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That's So Raven was the highest-rated program on Disney Channel during its initial run, and was the first series in the network's history to produce 100 episodes. It was nominated for numerous accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Children's Programming in 2005 and 2007. Since its conclusion, That's So Raven has inspired two spin-offs: Cory in the House starring Kyle Massey, which ran from 2007 to 2008, and Raven's Home starring Raven-Symoné and Anneliese van der Pol as Raven and Chelsea raising their children together, which began airing in 2017.
Raven Baxter, a teenage girl, receives psychic visions of future events when in deep situations. Attempting to make these visions come true frequently results in trouble and hilarious situations for herself, her family, and her friends.
The name for the main character changed several times prior to production, starting with Dawn Baxter in a show named The Future Is on Me. Names changed to Rose Baxter in a show called Absolutely Psychic but finally settling on Raven Baxter when actress Raven-Symoné won the lead part, with the show titled That's So Raven. Symoné originally auditioned for the role of the best friend, Chelsea. Raven-Symoné was credited simply as "Raven" throughout the series.
The show filmed a special pilot episode on April 12, 2001, and the first season was filmed from November 9, 2001 - June 2002.
That's So Raven was responsible for many firsts for Disney Channel: the series was the highest-rated series in the history of Disney Channel and the first series to garner more than three-million viewers; the second longest-running original series in Disney Channel history, the first Disney Channel series to reach 100 episodes, the first Disney Channel series to produce a spinoff (Cory in the House) and one of the first two live action original series where the lead and most of the supporting main characters are minorities (The Famous Jett Jackson being the other.)
In addition, it was also the first Disney Channel sitcom to be shot on videotape, to use a multi-camera format, to be shot in front of a studio audience or use a laugh track, and to use the simulated film look created by FilmLook, Inc. (all of which has become standard on all Disney Channel comedies, though a 'filmized' appearance was given to all of the channel's videotaped sitcoms produced from 2009 onward, as the live-action Disney Channel Original Series begin being produced in high definition.)
The first three seasons were produced by Brookwell McNamara Entertainment. The company later left at the end of season 3, being replaced by Warren & Rinsler Productions. Raven-Symoné then received a producer credit for the show's fourth and final season, with the credit being called "That So Productions". It became the first Disney Channel series to create a spin-off, Cory in the House, which followed her younger brother, Cory, as his dad became the head chef for the President of the United States, causing the two of them to move to Washington, D.C.
In the fourth season of That's So Raven and on Cory in the House, Victor states that Tanya (T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh) is in England studying to be a lawyer. The show shot its final few episodes in January 2006, but they weren't all aired until a year later, with the series finale airing in March 2007 and the second-to-last episode shown that November.
Each season had opening credits composed of footage from the episodes of that season. Each season also made an exception to the guideline by showing footage from the previous seasons, most of the time when it was needed. For example, if footage being shown was of the characters dancing, then footage of a character or characters would be shown. When originally broadcast, season two followed the guideline, but when season three began airing, the opening credits from season two were inexplicably replaced with the opening credits from season three for daytime network rebroadcasts and subsequent syndication.
Each opening sequence, before going to the title card, always ended with the main cast being together (in clips that were not part of any episode). Seasons one, two, and three were of the Baxters sitting on their living room couch, and season four was of the Baxters (with the exception of Tanya), Eddie, and Chelsea coming down the Baxters' living room stairs.
At the end of the opening credits, Raven stands next to the title card and says, "Yep, that's me." This remained in season four, except with a new addition. Raven's catchphrase "Oh, Snap!" was dubbed in right before she says, "Yep, that's me."
Raven-Symoné performs most of the theme, while Brown performs a rap near the end of the theme and some scattered vocals in the beginning of the theme. Anneliese van der Pol sings the show's title in the chorus. A full-length version of this theme was heard in a music video which aired a few months before the show's U.S. premiere and also can be heard on the show's first soundtrack, released in 2004.
In Disney Channel Asia, an Asian version[clarification needed] of the show's theme song was made. The music video debuted on January 17, 2007, back-to-back with the 100th episode of That's So Raven. It also aired in China on CCTV as .. Raven-Symoné appeared in every episode of the series along with Kyle Massey, who played her little brother Cory. Orlando Brown appeared in 99 episodes of the series and Annelise van der Pol appeared in 97.
