David DeLuise and Maria Canals Barrera – a.k.a. Dad and Mom on the Disney Channel’s “The Wizards of Waverly Place” – were both taken by surprise by last week’s Emmy nominations announcements, in which their series received a Best Children’s Show nod.
“I didn’t even know they were doing the announcements – or that we were in contention,” David says. And Maria notes, “I have two little kids, so your mind is in a lot of places early in the morning. It was a complete, wonderful surprise. Everybody is really excited. We all want to go together,” she adds, referring to their series children, Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin as well as cast mate Jennifer Stone.
The duo are busy working on the third season of their series, and they have the Aug. 28 “Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie” Disney Channel Original in the can. Come September, Maria will be doing double duty, simultaneously shooting “Wizards” and “Camp Rock 2: The Final Showdown” – in which she reprises her role as the mother of Demi Lovato’s aspiring performer character. The first “Camp Rock,” with Demi and the Jonas Bros., scored a megahit for the network, with ratings second only to “High School Musical 2.”
“The script is fantastic,” she says of “Camp Rock 2,” which has all the young stars back, and now pitted against each other in rival camps. Of traveling back and forth between the series set and movie location, she says, “I’m thrilled to be doing it.” And of her five and three-year-olds, “I’m bringing them with me! They’re too little to be without mama and dada. My husband is going to be coming with us.”
AND: DeLuise also is doubling up his jobs, but in his case, it’s all on “Wizards” as he is set to direct two episodes of the show this season. “You have to be on your toes and be on top of everything that’s going on,” notes the youngest son of the late Dom DeLuise. “I’ve done several episodes now, and I definitely enjoy behind the cameras. As far as the future, what the world gives me, I go with. If the directing continues, great. I hope it does. It’s very satisfying.”
HIGH STEPPING: Nigel Lythgoe, who created “So You Think You Can Dance” and serves as one of the show’s judges, tells us he couldn’t be happier with how much the world and, in particular, the dance community has begun to respect the level of talent coming from their show. “There’s an integrity now in it and the dancers are being recognized by their names and so are the choreographers,” notes the British TV mogul. “Before we started, choreographers were just choreographers and a lot of people didn’t even know what they did. Now people are like, ‘I love Mia Michaels!‘”