The show, Sonny With a Chance had been renewed for a third season but Demi Lovato’s personal issues threatened the series. Disney was forced to come up with an alternate plan for the show, one that respected Demi’s issues and still kept the show on the air. The saving grace was found within the show itself. Sonny with a Chance is about the main character working on a variety show, So Random. Disney opted to focus on the show within a show.
They had already aired the standalone show as a special. It received good ratings, enough to warrant a second standalone special. This is encouraging as they move forward with the plan to produce more episodes of the variety show. Writers will begin writing scripts for the show to begin filming in January. It will feature comedy skits, musical performances, guest appearances and digital shorts.
This does not rule out a return for Lovato but is just a measure to insure production schedules are not interrupted. When she is ready to return Disney will welcome her back.
“This allows her the time she needs to get well, without distraction or pressure," a Disney Channel spokeswoman said to Variety. "Again, we extend our ongoing support to Demi and her family as she works to overcome personal issues”