How long should Miley Cyrus keep playing Hannah Montana?

Hannamontana_lRemember the mini-controversy Ms. Cyrus caused this summer when she told a reporter that the upcoming third season of her hit Disney Channel sitcom might be her last? Disney and the Cyrus camp both quickly moved to shush all such speculation at the time, but the story came roaring back this week with help from assorted rumormongers. Oh, heavens no!  How shocking to think that a teenager mightbe ready to move on from the things that defined her at age 11! She moved to deflect the gossip yet again yesterday, insisting to People that she’s "fully committed to Hannah Montana." But look: It’s obvious that Miley will have to move on from Hannah at some point, whether or not it’s at the end of season 3. Her latest album ditches her on-screen persona altogether, and it seems to be doing fine — so why would she want to stay stuck in that one role for the rest of her life?

And of course, as Miley’s own music career continues to take off, there are plenty of other kids who’d be happy to take her place of honor in the Disney empire. In the issue of EW that hits stands on Friday, EW scribe Leah Greenblatt takes a closer look at leading next-Miley contender Demi Lovato (Camp Rock). Along with everything Lovato herself says in the profile, there’s some interesting input from Disney Channel entertainment president Gary Marsh, who calls all the speculation about Miley’s potential departure sheer "silliness." Says Marsh: "Miley and Hannah are huge parts of our present and our future. We have a substantial investment in her both financially and personally. We’ve got a feature film coming out next April, we’re in season 3 production and have an option for season 4, she’s got a book with the company — we couldn’t have a closer relationship with her." Okay, sure. And where does Marsh think Lovato and her BFF, Wizards of Waverly Place star Selena Gomez, figure into all this? "Demi and Selena are fantastic up-and-coming stars in our universe, and we hope they have as much success and opportunity as Miley. But these are not competitive properties. We love them all!"

Hmm. What do you say? Doth Disney protest too much about the latest round of rumors? And when do you think Miley should let Demi or Selena — or someone else! — take her place at Disney while she moves on to bigger and better things? Or do you think she should stay at the Disney Channel until we’re all watching Hannah Montana: The AARP Years?

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Comments (79 total) Add your comment
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  • Stephanie T.

    Miley is a Disney protege so even if she ends the show she’ll still have a career.

  • Dennis N.

    I know this isn’t sound advice for a Disney exec, but Cyrus should leave at the end of season 3 or 4. It’s career suicide to cling to a teeny-bopper show for too long (see: Hilary Duff, Raven Simone, and whatsherface from Even Stevens). Leave, Miley! Wriggle yourself from those oversized corporate white gloves!

  • kelsey

    … So what you’re really saying is, Miley Cyrus is always going to be around, albeit not in “Hannah” form?

  • Sam

    Dennis N.
    Hilary Duff left the show. She walked out. Caused trouble on the way out. And while she had success in the short-term. Where is she, only term. No where. While I agree, Miley is a big success. But will her fans like her in a few years when new stars come on the horizon. I don’t think she should leave unless it’s mutually agreed upon. The current rumors of her causing havoc on the set; if they are true. They can cause the biggest problem. She’s a new commodity right now. But eventually fans are going to grow tired. She’s especially not a strong singer. And her acting is not that special. So five years from now; she’ll be a Disney has-been. She should be wary. She already got a rep due to the summer pictures. It’s apparent she’s itchy the move on. But if she does; I predict she won’t last.

  • Rye

    Here’s hoping she leaves soon and disappears into oblivion. Ungrateful little turd.

  • Elise

    Season 3 should absolutely be Miley’s last season of Hannah Montana; she’s grown up and it’s clear she’s ready to move on. What I don’t like hearing about is her behavior on set. Being unprofessional, in my opinion, does nothing to help her career or public image. She should finish out the season with grace, and then focus on touring that fabulous new pop album of hers.

  • Snarf

    When the inevitable picture of her and that hot piece she’s dating jumping on top of each other gets “leaked” onto the internet.

  • Mali

    I think Miley Cyrus should retire early. I think compared to
    Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato she’s just old news. The only fans she probably has are creepy horny old men and 8 year old girls.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see Demi Lovato as a pop-princess. She is totally more rock.
    Selena Gomez IS the next princecess she is going to make it big and by the end of next year this article is going to be about her.

  • Jon

    Don’t Disney shows have a limited number of episdoes only? I think I might have read that somewhere.
    Anyway, I don’t think Miley should leave just yet. She should at least stay until the 4th season. She wouldn’t want to be Hillary Duff who left Disney too early and became a has been. Miley hasn’t proven anything yet. She has to have at least one more hit album under her belt. And maybe 3-4 hit movies that aren’t based on Hannah Montana.

  • BJohnson

    I understand. Here you are 16 years old, performing for the masses at Disney World. I can understand that she wants a break from something. I would hate to see her keep doing it until it looks awkward, like Raven Simone. That’s just the Disney beast under the beauty, work em until the next big thing..which isn’t here yet. Maybe that girl from Corey in the House. I actually liked her BETTER in that movie with Dwayne Johnson. She’s already in the trappings of Disney so they can have time to work her into the next pop thing before puberty. The cycle never ends. It started with Annette and Frankie and it’ll keep going on and on. Accept it people, I have. Oh for those who don’t know Annette and Frankie, please google them and see how Disney history of child exploitation hasn’t really changed that much.

  • Elizabeth

    I think three years is the usual life-span of most of the Disney shows – how long was Raven on “That’s So Raven”, or Hillary Duff on “Lizzie McGuire”? And, we’re only going three deep on the “High School Musical” franchise. They’ve got her ‘replacements’ lined up in Selena Gomez and the over-hyped Demi Lovato, and as long as they can keep a little bit of a tether to the Jonas Brothers, I don’t think the end of HM will be that controversial/noteworthy, especially considering how scattered new shows are throughout the year. Instead of criticizing a 15-year old, take a look at the recent history.

  • To Elizabeth

    They plan on making more HSMs, past three, but without the original cast. Give the girl from Corey in the House her own show (or wait til she hits double digits at least), and get rid of HM from Disney.

  • nena

    hey miley you wouldn’t be punish if u just hadn’t did that to nick!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cristina

    Eu cred ca Mylei (Hannah)este o vedeta care seamana ca si mine.

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