The series is the second-longest running Disney Channel Original Series, with its popularity extending the show's contract from 65 to 100 episodes. The last episode produced was "The Way We Were", but then "Checkin' Out" was produced. Although it was chronologically the last episode, it did not air last; instead, "Where There's Smoke" aired last.
Crossover with The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana
The episode "Checkin' Out" is the first part of a three-way crossover that continues on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and concludes on Hannah Montana. Raven Baxter meets Zack and Cody while visiting the Tipton Hotel to do a photo shoot promoting a fashion line for boys. During her stay, Raven upsets Cody with a psychic vision and London Tipton refuses to take interest in one of Raven's clothing designs until Hannah Montana arrives and shows an interest.
Raven-Symoné (credited as Raven), portrays Raven Lydia Baxter, the main character. Aged 14-17. A precognitive teenager. She has a sassy attitude and a grand personality, and is well known for her style. She also loves fashion, and designs her own clothing. She has friends and a loving family, and she goes to public school. However, on various occasions, she gets "psychic visions" about what may or may not happen later. She is only able to "see" a small segment of some future event, and she frequently errs on what it really means, in which case her attempts to change these events only end up making it happen or making it worse. Her main catchphrases are "Oh Fudge!", "Oh snap!", "Ya nasty!", "How y'all doin'?", and "Oh, no he didn't!" She abruptly says, "I'm okay!" if she falls down in one of her disguises. And, if big guys throw her, she tells them to do it "gently!" In addition, when she disapproves of something, she exclaims "Gotta go!" When she makes an appearance on Cory in the House, her father exclaims, "You didn't get kicked out of design school because they don't give out refunds!", which shows she is attending design school. Raven is also a master of disguise, which fits in with her trouble-making antics and passion for becoming a fashion designer, like her idol, Donna Cabonna, whom she worked for as an intern. Raven Baxter is extremely allergic to mushrooms, and her favorite drink is orange juice. According to Chelsea, her favorite gemstone is diamond, her favorite vegetable is corn, and her favorite animal is stuffed. Often referred to as Rae, Raven does not enjoy nature or camping. She has appeared in every episode of the series, along with her younger brother Cory. In the second spin-off, Raven's Home, Raven eventually married her first love Devon but they got divorced. In between that time, they had two children Nia and Booker - latter of whom, shares Raven's ability to see into the future.
Orlando Brown portrays Edward "Eddie" Thomas. Aged 14-17. He is Raven's male best friend. He is an aspiring rapper, and is a guard on the school basketball team. He is like a "big brother" to Cory Baxter and was commonly portrayed as playful, ambitious, loyal, girl crazy and quick to jump to conclusions. Occasionally, he says "Told ya! Told ya twice!" after he tells Raven not to do something that they both knew she would do. Another common catchphrase of his is "Holla!" after he finishes talking to his friends or girls that he likes. His parents are divorced, which is mentioned several times throughout the series. It is also said that he has a little brother. In one episode, Eddie and Raven not only start to develop romantic feelings for each other but they also kiss on the lips at two separate times; however, by the end of the episode, they decide to remain friends (though its strongly implied they're still interested in one another). Eddie has appeared in every episode except Juicer Consequences.
Kyle Massey portrays Cory Baxter. Aged 10-13. Cory is Raven's younger brother who sometimes acts as the main antagonist of the series. He and Raven often argue, but in the long run, they care deeply for each other. Even as he gets older, he claims that playing pranks on Raven is one of his guilty pleasures. Cory has two best friends, William and Larry. Together, the 3 boys form the band Cory and the Boys, with Cory as the drummer and lead singer, while Larry is the guitarist. William starts out playing the clarinet and then plays the keyboard. The band has one song: "Feelin' the Love". Cory is an aspiring businessman. He is shown to be obsessed with money and often creates "get-rich-quick" schemes behind his parents' backs, in which he always gets into trouble. Cory also has a close relationship with his pet rat, Lionel. Earlier in the series, he had a crush on Chelsea. In the third season starts a relationship with Cindy. His catchphrases are "Cha-ching" and "You Know How I Do!". He and Victor are the main characters in the spin-off series Cory in the House. He has appeared in every episode of the series, along with his older sister Raven.
