Disney Channel retools 'Sonny With a Chance' during Demi Lovato absence

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Given the recent personal trials of Disney star Demi Lovato, the network is actively pursuing alternate storylines to keep her series, "Sonny With a Chance," on the air.

Though it's not certain whether Lovato's current treatment will prevent her from joining "Sonny" when it resumes production in January, Variety reports that Disney and "Sonny" producers have a plan B in place.

Disney confirms the third season will shift the focus to "Sonny's" show-within-a-show, "So Random!" A variety and sketch comedy series, it will devote more screen time to guest stars, musical performances and shorts.

"This allows her the time she needs to get well, without distraction or pressure," a Disney Channel spokeswoman tells Variety. "Again, we extend our ongoing support to Demi and her family as she works to overcome personal issues."

The current season already includes two stand-alone episodes devoted to "So Random," so producers expect the transition to be an easy one.

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Photo credit: Disney
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