Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Like Magic, Selena Gomez Back on Disney Channel

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Like Magic, Selena Gomez Back on Disney Channel

Article excerpt

You would think Selena Gomez would have enough to keep her busy with working on a music career, starring in four feature films and being the focus of every tabloid magazine and TV show.

But despite everything going on in the life of the 20-year-old performer, Ms. Gomez decided one day -- while watching the Disney Channel -- that she needed a little more work.

Ms. Gomez picked up the phone and called Disney to see whether there was any possibility of making a reunion movie based on her former cable series, "The Wizards of Waverly Place." Like magic, her wish came true, and the Russo family returns at 8 tonight in the made-for-cable show, "The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex."

"I realized how much I missed the show. All of these people watched me grow up, and we are definitely like a family," Ms. Gomez said of the original series.

Also returning for the TV movie are former cast members Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera, David DeLuise and Gregg Sulkin.

Ms. Gomez has a lot of reasons to be fond of the series. Before becoming the best-known female with magical powers on TV since "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," the Texas native bounced around TV shows making guest appearances on "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and "Hannah Montana." She went from guest star to star with the launch of "Waverly Place" in 2007. By its finale in 2012, the cast had turned out 106 episodes over four seasons, making it the longest- running Disney Channel Original Series. It already has spawned one feature film, "Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie."

Since leaving "Wizards," Ms. Gomez has appeared in numerous feature films, including "Spring Breakers," which is scheduled to open March 22. She plays one of four college students who land in jail after robbing a restaurant to fund their spring break vacation. They get bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who has some criminal activities planned for them.

Her other upcoming feature films include "Aftershock," "Behaving Badly" and "Getaway. …

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