Anneliese van der Pol portrays Chelsea Daniels. Aged 14-17. Often referred to as Chels, She is Raven's female best friend. She is an environmentalist, vegetarian, and closet artist. She is portrayed as being clumsy and dimwitted (although the first two seasons portray her to be just as smart as Raven, but to extreme limits); at times, her stupidity is so potent that she is frequently oblivious to what should be obvious and unable to discern sarcasm from sincerity. She usually uses the catchphrases "That makes more sense!" or '"This is awkward!" She also likes to make jokes, which only she would laugh at. Despite her apparent lack of common sense and intelligence, she has a few surprises up her sleeve--such as occasionally knowing certain "smart" things, which usually tends to surprise everyone else. In Season 1, it is revealed that Raven and Chelsea's friendship goes all the way back to when they were in pre-school, but she was also shown to be dimwitted back then because she did not notice Raven blowing out the candles on her birthday cake. It should also be noted that Chelsea was just as caring when she was young as she is now because one of her unfulfilled wishes on that same birthday was to stop global warming. She is quite similar to Newt (from Cory in the House) in personality. She is very passionate in saving the environment and caring for the animals, and also much more spiritual compared to Raven who can be materialistic, though it occasionally leads to troubling events like the three friends disputing over a goat and nearly turning herself and Raven into cows. In earlier episodes, Cory has a huge crush on her and unsuccessfully pursues her. Occasionally, Chelsea refers to a specific relative, Cousin Earl, at times. Her parents are Therapists. She also has a dog named Sam. Chelsea is present in every episode except Mother Dearest, Smell of Victory, and Saturday Afternoon Fever. In the second spin-off, Raven's Home, Chelsea is a divorced single mother with a son - Levi, and both of them go to live with Raven and her 2 kids after the divorce.
T'Keyah Crystal Keymah portrays Tanya Baxter (seasons 1-3) Tanya is the mother of Raven and Cory, and wife of Victor. She is a firm, but fun and caring mother who, despite the antics of her children, is always there for them. She halted her studies to raise her family, but decided once the children were older to continue studying law. Before that, she briefly worked as Raven's English teacher at the request of Raven's school principal. Her catchphrase is "Momma like!" She has a very competitive nature to her personality. It's learned that her mother, Viv, is also psychic. In season 4, Tanya is not present; it is said that she has gone off to England to attend law school. On Cory in the House, she is still in England and she does not visit Cory and Victor but is mentioned. In the pilot episode of Raven's Home, it is revealed by Booker that Tanya is still living in London going to law school.
Rondell Sheridan portrays Victor Baxter, the father of Raven and Cory, and husband of Tanya. He starts out as a chef in a restaurant, but he later opens his own restaurant, The Chill Grill. His biggest rival is Leonard Stevenson. In Cory in the House, he gets a job as the President's chef, and it is unknown what became of his restaurant. His catchphrases are "Here comes the pain!" and "I'll go pack!" (Cory in the House) in Raven's Home he appeared as a guest star.
Señorita Rodriguez is the Spanish teacher at Chelsea Daniels, Eddie Thomas, and Raven Baxter's school. She also sponsors the Bayside Barracudian newspaper. Other roles she has taken on include teaching the "Drama Club", advising the "Bayside Outdoor Club", and creating/leading the "FLUB" (Future Leaders United in Business) Club. Retailers say she takes too many freebies. She has appeared in several episodes throughout the series. Whenever she is in a conversation with someone, she quickly gets their hopes up with positive responses, followed by a sly laugh, and an abrupt "NO!" with a negative tone--her catchphrase.
Devon Carter is Raven's steady boyfriend from seasons 2-4. He previously had braces on his teeth and bad acne, and was known as "Bucktooth Carter". After he had his braces removed and his face "cleared up" over the summer, and came back to school, Raven and Alana were constantly fighting to be his girlfriend. He eventually becomes Raven's boyfriend, and continues to be, even after he moves to Seattle, Washington. Although he and his family move to Seattle, he still sees Raven when his father visits San Francisco on business trips. After his family leaves Tanya assures Raven that Devon will always be in her heart. Even though they say they are each other's "only love", we also see Raven have numerous crushes between Devon's visits. Devon has a little sister named Nadine who is jealous of Raven because she doesn't want to share her big brother. In the second spin-off, Raven's Home, Devon and Raven eventually married but got divorced. In between that time, they had two children, Nia and Booker, the latter of whom shares Raven's ability to see into the future.
