Good Luck Charlie is an American sitcom that originally aired on Disney Channel from April 4, 2010, to February 16, 2014. The series' creators, Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen, wanted to create a program that would appeal to entire families, not just children. It focuses on the Duncan family of Denver as they adjust to the births of their fourth and fifth children, Charlotte "Charlie" () and Toby (Logan Moreau). In each episode, Teddy Duncan (Bridgit Mendler) adds to a video diary that contains advice for Charlie about their family and life as a teenager. Teddy tries to show Charlie what she might go through when she is older for future reference. Each video diary ends with Teddy (or another family member, even Charlie) saying the eponymous phrase, "Good luck, Charlie".
Among other decisions, executives included adult-centric scenes and changed the series title from Oops to Love, Teddy and finally to Good Luck Charlie in order to ensure the series would appeal to all family members. Good Luck Charlie premiered on Disney Channel in the United States on April 4, 2010, in Canada on April 5, 2010, in the United Kingdom and Ireland on May 14, 2010, and in Australia and New Zealand on July 23, 2010. In March 2011, a feature-length Christmas Disney Channel Original Movie based on the series, entitled Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas!, began production for a December 2011 premiere.
Set in Denver, Colorado, the series focuses on the Duncan family, who are still adjusting to the birth of their fourth child, Charlotte "Charlie" Duncan (). When parents Amy (Leigh-Allyn Baker), a nurse, and Bob (Eric Allan Kramer), an exterminator, return to work, they ask their three older children—PJ (Jason Dolley), Teddy (Bridgit Mendler), and Gabe (Bradley Steven Perry)--to help raise their little sister. At the same time, Teddy, PJ, and Gabe try to deal with school and general social challenges in their lives.
The events in each episode become material for a video diary that Teddy is making for Charlie. Teddy hopes the videos will provide useful advice for Charlie after they have both grown up and Teddy has moved out. At the end of each video, she (and/or other cast members) says, "Good luck, Charlie" or may even say it indirectly such as "Wish them good luck, Charlie." During the movie, Amy reveals to Teddy that she is pregnant with her fifth child, but this story plot is not brought into the series until the third season, during which Amy gives birth to a baby boy, Toby. Each episode ends, after the video diary, with an event that is weird and usually cannot happen in real life.
- Teddy Duncan
- Teddy R. Duncan (Bridgit Mendler), Charlie's only sister, is the second-oldest Duncan sibling. Feeling that she will not be around as much when Charlie is grown, she produces and directs video diaries for her, hoping they will give her advice that will help her be successful as a teenager. She produces these video diaries at the end of every episode, and at the end of every video diary she says "Good luck Charlie". Her best friend is Ivy Wentz. It was mentioned in "Sun Show: Part 1", that her parents were expecting a boy, hence the generally masculine name "Teddy". She dated Spencer Walsh in season one, but they broke up after she caught him two-timing both her and a pretty, dim-witted brunette named Skyler, breaking her heart. She and Skyler later become friends. She and Spencer get back together in season two. Throughout the show Teddy has had numerous boyfriends. Teddy shows much care towards her brothers, such as saving PJ from falling out of the treehouse window, or offering to help Gabe deal with Jo, who has given him a black eye. Teddy's best friend Ivy often calls her G.G. for "goody-goody." She and Spencer get back together in "Can You Keep A Secret?". In "All Fall Down" Teddy and Spencer break up because they don't want to be in a long-distance relationship while Spencer attends the Boston Institute for Performing Arts (BIPA). But when Bob's newest employee Beau admits that he likes Teddy, they begin dating. The two break up when he decides to move home. In "Accepted", Teddy finds out that she is on the waiting list for Yale after Victor; later she is accepted. Later in the last episode, Spencer and Teddy get back together and kiss, and shoots the final entry in her video diary before leaving for Yale. It was never revealed what her middle initial "R" stands for.
- Amy Duncan
- Amy B. Duncan – (née Blankenhooper) (Leigh-Allyn Baker) is Bob's wife and the mother of PJ, Teddy, Gabe, Charlie, and Toby. She worked as a hospital nurse and is often portrayed as dutiful, protective and comedic. She loves her family and does everything to care for and protect them. She appears out-of-her-element when she isn't nurturing them, especially Charlie, but as the series progresses, she begins to feel assured that her youngest children are in good hands and trusts that her husband and 3 eldest children can look after Charlie and Toby. She is notoriously conceited and enjoys bragging about her accomplishments, be they admirable, real, or otherwise. Amy used to be on the local news team and was also a poet in her high-school days. A running gag on the show is that she was involved in virtually every extracurricular activity at Southwest Denver Community College but still earned a nursing degree. She lets special opportunities, such as being on TV or singing in front of a group, go to her head. She has a habit of taking any chance of any publicity that may shine on her family to focus onto her, but this never works out well; usually she ends up being cut from the project or tossed out of certain groups. Amy seldom accepts her children's misbehavior. It is revealed in the movie, that she is pregnant again with her fifth child. In the middle of the third season, Amy quit her nursing job to be a stay-at-home mother to Charlie and Toby. In the final episode, Amy is chosen to be the new anchor on "Good Morning, Denver", thanks to Charlie calling in during her on-air audition.
