The Suite Life on Deck is an American sitcom that aired on Disney Channelfrom September 26, 2008 to May 6, 2011. It is a sequel/spin-off of the Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. The series follows twin brothers Zack and Cody Martin and hotel heiress London Tipton in a new setting, the SS Tipton, where they attend classes at "Seven Seas High School"and meet Bailey Pickett while Mr. Moseby manages the ship. The ship travels around the world to nations such as Italy, Greece, India, Sweden and the United Kingdom where the characters experience different cultures, adventures, and situations.
The series' pilot aired in the UK on September 19, 2008, and in U.S. markets on September 26, 2008. The series premiere on the Disney Channel in the U.S. drew 5.7 million viewers, and it became the most watched series premiere in Canada on the Family Channel. The show was also TV's No. 1 series in Kids 6–11 and No. 1 scripted series in tweens 9–14 in 2008, outpacing veteran series Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place in the ratings. On October 19, 2009, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a third season, which began production in January 2010. and debuted on July 2, 2010. The series is also 2009's top rated scripted series in the children and tween demographic (6–14).
The series has been broadcast in more than 30 countries worldwide, and was shot at Hollywood Center Studios in Los Angeles (as was the original series). The series was taped in front of a live studio audience, though a laugh track is used for some scenes. The series is the second spin-off of a Disney Channel series (after the short-lived That's So Raven spinoff Cory in the House); as well as the last Disney Channel series to debut broadcasting exclusively instandard definition, and the first of three Disney Channel shows to transition from standard definition to high definition, which occurred on August 7, 2009 with the season 2 premiere, "The Spy Who Shoved Me," and the third multi-camera comedy (after Sonny with a Chance and JONAS) to utilize a filmizedappearance instead of the Filmlook appearance that was used in the first season.
On March 25, 2011, a film based on The Suite Life on Deck and its parent series titled The Suite Life Movie aired on the Disney Channel. The series' forty-minute finale episode, "Graduation on Deck", aired on Disney Channel on May 6, 2011, officially ending the series. Reruns of the show air on Disney XD.
On February 4, 2008, it was announced that the Disney Channel was developing a new contemporary sequel to the Disney channel sitcom The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. The announcement was made by Gary Marsh, the President of the Disney Channel. He stated, "Our audience has shown us that after 88 episodes, 'The Suite Life of Zack & Cody' remains one of their favorite sitcoms ever, we decided to find a new way for Zack, Cody, London, and Mr. Moseby to live 'The Suite Life' in a whole new setting – this time aboard a luxury cruise liner." The series original creator, Danny Kallis was announced to be involved with the project. The elements from the original series remain the same though the setting is completely different.
In December 2008, it was reported that the Disney Channel had renewed the series for a thirteen episode second season. On May 11, 2009, Disney issued a press release stating that the second season had been extended to include a larger number of episodes than the original thirteen. Gary Marsh, the president of Disney Channels Worldwide said: "With this second-season extension, the cast of ‘The Suite Life’ makes Disney Channel history by becoming the longest running continuous characters on our air – 138 half-hour episodes. We are thrilled for them, and for the brilliant, inspired production team that made this extraordinary run possible."
As of 2011, the The Suite Life series holds the record (162 episodes) for having the longest running continuous characters on air and the most canon episodes for any Disney Channel series.
According to show creators and producers, the choice of setting was made to appeal to an international audience with different ports-of-call, such as India, Greece, Italy, Morocco, the United Kingdom and Thailand. An on-board theater serves as an "organic" set-up for musical numbers. Most of the action in the series occurs on board the SS Tipton. However, the ship travels to a variety of places around the world which are often unfamiliar places to both Zack and Cody Martin
The SS Tipton is a cruise ship belonging to London Tipton's father. The ship had its first canon appearance in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode "Let Us Entertain You". Unlike most cruise ships it also includes a school, Seven Seas High School, which is a common setting on the ship, as are the Sky Deck, the lobby, the corridors outside the students' cabins and the cabins themselves. In the third season, the Aqua Lounge, a newly refurbished space on the ship was shown, and it replaced the Sky Deck as the main hangout (although the Sky Deck is still commonly shown). There are also various areas on the SS Tipton that are mentioned, but never seen, including several decks and the ship's putt-putt golf course, where the captain spends most of his time. In the crossover episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, "Cast-Away (To Another Show)," Mr. Moseby reveals that the ship itself weighs 87,000 tons. After the events in "Graduation on Deck" the SS Tipton was sold and later dismantled.