Alana Rivera is Raven's ex-best friend. She finds great pleasure in teasing and bullying Raven. She hangs out with her posse, which includes followers Muffy and Loca. She was first introduced in Season 2 in the episode "Don't Have a Cow". In "Run Raven Run", we learn that Alana and Raven were best friends until 4th grade when a school play had them both competing for the role of the Tooth Fairy (which Raven got, while Alana portrayed the tooth decay), and would ultimately end their friendship. Alana and Raven almost became friends again when Raven "teamed up" with Alana's posse (in the episode "Clothes Minded"), which happens after Chelsea and Eddie do not support Raven's school "protest". In the episode "Run, Raven, Run", Raven and Alana briefly become friends until Chelsea accidentally reveals that Raven put chewing gum in Alana's hair. This causes her to get her head shaved and covered up. Alana, Muffy, and Loca also spend the night at Raven's house in the episode "Shake, Rattle, and Rae". In this episode, Raven and Alana almost become friends again, until Alana announces that "the score is 1-0". She was replaced in season 3 by Bianca (Erica Rivera). According to Muffy, the reason that Alana's no longer around is that Alana's parents ended up sending her to a military school.
Bianca is Raven's enemy in season 3, after replacing Alana (who ended up being sent to a military school) and took over Alana's posse. She's pretty much identical to Alana, with the main difference being that while Alana was bad enough to be sent to military, Bianca's apparently so bad that she got kicked out of military school. She doesn't appear in the fourth (and final) season of the show, and it's never explained what happened to her--though it's possible that her parents sent her to another military school.
Muffy is a member of Alana's (and, later on, Bianca's) posse. Her role in the posse is to record important events (like an organizer) and tends to explain what Alana (and, later on, Bianca) say which is usually brief. She took over as Raven's foremost enemy after Bianca left. There is some speculation that she might be psychic because she knows everything that Alana and Bianca are thinking. She also has a younger sister, Buffy, who is Sydney's age, and [Former enemy].
Loca, played by Andrea Edwards
Loca is a member of Alana's (and, later on, Bianca's) posse. She is rough, and she did the "bad work" for Alana (and then Bianca). She is a tall girl, whom nobody likes to mess with. She is also romantically interested in Eddie; she likes to give him arm punches every time she sees him. She is obsessed with the boy band Boyz 'N Motion, and also loves s'mores, as seen in the episode "Shake, Rattle, and Rae". Unlike Muffy, Bianca, or Alana, it shows in later episodes (season 3), she doesn't have it out personally for Raven. She even shows compassion (briefly) for Raven in the season 3 episode "Boyz 'N Commotion". Loca is shown to be nicer than Muffy or Bianca in personality and somewhat became friends with Raven.
William, played by Frankie Ryan Manriquez
William is one of Cory's best friends. He is known to be very smart, and loves ducks. He is afraid of girls, and he can play the clarinet and keyboard. His classmates call him "Captain Brainypants". He "invents" many different gadgets in various episodes, such as the "remote-controlled refrigerator opener". He once does Raven's science project, in exchange for her designing him a new wardrobe to look "cooler". It has been implied that William is younger than Cory, but it is not known how much younger.
Larry is Cory's other best friend. He is Jewish, as revealed in the episode "Raven, Sydney, And The Man", when he invites Cory to his Bar Mitzvah. He is the guitar player in "Cory and the Boys". He also has a yellow sweatshirt that he wears all the time during the winter, as mentioned in the episode "The Lying Game", although no other reference to this is made. He takes cotillion class, as revealed in the episode "Mad Hot Cotillion". He is also known to be over-worried, and slightly strange, at times.
