When it comes to Disney Channel Original series that truly made a mark on history, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is on the top of our list. The legendary sitcom, which went on to get the spin-off series The Suite Life on Deck, remains a favorite of many. Now that the Sprouse twins are graduated from college IRL, Cole Sprouse has gone on steal hearts on Riverdale, while Dylan Sprouse is starring in an indie film called Carte Blanche.
Today just so happens to mark the 9-year anniversary of The Suite Life on Deck premiere, so we are breaking down everything you need to know about why the series ultimately came to an end. Oh, and those Selena Gomez Suite Life spin-off ideas that were thrown around? We've got the low-down on those too.
When did The Suite Life of Zack and Cody end?
As far as Disney Channel goes, a series never runs for more than four seasons. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody was a hit, running for three seasons and 87 episodes. The show first premiered on March 18, 2005 and aired its very last episode on September 1, 2008. Although all the characters didn't return for the spin-off, a handful of the main stars came back for The Suite Life on Deck.
Given the success of The Suite Life, there obviously had to be a spin-off. However, there was actually going to be another series before The Suite Life on Deck...
Was Selena Gomez going to star in another Suite Life spin-off?
Yep, a pilot was filmed, which would have been titled Arwin! or Housebroken, was based off The Suite Life's hotel engineer Arwin Hochauser. Arwin was played by Brian Stepanek, who went on to star as Tom Harper Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn. Disney Channel filmed a pilot episode of the show in 2007 – and although Brian Stepanek starred in it, Dylan and Cole Sprouse weren't in it. However, it did star Selena (pre-Wizards of Waverly Place of course). Selena played Arwin's niece named Alexa before the show came to a screeching halt, leading her to become the one and only Alex Russo on Wizards.
When did The Suite Life on Deck end?
The spin-off came immediately, as The Suite Life finale and The Suite Life on Deck premiere took place in the very same month. The Suite Life on Deck first aired on September 26, 2008. The series ran for three seasons and a total of 71 episodes. During its run, they also made The Suite Life Movie, which premiered on Disney Channel on March 25, 2011. Shortly after, the 40-minute finale episode, titled "Graduation on Deck," aired on May 6, 2011.
How did The Suite Life on Deck end?
The series wraps with Bailey heading off to Yale without Cody, since he didn't get in, but they promise to still see each other and say how much they love each other. So yes, they stayed together! London heads off, tearfully admitting she's going to miss Mr. Moseby in what is hands-down the most emotional scene in the final episode and she says she's "off to Paris." Zack and Cody leave the ship after graduation, not really knowing what's next for them.
Why did The Suite Life on Deck end?
Although the show ended after three season, Dylan and Cole were really pushing for a fourth. The twins went to Disney and pitched the network an idea for Season 4 – but they got turned down.
"We said, 'If we're going to do one last season it's going to be on our terms - we're going to produce it and it'll be a set up for a new show'," Dylan said. "The reason we wanted to do that too - it would also set up all the cast and crew we've worked with for six years, so they would not lose their jobs [because of] our decision to go to college in real life. They could continue to work and we'd also be making money off the producership."
The idea of the show was to have the boys go back to Boston after graduation for Cody to attend college and for Zack to start working. They would meet a single father with a son, who live in the Tipton Hotel just as they did. Zack and Cody would treat the little boy like a son, getting him into the hotel mischief they'd get into back in the day. Once that season wrapped, the boys could have walked away with some producer experience and the new little actor would be all set up for his own Disney Channel show. Great idea, right? Well, Disney wasn't about it.
According to Dylan, Disney came back with a pitch for a very similar idea – except it took place in Miami and also starred Selena. The Sprouse twins turned it down, and never returned to Disney Channel again.
"I mean, we had a really awesome idea for where the show needed to go. We were 18," Dylan said. "If that isn’t old enough to know exactly what the show needs, then... well, I would beg to disagree."
Where can I watch The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Suite Life on Deck?
Unfortunately, the shows aren't currently availabe on Netflix or Hulu, but you can buy episodes on Amazon. Plus, there are times on the Disney Channel app when throwback shows are available to watch, so it's always good to keep an eye on there too.