- Gabe Duncan
- Gabriel "Gabe" Duncan (Bradley Steven Perry) is the middle Duncan sibling, being both the younger brother of Teddy and PJ and the older brother of Charlie and Toby. From the beginning Gabe doesn't approve of Charlie's arrival and is the last one of the family to get used to her, but finally he reaches the point of reluctantly assisting in her care and demonstrating some fondness of her. He is a prankster and troublemaker, often sarcastic and lazy, but can also be dutiful and determined at times. He is front-man when it comes to the Duncans' running rivalry with their neighbor Mrs. Dabney, who is often the target of Gabe's pranks and stunts—which is the only time the family doesn't mind them. Although he doesn't like Mrs. Dabney, he ends up dating a relative of Mrs. Dabney, Lauren. He and Toby are the only brown-haired Duncans; all of the others are blondes. A running gag in the show is that he insults Bob's weight and baldness, Amy's cooking, PJ being a goofball, Teddy being a "goody-goody," and occasionally Charlie. He also likes to harass and tease Mrs. Dabney, whom he finds annoying. He also won the right to name his baby brother Toby; in one episode, he tried to impress a girl by making video diaries for Toby, ending them with "Good Fortune, Toby!". It has been revealed that Gabe was a calm and docile baby.
- Charlie Duncan
- Charlotte "Charlie" Duncan () is the title character and the second-youngest Duncan sibling. She is generally portrayed as being happy. It sometimes takes a few tries to get her to do the right thing. Charlie can also be mischievous at times. Many of the Duncan family's adventures revolve around Charlie. Both her older brothers, PJ and Gabe, are often seen using Charlie for their own benefit, although PJ shows that he cares about her deeply. Gabe seems to dislike Charlie the most although, in some episodes, he is seen being quite fond of her. Amy thinks of Charlie as the perfect baby. It was revealed in "Charlie is 1", that it was Teddy's idea to nickname her Charlie. Charlie speaks more often in later episodes of seasons two and three. Toby was born on her birthday; she responded to this by "I like this present." In season three, her personality begins to develop, as she is seen as sneaky and mischievous, such as pretending to like a doll Amy bought for her to like Toby, then throwing it away when she was not looking; and also telling Amy's "friends" what she really thinks of them, causing her to lose them all. Also, she can be seen as not liking Toby as in the episode "Doppel Date" when she asks Bob if Toby is going to stay at the hotel and he says no and Charlie asks if they can talk about it.
- Bob Duncan
- Bob William Duncan (Eric Allan Kramer) is the father of Teddy, PJ, Gabe, Charlie, and Toby, and husband of Amy. He owns a pest control company, "Bob's Bugs Be Gone". He sometimes refers to his business as the "Triple B-G". He loves bugs and attends the Bug Convention every year. Bob is the coach of Gabe's basketball team, but he was temporarily replaced by his wife. It is also mentioned in "Snow Show: Part 1" that Bob and Amy are not legally married because they were scammed by a con man who impersonated a judge; they have a legal ceremony with all 4 children present. His childhood dream was to be a professional wrestler named "Bobzilla", which he showed in his company's commercial. Bob gets made fun of a lot throughout the series because of his weight and baldness, usually by Gabe. He is barely more intelligent than the bugs he kills, and breeds much resentment among his kids by being very "cheap" and "tight" with his money. He wants his family to know him as a "fix-it" man, though his projects never seem to work out. He is slightly afraid of Amy, but he calls it a "strong respect". He has two positions of authority when it comes to the children: driving lessons and barbecuing. He can be lazy but is determined to spend quality time with his wife and children. He has issues with his mother-in-law, Petunia. It is revealed he has apologized to Amy at least 162 times, while Amy just soaks it up. In "Baby Steps," it is revealed that he dropped all of his kids including Toby. In multiple episodes Bob brags about having his own band in high school, "The Bob Duncan Experience", which made a grand total of one record (an LP, no copies). He can still play bass guitar and occasionally sits in with PJ & The Vibe. Late in the third season, Bob began exercising and dropped a massive amount of fat, replacing most of it with muscle. After Amy and the kids staged an intervention to stop his more-revealing wardrobe choices, he admits the catalyst for his getting back in shape was someone in the park mistaking him for Toby's grandfather. It is revealed in "Amy Needs a Shower" that his middle name is William. In the final episode, PJ's culinary talents motivates Bob to pry open his wallet and invest in his son's business.