Stanley is Eddie's next-door neighbor, who is obsessed with Raven. He serves as the primary antagonist of the show, he has a frenemy relationship with Eddie and Cory, although he is usually seen scamming them. Stanley was originally brought in as a love interest for Raven's next-door neighbor, Sierra, but he becomes much more interested in Raven, and in one episode, Loka. Stanley is rude, obnoxious, mean, sarcastic, and deceptive to everyone. He is a young salesman, who usually tricks Cory into buying something that would eventually go wrong. Stanley is always trying desperately to get Raven to like him, but he suddenly leaves her alone after seeing her kiss Andre in the episode "Mr. Perfect". He loves to eat cheese sandwiches. He also competes against Chelsea in a ping-pong match, and loses. In the same episode ("Taken to the Cleaners"), he asks Victor to make him a cheese sandwich in the shape of a ping-pong paddle. His catchphrases include "My brotha!", which he exclaims whenever he is trying to "show someone up"; and "I may have said that, but I say a lot of things." This is a partial denial of his ability to be nice to other people. He appears primarily in Seasons 3 and 4, in the episodes "Opportunity Shocks"; "Taken to the Cleaners"; "The Grill Next Door"; "Mr. Perfect"; "The Four Aces"; "Driving Miss Lazy"; "Sister Act"; "Checkin' Out"; "Fur Better or Worse" and "When 6021 Met 4267". He also appeared in the Cory in the House episode "Uninvited Pest" when he covets the Presidential medal Cory was going to receive for his Young Businessperson of the Year project. He got into the "Up with Goodness" program, feigned an ankle injury, and stole Cory's presentation. It is also noted that he has a fear of bones, which helps Cory prove that Stanley faked the injury and stole his presentation.
Sydney is a girl at Bayside Community Center, whom Raven mentors. When they first meet, Sydney embarrasses Raven by constantly insulting her. However, when Raven learns that Sydney is a foster child, they quickly develop a friendship. Sydney is an aspiring comedian, and she even "performed" at Cory's "bro mitzvah" in the episode "Raven, Sydney, and the Man". Raven and Sydney are now very close friends, and even enter a Little Miss and Her Big Sis pageant. Raven and Sydney are often compared as sisters, although they are not actually related. In the episode "Rae of Sunshine" Sydney has trouble making friends so she embarrasses Raven again, but then at the end, she makes friends without embarrassing Raven.
Donna Cabonna is a world-renowned fashion designer, and Raven's arrogant, snooty, trashy boss. Her name is a parody of real-life designers Donna Karan and Dolce & Gabbana. Donna has started Raven as an intern, in which she is often stuck with many tedious jobs such as getting Donna her coffee and picking after her dog Coco. In one episode in Season 4, she makes Raven her "temporary assistant" when Tiffany goes on a business trip. Raven's full devotion to her boss causes Devon to break up with her, but they quickly re-unite after a brief talk. Donna has a boyfriend named Teddy (Richard Steven Horvitz), who is much shorter than her, with whom she plays "break-up and make-up" every weekend. Despite the many conflicts between Raven and her boss, Donna is very supportive of Raven and believes that she could go far in the fashion industry with her talents.
Tiffany is Donna's "personal assistant", and Raven's primary nemesis in the fourth season (outside of Muffy). Ever since their first meeting, Tiffany and Raven do not like each other. On Raven's first day working for Donna (in the episode "Dues & Don'ts"), Tiffany lies to Raven by telling her that Donna Cabonna's office belongs to Raven. They are constantly "competing" to be Donna's favorite assistant. She apparently shares many similarities with Muffy.
Cindy is Cory's girlfriend. Cory meets Cindy in "Double Vision". By the events of "Bend It Like Baxter" they're dating. By the series final "Where There's Smoke" Cindy has started smoking. After the intervention that Raven and the gang hold for Cory when they think that he's smoking, Cindy tells the truth and promises to never smoke again.
The Juicer, played by Dan Mott
The Juicer is a nickname given to him for his strange ability of "juicing" things; his real name is not revealed. He likes to squeeze kid's heads. He first appeared in season 4 in the episode "Juicer Consequences". The Juicer is the school bully. The Juicer has shown his caring side in "Where There's Smoke" when he lectured Cory and Cindy about the dangers of smoking. He also guest starred in the first spin off show "Cory in the House". "Cory in the House" revealed that The Juicer wears reading glasses and enjoys books about cats.
