Demi Lovato Leaving ‘Sonny with a Chance’

/ April 19, 2011

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It’s the end of an era: Demi Lovato has announced that she will not be returning to her popular Disney Channel show Sonny with a Chance.

“I don’t think going back to Sonny would be healthy for my recovery,” Demi tells People magazine. “Being in front of a camera would make me nervous.” Demi recently completed a three-month in-patient treatment program for issues with self-harm and an eating disorder. Why did Demi decide that now was the time to leave her hit show?

“It’s kind of sad for me that a chapter of my life has ended but there couldn’t be a better time for me to move on,” Demi adds. “It made sense for me to go ahead and leave the show to focus on my music.” Demi was recently spotted leaving a recording studio near Los Angeles, adding further fuel to the rumors that she is working on a comeback album.

As for the future of Sonny, the Disney Channel announced earlier this year that they would be temporarily morphing the show into a Demi-free sketch show called So Random!, named after the show-within-a-show that Demi’s character stars in. At the time, Disney reps said that the decision was to give the 18-year-old actress enough time to recover from her emotional issues. (It isn’t rare for Disney Channel shows to change their names from season to season.)

“We respect Demi’s decision to focus fulltime on her music and not immediately return to her acting career,” a rep for the Disney Channel said in a statement to People. “She is a talented young woman and our hearts are with her as she continues to take action to improve her health and bounce back from adversity.” New episodes of So Random! will premiere in June.

Check out Demi in a Sonny sketch from 2010 below.

Demi checked into an in-patient treatment center in November of 2010 after abruptly dropping out of her Camp Rock 2 South American tour with the Jonas Brothers. At the time, there were murmurs about how Demi’s treatment would affect her future with the clean-cut Disney Channel but the Texas-born star has turned her private problem into a chance to raise awareness about eating disorders amongst young women.

While she may be leaving her Disney Channel show, the star isn’t severing all ties with Mickey Mouse: She will continue to record under the Disney-backed Hollywood Records and she will most likely continue to star in the uber-successful Camp Rock movies.

Demi isn’t the only Disney star to leave her show – BFF Selena Gomez recently announced that her show, Wizards of Waverly Place, will be ending its successful four year run after this season. Miley Cyrus and the JoBros also recently ended their shows on the Disney Channel, although it isn’t clear if they will cut all their ties to the kid-focused network.

Sonny with a Chance first premiered on the Disney Channel in 2009. The show also stars Tiffany Thornton, Sterling Knight and Brandon Knight.

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