- PJ Duncan
- PJ Duncan (Jason Dolley) is the eldest Duncan sibling. He and Teddy often fight, although they care about each other, and he usually gets along well with his younger brother Gabe. He often appears awkward, somewhat careless, and childish, but on numerous occasions has been known to be resourceful, creative, and intelligent. He has also been shown to be a good cook, and Bob once tricked Amy (who isn't a very good cook) into working later so that PJ would cook. He and his best friend Emmett have their own band entitled "PJ and the Vibe". PJ occasionally uses his younger sister Charlie for his personal gain, like when he uses her to make big tips while working for Kwikki Chikki by saying that his mother was in the hospital when she actually worked there (customers just assumed she was ill). He dated Teddy's friend Skyler, who has his type of scatterbrain, but they broke up in "PJ in the City", when Skyler had to move to New York City because of her father's new job. He was originally intended to be named after his great-grandfather, Patrick John, but Bob was nervous as he was writing on his birth certificate, resulting in the legal name of "Potty John" instead of the intended "Patty John". Despite Bob trying to correct this in the season two episode "Can You Keep a Secret?", he accidentally changed the intended name to "PP Duncan". It is revealed in the "Special Delivery" episode that his middle name is Darth. In season three, PJ moves into an apartment shared with Emmett, but is still in the Duncan house a lot. In the season-four episode "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas" he gets back together with Skyler, who will be attending college in Denver. In the final episode, PJ has graduated cooking school, buys a food truck, hires Emmett to work for him, and makes Bob his business partner. Also in the last episode, PJ finds Skyler in Denver, who forgot to mention she moved back to Denver to go to college.
- Toby Duncan
- Toby Duncan (uncredited season 3, Logan Moreau season 4) is the fifth and youngest Duncan sibling. He was born in the back of an ice-cream truck Bob and Amy were riding in on the way to the hospital and Teddy helped deliver him. He and Charlie share the same birthday but she is three years older. Gabe came up with his name, and Gabe started to make a video diary for him to impress a girl. At the end he says "Good Fortune, Toby". In the episode Special Delivery, Amy said "Welcome to the World Toby Wan Kenobi Duncan," suggesting his middle name is Wan Kenobi, a reference to the Star Wars character Obi-Wan Kenobi. The July 12, 2012, Disney press release announcing season four stated that the role of Toby would be cast for that season (as by then he would be a toddler). Logan Moreau (born January 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California) was selected for the role in season four. In the series finale, after thanking Gabe, Mrs. Dabney claims to see the same evil twinkle in Toby's eye that she saw in Gabe's and runs off, shouting that Toby is another devil-child, implying that Toby will grow up to become a troublemaker like Gabe.
- Ivy Wentz
- Ivy Renee Wentz (Raven Goodwin) is Teddy's best friend, and is one of the major recurring characters in the series. She is seen spending most of her time with Teddy at the Duncan's residence and often accompanies her on her dutiful, or personal, excursions. Ivy is energetic and witty and has proven to be quite intuitive; although she does not receive the best grades in school. She is passionate, if not obsessed, about clothes, money, popularity, boys, and texting; but on numerous occasions has proven to be a loyal and comforting friend. Ivy briefly dated Emmett when they were younger, and now never misses a chance to insult him, but went to the school dance with him so she and Teddy could have a ride in "Dance Off". It is revealed that she loves country music and animal-print clothes. At one point, it is implied that Ivy has (or had) an addiction to chocolate.
- Spencer Walsh
- Spencer Walsh (Shane Harper) is Teddy's ex-boyfriend. At first, they started dating after they begin studying together. He cheated on her in the episode "Girl Bites Dog", and Teddy broke up with him. In "Snow Show", he goes to the lodge that the Duncan family is staying at to get back together with Teddy. They share a kiss on the ski lift. At the end, they just decide to stay friends. He and Emmett share similar dancing abilities that rival each other, and they eventually become friends. In the episode, "Can You Keep a Secret?", he and Teddy get back together but they break up in "All Fall Down" because Spencer goes to college in Boston. Later, on Teddy's birthday, he returns, asking to get back together. However, Teddy turns him down as she ends up with Beau. He leaves devastated. He and Teddy end up back together in the series finale.
- Emmett (Micah Stephen Williams) is PJ's best friend. He is slender, comedic, and has a desperate, misguided & very one-sided attraction to Teddy, though Teddy constantly rejects him. Emmett accompanies PJ on the drums in his band "PJ and the Vibe", and sometimes assists PJ on his problematic excursions. Emmett has a nephew named Mason who, he claimed, was better than Charlie, until Charlie beat Mason in a "baby race" by learning to walk. Emmett is also an incredible dancer, with skills matched only by Spencer. He once went out with Ivy when they were younger. In his mind, he sees himself as being suave, sophisticated, and very attractive to girls. In season three, Emmett and PJ get an apartment together.