Freckles, played by Jake Carlis
Freckles is a nickname given to him because of his freckles; his name is not revealed. He is a kid in the day care in the Mr. Perfect episode (season 3 episode 30). He attempts to console Stanley after Raven rejects his advances. Featured role in That's So Raven
Eight years after the series ended, there was speculation and rumors that the series would get a second spin-off or revamp. On August 14, 2015, a reunion with Raven and her former co-stars happened on The View, where they discussed all things about the show and past times. Crystal Keymah and Sheridan were not present, but got a special mention from Symoné herself.
In February 2005, That's So Raven toys were featured in the McDonald's Happy Meal. In April 2005, a doll based on Raven Baxter was released and another was released the following year.
In September 2005, the show also spawned a fragrance and an MP3 player. That same month, the clothing line was shipped to Macy's stores. As of 2006, That's So Raven merchandise had made $400 million.
The series premiere was watched by 3.5 million viewers, the first Disney Channel series to garner more than 3 million viewers. The most watched episode of That's So Raven is "Country Cousins", scoring 10.8 million viewers.
Cory in the House is the first Disney Channel spin-off and it premiered on January 12, 2007. It was the one chosen out of the many pitched and proposed spin-offs that were to have aired after the completion of That's So Raven, including one about Raven going off to college. Originally Raven-Symoné was offered the spin-off, but she declined it, therefore Disney Channel decided to give it to Kyle Massey.
The storyline involves Cory and Victor adjusting to life in Washington, D.C.; Victor has received a job as the Head Chef to the President. The show takes place while Raven is attending fashion college and Tanya is still in London.
The series is similar to its sister show, That's So Raven. Cory has two best friends, one a boy, Newton Livingston III (Jason Dolley), and one a girl, Meena Paroom (Maiara Walsh). Note that in That's So Raven, the main character also has two best friends, one a boy and one a girl and Newt and Meena's persona's are similar to Chelsea and Eddie. Cory attends a middle school in Washington, D.C. Also in the series, the president's daughter Sophie (Madison Pettis) constantly pesters Cory, like Cory did to Raven in That's So Raven. Cory also participates in crazy situations in which he learns a moral lesson and will most likely get punished. Candy Smiles plays in Cory's love life multiple times, and Stickler continuously spies on Cory, Newton and especially Meena's.
It is implied the episode of That's So Raven, "When 6021 Met 4267", that Cory and Victor did move back to San Francisco.
In the episode "That's So in the House", Raven came to show designs of new tour guide uniforms to President Martinez (John D'Aquino). Unfortunately, she has a vision of a clock falling on the President, and tackles him, earning the Secret Service a chance to chase her around the grounds. Cory poses as his sister to display the uniforms, modeled by Newton and Meena. Raven is discovered outside the Oval Office window, and chased, until she actually does save Mr. Martinez from the clock. The episode ends with the credits sequence for That's So Pooshnick, a show from Meena's country about a psychic girl who can see the past and always ends up messing up trying to stop the vision from happening again.
Stanley and the Juicer have also made special appearances on the show as well.
Failed movie attempt
In 2006, an issue of Disney Adventures magazine revealed that a That's So Raven film was in production, leading to years of speculation from fans. In 2011, to promote her latest film Vampires Suck, Anneliese van der Pol revealed in an interview that a That's So Raven film had been written but failed to go into production. "The storyline saw us going to France. [Raven] was going to start a fashion line in France. Eddie and [Chelsea] were going to fly out and meet her. Of course, something tragic happens. We have to rescue the situation." Van der Pol admitted that Raven's schedule at the time was booked solid for a year and the possibility of the film seemed unlikely. "But no, it's not ever happening. If I hear something, I will be the first to sign on." She also commented on reprising her role of Chelsea Daniels.
On October 27, 2016, it was announced that Raven-Symoné will star in and develop a second spin-off to the original series. Raven departed as a host of The View later in 2016 in order to work on the series full-time. In November 2016, it was announced that Anneliese van der Pol will reprise her role of Chelsea Daniels. The series premiered on July 21, 2017.
In the new series, Raven Baxter is a divorced mother of two pre-teens, Nia and Booker.who is raising her children with her longtime bestfriend Chelsea and her son Levi in Booker inherit his mother's psychic abilities during middle school. Chelsea Daniels is also a divorced mother, who is raising a son, Levi, and moves in with Raven.