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Disney has a new 'tween' star for cable

Feb. 20, 2006 at 8:26 PM

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- With Hilary Duff growing up and out of the "tween" demographic, the Disney Channel is putting its money on Miley Cyrus to fill the void.

Cyrus -- the 13-year-old offspring of "Achey Breaky Heart" Billy Ray Cyrus -- stars in the new Disney series "Hannah Montana," which kicks off next month, Daily Variety reports.

Disney wants "Hannah Montana" to do for Cyrus what "Lizzie McGuire" did for Duff -- act as a springboard to film and recording and stardom, Variety said.

The aim this time, however, will be keeping Cyrus under the Disney umbrella as she climbs the ladder to stardom -- unlike other Disney alums such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Keri Russell and Christina Aguilera.

"We drove these kids into giant success stories," Disney Channel Entertainment President Gary Marsh told Variety. "But we thought, 'shouldn't we be growing this internally?' We were making celebrities out of other people's rock stars."

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