- Mrs. Dabney
- Mrs. Estelle Dabney (Patricia Belcher) is the Duncans' strict and easily annoyed neighbor. In "The Curious Case of Mr. Dabney", she was mistakenly accused of killing her husband. In "Kit and Kaboodle", it is mentioned that Mrs. Dabney and her four sisters were born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in 1958. She wanted the Duncans' tree, which housed PJ and Teddy's tree house, cut down; but the family fought back. It is revealed that Estelle is one of quintuplets; her four sisters are played by Belcher via split screen; and her four sisters all love children and get along well with Gabe, accusing her of being the black sheep. Mrs. Dabney is often suspicious of Gabe, because his pranks and troublemaking are often directed towards her. She is often antagonistic towards the Duncans—Bob, PJ, and Gabe especially- but is fairly tolerant of Charlie. She was also a big fan of the fictional Higgins and Zork television show when she was younger. She loves her son and her cat more than her husband, and some wonder why she married Mr. Dabney if she hated him so much. It is also revealed that she has a granddaughter named Lauren who ends up dating Gabe. In "It's A Charlie Duncan Thanksgiving", it is revealed that she and Mr. Dabney had recently divorced. In the same episode, she flirted with the Duncan kids' grandfather, but broke up with him not much later. It is revealed that in "Make Room for Baby" that she does not know about the Internet.
- Debbie Dooley
- Debbie Dooley (Ericka Kreutz) is the Duncans' new neighbor. Her husband is Deputy Doug Dooley and has a daughter named Dede. She speaks with a strong Upper Midwestern accent. She first appears in "Monkey Business" where she becomes friends with Amy. Teddy and Ivy then takes Charlie and Dede to Make-a-Monkey, but Teddy ends up taking her diamond earrings. She then ends up losing them in Dede's monkey. Teddy then sneaks into her house and rips up Dede's monkey to find the earring, but is secretly watched by Debbie and Amy through a hidden security camera. She next appears in "Amy Needs a Shower" where Amy invites her to her baby shower but only because she can bake. Charlie then tells Debbie that Amy thinks she talks funny, causing her to storm out. She then appears in "All Fall Down" where it is revealed that she has a mommy blog, where she blogs about her family. She appears in "Rock Enroll" where Teddy invites her, Mrs. Dabney, and an old neighbor to help her with a question on her college enrollment essay, but instead, the 3 of them end up getting into an argument and they all storm out. She recently appeared in "The Unusual Suspects" where after a playdate with Dede, Charlie ends up getting an attitude with Amy. Amy then decides to talk with Debbie about it, but Debbie blames Charlie for Dede's attitude problem, causing the two to start telling fruit-related insults at each other and Debbie then storms out. Bob and her husband, Doug decide to talk to sort it out but the two end up getting into a fight. While Amy and Debbie try to break them up, they find out that Charlie and Dede got their attitudes from Mrs. Dabney.
- Beau Landry (Luke Benward) is the newest employee at Bob's company Bob's Bugs Be Gone. He moved from Tennessee and was first seen in "Rat-A-Teddy". In "Charlie 4, Toby 1" Teddy helped him break up with his girlfriend in Tennessee. After the breakup, they hug. At the end of the episode, Teddy smiled in her video diary when she said Beau was single, showing that the two like each other. In "Teddy's Choice", it is revealed that Beau and Teddy are dating. Teddy and Beau break up in the episode "Bob's Beau Be Gone" because Beau moved back to Tennessee to work for another exterminating company.
- Jo Keener (G. Hannelius) is Gabe's tomboyish bully-turned-friend. She was introduced in "Boys Meets Girls", bullying Gabe before revealing she has a crush on him. Since that episode, she appears friendly with Gabe, assisting him with certain situations with an occasional wise-crack and insult at his expense. It is demonstrated that she is good with babies after taking care of Charlie. It is also revealed that Gabe also has a small crush on her but doesn't show it. In "Duncan's Got Talent", Jo played a trick on Gabe that almost ruined his chance of being class president. Earlier in that episode, Gabe revealed that he had had a dream about Jo, but he stopped himself before he could say what she did in it. In season 2, Gabe and Jo settle their differences in "Duncan vs. Duncan". According to Jo, she and Gabe have a complicated relationship. Jo no longer appears in the series, since G. Hannelius is now playing Avery Jennings in another Disney Channel sitcom, Dog With a Blog.
