode Amy confesses to Bob that she is overwhelmed with becoming a working new mother again. "She's not sure she can pull this off", says Bonnet. "And just playing that scene the way we did, a very real scene between husband and wife, kind of makes this show different". The writers also try to include jokes for adult viewers while remaining chaste enough for their young target audience. Unlike most previous Disney Channel series such as Sonny with a Chance, Hannah Montana, or Cory in the House, both parents are seen in the Duncan family. "It felt like the right time to have a show with two parents, to debunk the myth that Disney never has the mom in the picture", says Adam Bonnett, Senior Vice President of original programming for Disney Channel. "Because it is a myth".
Because a series about the rich and famous might alienate viewers in a troubled economy, the Duncans were made middle-class. According to Gary Marsh, Entertainment President of Disney Channel Worldwide, "We want[ed] to do is acknowledge the reality of the times in which we live, where two parents work, where kids are expected to help out around the house in meaningful ways. Real-life issues happen. Everyone isn't living The Life of Riley all the time".
Broadening Disney Channel's appeal was a concern when choosing the names of the characters and the title of the program. "You want a title that says, a) this is a sitcom and, b) this is something that will interest the main demographic but also we're trying to expand the Disney brand beyond just girls", Vaupen commented. The series' title was originally "Love, Teddy", the phrase Teddy had used to end her video diary entries during development. However, "Love, Teddy" immediately felt feminized and almost excludes boys", Vaupen said. "We also didn't want to have the word 'Baby' in the title because that would exclude certain people". The Duncan baby was originally named "Daisy" during development, but producers thought that "Charlie", which is generally a masculine name, would attract more boys.
As Good Luck Charlie is low concept and character-driven, "the actors not only had to carry the show, they also had to have "pitch-perfect" chemistry with each other to make the family dynamic believable". Bonnet says Disney Channel executives "just fell in love with" Bridgit Mendler, who stars as the series' protagonist, a teenager named Teddy Duncan. "She has all the attributes of a Disney star", said Bonnet. Mendler first heard about Good Luck Charlie in late November 2008. After several rounds of auditions and cast reads, she finally secured the part in January 2009. Both Mendler and Jason Dolley, who plays Teddy's older brother PJ, have starred in early Disney Channel series and movies prior to being cast in Good Luck Charlie; Mendler had a recurring role on Wizards of Waverly Place and Dolley starred in Cory in the House and other Disney Channel television movies. Variety magazine's Brian Lowry says their careers "[reflect] the Disney Channel's knack for identifying young performers and rolling them from one project to the next, in a fashion reminiscent of the old studio system". Both Eric Allan Kramer, who plays Bob Duncan, and Leigh-Allyn Baker, who plays Amy Duncan, have also guest starred on other Disney Channel shows, and both Baker and Allen had respectively guest starred in one episode each of the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl, where Charlie writers Erika Kaestle & Patrick McCarthy had served as writers and supervising producers. Both Baker and Kramer were in the same episode of the NBC sitcom "Will and Grace". Baker says Disney had been "courting [her] for awhile to play a mom", but she had always felt too young. "I kind of feel like hey, you know what? When I'm done with this stint, I'll actually be the age everyone thinks I am to be able to play the part". Baker, who was a new mother herself, was nine months pregnant at the time she was auditioning for the role.
Mia Talerico – Like most series featuring baby actors, producers of Good Luck Charlie had originally intended to have twins play Charlie Duncan, the title character and the Duncans' new baby. Hiring two babies would allow for longer work days without violating child labor laws as well as the ability to substitute one child for the other if one was unavailable. However, the show makers were unsuccessful in finding the proper set of twins and decided to cast Mia Talerico instead. Marsh says hiring Talerico, who was ten months old at the time she was cast, was their highest risk while creating the show: "It's like flying without a net. She may have a bad day and we can't shoot and it'll cost us tens of thousands of dollars. But so far, so good. She's the most obedient actor I've ever worked with".
The series's premiere earned positive reviews. It also currently holds a 8.2 rating on TV.com, and 6.9 rating from 2,957 users on IMDb.com,which is rated only 0.3 less than "Two and a Half Men" currently. Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times described it as a "professional sitcom from sitcom professionals" with efficient jokes and typical sitcom characters, and situations which are "willfully arranged". However, Lloyd praised the series for offering a "contextually novel picture of a teenage girl taking care of her baby sister with a persuasive nonchalance and practical ease that transcends the strenuous comedy that surrounds it". Neal Justin of the Star Tribune said the "slapstick heavy, laugh-track fueled sitcom" had no redeeming qualities other than "keeping your 11-year-old sedated for a half hour". Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Good Luck Charlie would appeal to kids, but not adults. "Parents have seen the same sort of show done before and better in ABC's 1980s-era TGIF lineup", wrote Owen. Contrarily, Brian Lowry of Variety magazine said Good Luck Charlie was "a surprisingly refreshing throwback to ABC's "TGIF"-style sitcoms". He commented that while the series did not "push sitcom boundaries", it was "sprightly" and "pleasantly handled".
The series premiered to 4.6 million viewers, making it the highest-rated series premiere for a Disney Channel Original Series since The Suite Life on Deck in 2008, and the week's highest-rated cable program. Maclean's reported that overall, the first season "has been doing about as well as Disney’s more successful shows – The Suite Life and so on".