- Mary Lou Wentz
- Mary Lou Wentz (Ellia English) is Ivy Wentz's mother and Amy Duncan's friend. She first appears to be rather bland; but as the series progresses, she becomes more entertaining and vibrant. She is a skilled knitter; and, in "Ally Oops", she is shown to be a talented singer, performing the national anthem at a game. She has appeared in six episodes. In season 1, she appeared in "The Curious Case of Mr. Dabney" and "Butt Dialing Duncans;" and, in season 2, she has appeared in "Gabe's 12 1/2 Birthday", "Appy Days", "Ally Oops", "Amazing Gracie", and "Teddy on Ice". She is married to Harry Wentz, and their highly conservative and traditional ways easily creep out Ivy and Teddy. In one episode, Teddy visits their home; and they invite her to participate in a family sing-a-long of Row, Row, Row Your Boat (first in English then latter in German), eat liver and onions, and put together a big puzzle causing Teddy to leave the house in the middle of a snowstorm. Teddy arrives home practically frozen. In "Amy Needs A Shower", she hosts Amy's baby shower. Amy Duncan describes her as too perky.
- Harry Wentz
- Harry Wentz (William Allen Young) is the husband of Mary Lou Wentz and the father of Ivy Wentz, Teddy's best friend. Throughout the series, he has appeared in four episodes, three in Season Two: "Gabe's 12-1/2 Birthday", "Amazing Gracie", and "Teddy on Ice". Harry and Mary Lou do numerous creepy things which easily annoy Teddy and Ivy such as singing rounds of Row, Row, Row Your Boat(in German) and eating liver and onions. It is shown in "Amazing Gracie" that he had a car named Gracie that he was extremely attached to. He reluctantly sold it to Teddy before she crashed it. It is also shown that he and Mary Lou own a small cabin by a lake in "Teddy on Ice." In Season 3, Harry quits his plumbing job and starts a weather-themed restaurant.
- Skyler (Samantha Boscarino) is Teddy's friend and P.J.'s girlfriend. She first appears and was introduced in the episode "Girl Bites Dog", as a complete stranger to Teddy. Later Teddy finds out that she is Spencer's other girlfriend and they break up with him. She then appeared in "Teddy's Broken Heart Club Band", where she and Teddy record a mean song about Spencer to get back at him. Teddy and Skyler become good friends. She and PJ become a couple when she and Teddy enter a battle of the bands contest to compete against PJ and Emmett and also Spencer. She and PJ broke up in "PJ in the City", when Skyler had to move to New York due to her father's new job which required him to relocate. Skyler is a gifted guitarist and pianist, a talented singer, and is able to write incredible poems and songs. She has not been seen onscreen in season 3, but is mentioned by P.J. in "All Fall Down" when he was comforting Teddy over her breakup with Spencer. However, she is briefly seen in Season 4 in the episode "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas" in which she gets back together with PJ because she was moving back to Denver for college.
- Jake (Tucker Albrizzi) is Gabe's empty-headed best friend. He first appeared in "Pushing Buttons", where he bought Gabe's bike from him for $10. He then appeared in "Baby's New Shoes", where he went to a movie theater with Gabe and Teddy to help her expose an employee selling children age-inappropriate movie tickets in exchange for money. He also appeared faking a broadcast with Gabe at the end of the episode. He made another appearance in "Termite Queen", where he helps Gabe shoot a monster movie, and "Special Delivery", where he convinces Gabe to buy a video game over a toy for Charlie.
- Lauren Dabney (Jaylen Barron) is Mrs. Dabney's grand daughter and later Gabe's girlfriend. They went on a date, but it did not go so well. Mrs. Dabney did not like them being together, but later approved. In "Futuredrama" Gabe broke up with her thinking she was going to dump him. After Teddy spoke to Lauren, she gave Gabe a second chance. It is shown that Lauren is very nice, which is what Charlie said when she found out Lauren was Mrs. Dabney's grand daughter, because the Duncans think Mrs. Dabney is mean.
- Karen (Brooke Dillman) is Amy's heartless boss at the hospital. She first appears in "Monkey Business" where Gabe gives Bob a fake lottery ticket, causing him and Amy to think they are rich. Amy then quits her job but when Gabe finds out, he tries to convince Karen to let Amy return. When that backfires, Gabe gives her a fake lotto ticket, causing her to think she is rich so she then quits her job. She next appears in "Amy Needs a Shower" where Amy invites her to her baby shower to get an expensive gift because she married a rich guy. Charlie ends up telling Karen the reason Amy invited her, causing her to storm out of the house. She recently appears in "Teddy and the Bambino" where Amy returns to work and finds out that Karen is working there again as well because she's divorced. In the end, Amy quits her job again to become a stay-at-home mom. She is shown in season 4 episode "Bug Prom" where she is shown to be Beau's aunt. In this episode, Amy and Karen are shown to still hate each other.
- Vonnie (Cyrina Fiallo) is a girl who is friends with Teddy. She first appears in the Season 3 episode, "T. Wrecks", when Teddy joins the girls' volleyball team. She later appears in the episode "Team Mom", when the volleyball team is on a losing streak and Amy is their new Team Mom. She is also friends with Kelsey (Coco Jones). In "Nurse Blakenhooper", she teams up with Teddy to do a project because she knows Teddy can get them a good grade.
- Kelsey (Coco Jones) is a friend of Teddy who first appears in "Team Mom", where she becomes a member of Teddy's girls' volleyball team. She is shown to be an extremely perky airhead. She next appears in "Go Teddy!" where she gets Teddy to join the cheer-leading squad with her to go on their trip to the cheer-leading competition in Oahu. Teddy makes the team but it turns out that the competition is actually in Ohio. It is also shown that Gabe has a crush on her. She recently appears in "Rat-A-Teddy", where she asks PJ for advice on how to tell if a guy likes you, and actually receives good advice.
- Victor DeLeseur (Kevin Covais) is the only friend of Teddy's who is smarter than her, but this given him a much bigger ego. He first appears in the episode, "Baby's First Vacation" when he helps Teddy put video feed in the home security system so she can have a party while the family is on vacation. He is dating Victoria. He reappears in "Teddy and the Bambino" to help Teddy win the Student U.N. Competition. Finally, in "Study Buddy", he preps Teddy for the SAT's since he got a perfect score. In "Baby's First Vacation" he is shown to have some dislike for Spencer, and also, Ivy does not get along with him. In the final episode "Good-Bye, Charlie" Victor goes to Yale with Teddy.
- Linda Duncan
- Linda Duncan (Shirley Jones) is Bob's despicable and overly perky mother, who regularly upstages Amy, and gives her son a great deal of attention and praise, two things Amy cannot stand (this could well explain Amy's disturbed need to steal the spotlight from all other family members). She has appeared twice, in the episode following Toby's birth and the third season Christmas episode, in which she brags about how she will be singing the same carol at the family talent show as Amy (probably after eavesdropping from the front porch), even trying to silence Amy during their agreed duet. Her cruel tactics include faint praise by her favorite expression "and whatnot," and making fun of Amy's "Ba-Bam!" catchphrase.
- Frank Duncan
- Frank Duncan (Alan Rachins) is Bob's father who appears in "It's a Charlie Duncan Thanksgiving". He falls in love with the mean neighbor Mrs. Dabney just after she divorced her husband. In the end of the episode they get into a fight and break up. He then goes back to Arizona and does not appear in anymore episodes.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||26||April 4, 2010||January 30, 2011|
|2||30||February 20, 2011||November 27, 2011|
|Film||December 2, 2011|
|3||21||May 6, 2012||January 20, 2013|
|4||20||April 28, 2013||February 16, 2014|
Development and production
The Good Luck Charlie pilot, entitled "Study Date", was shot in February 2009, at Sunset Bronson Studios (where Hannah Montana was taped) and the series was picked up later that year. The show's production occurs at Sunset Bronson Studios in Los Angeles even though the show is set in Denver, Colorado. Starting with the 2nd season, the series is taped at Los Angeles Center Studios, where Shake It Up is also taped. The show operates on a weekly schedule. Scripts for a new episode are issued on Monday before a read-through, Wednesdays are rehearsal and network run-through day, final scripts are issued on Thursday, and the episode is shot in front of a live studio audience on Friday night. According to Mendler, occasionally "episodes are too big to handle with a live audience [and are] taped without an audience, but mostly they're live".
Good Luck Charlie was created by Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen, who have been writing together since 1993 on shows ranging from Suddenly Susan to Sonny with a Chance. The pair aspired to create a program that would appeal to entire families rather than simply kids. Inspired by the success of reruns of shows such as Full House and George Lopez with young audiences, Vaupen and Baker turned to family sitcoms. "We wanted to do a show about a family, to bring back a family sitcom and make it about a real family, not wizards, nobody's a pop star, nobody has a TV show", said Vaupen, referring to Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, and Sonny with a Chance.
Veteran writer-producer Dan Staley (Cheers) later joined the show as executive producer. Disney’s Gary Marsh said "because most network television abandoned the traditional sitcom, Disney has been able to snatch up a lot of experienced talent for behind the camera, including executive producer Dan Staley..."
Good Luck Charlie's central family, the Duncans from Denver, Colorado, was carefully crafted for broad appeal. While the series is still told primarily through the view point of the Duncan children, the children's parents, Amy and Bob, are less on the periphery and writers attempt to add scenes that adult viewers can relate to. For example, in one scene in the pilot episode Amy confesses to Bob that she is overwhelmed with becoming a working new mother again. "She's not sure she can pull this off", says Bonnet. "And just playing that scene the way we did, a very real scene between husband and wife, kind of makes this show different". The writers also try to include jokes for adult viewers while remaining chaste enough for their young target audience. Unlike most previous Disney Channel series such as Sonny with a Chance, Hannah Montana, or Cory in the House, both parents are seen in the Duncan family. "It felt like the right time to have a show with two parents, to debunk the myth that Disney never has the mom in the picture", says Adam Bonnett, Senior Vice President of original programming for Disney Channel. "Because it is a myth".