On June 24, 2012, the episode "Special Delivery" became the most-watched episode ever of Good Luck Charlie, earning 7.48 million viewers, surpassing the episode "Snow Show (Part 1)" which had 7.24 million viewers as well as the episode "Kit and Kaboodle" that garnered 5.03 million viewers and the series' pilot episode "Study Date" which had 4.68 million viewers.
Awards and nominations
The series theme song is "Hang in There Baby". "I'm Gonna Run to You", which was co-written by Bridgit Mendler, was featured in the telemovie, Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas!. It was released on iTunes on November 12, 2011, and peaked at number 15 on Radio Disney's Top 30 Countdown on January 23, 2012. "You're Something Beautiful" was featured in the 1-hour special episode, "Special Delivery", and "My Song for You" was featured in the Season 3 Christmas episode "A Duncan Christmas". The first three songs are sung by Bridgit Mendler alone, while the fourth is a duet sung by Mendler and Shane Harper.
Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! also known as "Good Luck Charlie: The Road Trip Movie" is a 2011 Christmas film based on the series. The film premiered December 2, 2011 on the Disney Channel. The film was directed by Arlene Sanford and written by Geoff Rodkey. The Disney Channel Original Movie follows the Duncan family on their road trip to Amy Duncan's parents' house for Christmas.
An Indian adaptation of the show, titled Best of Luck Nikki, premiered on Disney Channel India on April 3, 2011. Sheena Bajaj plays Dolly Singh, a character similar to that of Teddy Duncan.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010) |
|Country / Region||Channel||Series premiere||Title in country|
| United States||Disney Channel||NONE||April 4, 2010||Good Luck Charlie|
| Middle East||Disney Channel Middle East||NONE||April 19, 2010||تشارلي أختي (My Sister Charlie)|
| Canada||Family Channel||April 5, 2010||May 14, 2010||Good Luck Charlie|
| Australia||Disney Channel Australia||May 14, 2010||July 23, 2010|
| New Zealand|
| United Kingdom||Disney Channel UK and Ireland||May 14, 2010||June 12, 2010|
| Germany||Disney Channel Germany||May 7, 2010||November 7, 2010||Meine Schwester Charlie|
(My Sister Charlie)
| Austria||Disney Channel Germany||May 7, 2010|
| Poland||Disney Channel Poland||NONE||June 5, 2010||Powodzenia Charlie!|
| Greece||Disney Channel Greece||NONE||Καλή Τύχη Τσάρλι|
| Czech Republic||Disney Channel Czech Republic & Slovakia||NONE||Hodně štěstí, Charlie|
| Slovakia||NONE||Veľa šťastia, Charlie|
| Hungary||Disney Channel Hungary||NONE||Sok sikert, Charlie!|
| Romania||Disney Channel Romania||NONE||Baftă,Charlie!|
| Bulgaria||NONE||Късмет, Чарли|
| Ukraine||NONE||August 10, 2010||Щасти, Чарлі|
| France||Disney Channel France||June 9, 2010||September 1, 2010||Bonne Chance Charlie|
| Quebec||VRAK.TV||NONE||December 28, 2010||Bonne Chance Charlie|
| Argentina||Disney Channel Latin America||July 10, 2010||July 12, 2010||¡Buena Suerte, Charlie!|
| Brazil||Disney Channel Brazil||NONE||July 10, 2010||Boa Sorte, Charlie!|
| Chile||Disney Channel Latin America||NONE||¡Buena Suerte, Charlie!|
|Canal 13 (Chile)||NONE||January 7, 2011|
| Spain||Disney Channel Spain||September 19, 2010||October 8, 2010||¡Buena Suerte, Charlie!|
| Portugal||Disney Channel Portugal||Boa Sorte, Charlie!|
| Italy||Disney Channel Italy||July 12, 2010||October 1, 2010||Buona fortuna, Charlie!|
| Turkey||Disney Channel Turkey||April 19, 2011||June 19, 2010||İyi Şanslar Charlie|
| Israel||Disney Channel Israel||NONE||October 17, 2010||גוד לאק צ'ארלי|
| Japan||Disney Channel Japan||July 19, 2010||September 10, 2010||グッドラック・チャーリー|
| Taiwan||Disney Channel Taiwan||NONE||June 24, 2010||我愛夏莉|
(I Love Charlie)
| Hong Kong||Disney Channel Asia||NONE||June 24, 2010||我愛夏莉|
(I Love Charlie)
|TVB Pearl||NONE||November 11, 2012||吾家查莉|
| Cambodia||Disney Channel Asia||August 9, 2010||S1: August 14, 2010|
S2: November 6, 2011
|Good Luck Charlie|
| South Korea||찰리야 부탁해|
(I'm Counting on You, Charlie)
| Singapore||S1: August 14, 2010|
S2: November 6, 2011
S3: August 5, 2012
|Good Luck Charlie|
| Belgium||Disney Channel The Netherlands & Belgium||NONE||January 7, 2011|
| Russia||Disney Channel Russia||January 2, 2011||January 29, 2011||Держись, Чарли!|
| Denmark||Disney Channel Scandinavia||NONE||December 25, 2010||Held og lykke Charlie!|
| Norway||NONE||Lykke til Charlie!|
| Sweden||NONE||Lycka till Charlie!|
| Finland||NONE||Onnea matkaan, Charlie!|
| Iceland||RÚV||NONE||unknown||Óskabarnið (Wish Baby)|
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