Because a series about the rich and famous might alienate viewers in a troubled economy, the Duncans were made middle class. According to Gary Marsh, Entertainment President of Disney Channel Worldwide, "What we want to do is acknowledge the reality of the times in which we live, where two parents work, where kids are expected to help out around the house in meaningful ways. Real-life issues happen. Everyone isn't living 'The Life of Riley' all the time."
Broadening Disney Channel's appeal was a concern when choosing the names of the characters and the title of the program. "You want a title that says, a) this is a sitcom and, b) this is something that will interest the main demographic but also we're trying to expand the Disney brand beyond just girls", Vaupen commented. The series' title was originally "Love, Teddy", the phrase Teddy had used to end her video diary entries during development. However, "Love, Teddy" immediately felt feminized and almost excludes boys", Vaupen said. "We also didn't want to have the word 'Baby' in the title because that would exclude certain people". The Duncan baby was originally named "Daisy" during development, but producers thought that "Charlie", which is generally a masculine name, would attract more boys.
As Good Luck Charlie is low concept and character-driven, "the actors not only had to carry the show, they also had to have "pitch-perfect" chemistry with each other to make the family dynamic believable". Bonnet says Disney Channel executives "just fell in love with" Bridgit Mendler, who stars as teenaged Teddy Duncan. "She has all the attributes of a Disney star", said Bonnet. Mendler first heard about Good Luck Charlie in late November 2008. After several rounds of auditions and cast reads, she finally secured the part in January 2009. Mendler and Jason Dolley, who plays Teddy's older brother PJ, have starred in preceding Disney Channel series and movies before both were cast in Good Luck Charlie; Mendler had a recurring role on Wizards of Waverly Place and Dolley starred in Cory in the House and numerous Disney Channel television movies. Variety magazine's Brian Lowry says their careers "[reflect] the Disney Channel's knack for identifying young performers and rolling them from one project to the next, in a fashion reminiscent of the old studio system". Both Eric Allan Kramer, who plays Bob Duncan, and Leigh-Allyn Baker, who plays Amy Duncan, have also guest starred in preceding Disney Channel shows, and both Kramer and Baker had respectively guest starred in one episode each of the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl, where Charlie writers Erika Kaestle & Patrick McCarthy had served as writers and supervising producers. Both Baker and Kramer were in the same episode of the NBC sitcom Will and Grace, entitled "Sour Balls". Baker says Disney had been "courting [her] for awhile to play a mom", but she had always felt too young. "I kind of feel like hey, you know what? When I'm done with this stint, I'll actually be the age everyone thinks I am to be able to play the part". Baker, who was a new mother herself, was nine months pregnant at the time she was auditioning for the role.
Mia Talerico – Like most series featuring baby actors, producers of Good Luck Charlie had originally intended to have identical twins play Charlie Duncan, the title character and the Duncans' new baby. Hiring two babies would allow for longer work days without violating child labor laws as well as the ability to substitute one child for the other if one was unavailable. However, the show makers were unsuccessful in finding the proper set of twins and decided to cast Mia Talerico instead. Marsh says casting Talerico, who was ten months old at the time of her casting for the role, was their highest risk while creating the show: "It's like flying without a net. She may have a bad day and we can't shoot and it'll cost us tens of thousands of dollars. But so far, so good. She's the most obedient actor I've ever worked with".
On January 28, 2014, Disney Channel announced that a television episode of Good Luck Charlie, "Down a Tree", would feature a same-sex couple. This decision caused a protest from the conservative group "One Million Moms" asking Disney Channel not to air the episode. One of Disney's spokespersons told TV Guide the episode was "developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness." Disney aired the episode as planned.
The series earned positive reviews. Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times described it as a "professional sitcom from sitcom professionals" with efficient jokes and typical sitcom characters, and situations which are "willfully arranged". However, Lloyd praised the series for offering a "contextually novel picture of a teenage girl taking care of her baby sister with a persuasive nonchalance and practical ease that transcends the strenuous comedy that surrounds it". Neal Justin of the Star Tribune said the "slapstick heavy, laugh-track fueled sitcom" had no redeeming qualities other than "keeping your 11-year-old sedated for a half hour". Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Good Luck Charlie would appeal to kids, but not adults. "Parents have seen the same sort of show done before and better in ABC's 1980s-era TGIF lineup", wrote Owen. Contrarily, Brian Lowry of Variety magazine said Good Luck Charlie was "a surprisingly refreshing throwback to ABC's "TGIF"-style sitcoms". He commented that while the series did not "push sitcom boundaries", it was "sprightly" and "pleasantly handled".
The series premiered to 4.7 million viewers, making it the highest-rated series premiere for a Disney Channel Original Series since The Suite Life on Deck in 2008, and the week's highest-rated cable program. Maclean's reported that overall, the first season "has been doing about as well as Disney’s more successful shows – The Suite Life and so on".
On June 24, 2012, the episode "Special Delivery" became the most-watched episode ever of Good Luck Charlie, earning 7.48 million viewers, surpassing the episode "Snow Show (Part 1)" which had 7.24 million viewers as well as the episode "Good Luck Jessie NYC Christmas" that garnered 5.8 million viewers and the series' pilot episode "Study Date" which had 4.68 million viewers.
The most watched episode of the series was "Special Delivery" with 7.5 million viewers. The least watched episode was "The Unusual Suspects" with 1.9 million viewers.
The most viewed episode in the United Kingdom and Ireland was "Special Delivery" with 602,000 viewers when it aired on October 12, 2012.
Awards and nominations
|2010||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Female Breakout Star||Bridgit Mendler||Nominated|
|Hollywood Teen TV Awards||Teen Pick Actor: Comedy||Jason Dolley||Nominated|
|Teen Show Pick: Comedy||Good Luck Charlie||Nominated|
|2011||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actor||Bradley Steven Perry||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor Ten and Under||Tucker Albrizzi||Won|
|Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actress 11–15||Ryan Newman||Nominated|
|British Academy Children's Awards||BAFTA Kid's Vote: TV||Good Luck Charlie||Won|
|2012||2012 Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite TV Show||Nominated|
|Favorite TV Actress||Bridgit Mendler||Nominated|
|Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young Actor||Bradley Steven Perry||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor 18–21||Booboo Stewart||Nominated|
|British Academy Children's Awards||BAFTA Kid's Vote: TV||Good Luck Charlie||Won|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|2013||Producers Guild of America Award||Outstanding Children's Program||Nominated|
|2013 Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite TV Show||Nominated|
|Favorite TV Actress||Bridgit Mendler||Nominated|
|Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actress 14–16||Isabella Palmieri||Won|
|Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actress Ten and Under||Gianna Gomez||Nominated|
|2014||2014 Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite TV Show||Good Luck Charlie||Nominated|
|Favorite TV Actress||Bridgit Mendler||Nominated|
Although a soundtrack for the show was not released, several songs were produced for the show.
- "Hang in There Baby", performed by Bridgit Mendler, was written by Aris Archontis, Jeannie Lurie and Chen Neeman. The premiere was on Radio Disney in March 26, 2010. It was included in the Walt Disney compilation Make Your Mark: Ultimate Playlist, in 2012
- "One Step Closer", performed by Shane Harper, is featured in the episode "Battle of the Bands" as the song that Spencer performs in a Battle of the Bands contest that Teddy, Skyler, PJ, and Emmett also compete in. The song can be found on Harper's self-titled album.
- "I'm Gonna Run to You", performed by Mendler, was and featured in the movie Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas!. It was written by Mendler and Jamie Houston and produced by Houston. The song was released as promotional single on November 18, 2011. The official music video premiered on Disney Channel in December 2, 2011. It was directed by Arlene Sanford.
- "You're Something Beautiful", performed by Mendler, was featured in the 1-hour special episode, "Special Delivery". The song has not been released in any form.
- "My Song for You", performed by Mendler and Harper, was featured in the Season 3 Christmas episode "A Duncan Christmas". The song included in the Christmas compilation Holiday Playlist, in 2012. "My Song for You" peaked at number two on Billboard Kid Digital Songs and three on Holiday Songs
- "Your Song", originally by Elton John, was covered by Mendler and Harper to Season 4 episode "Good Bye Charlie". The song has not be released in any form.
Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! also known as "Good Luck Charlie: The Road Trip Movie" is a 2011 Christmas film based on the series. The film premiered December 2, 2011 on the Disney Channel. The film was directed by Arlene Sanford and written by Geoff Rodkey. The Disney Channel Original Movie follows the Duncan family on their road trip to Amy Duncan's parents' house for Christmas.
An Indian adaptation of the show, titled Best of Luck Nikki, premiered on Disney Channel India on April 3, 2011. Sheena Bajaj plays Dolly Singh, a character similar to that of Teddy Duncan, and Gurdeep Kohli portrays Hemani Singh, a character similar to that of Amy.
Worldwide the series airs on Disney Channel. In Canada it previewed on April 5, 2010 and premiered on May 14, 2010. In Australia and New Zealand it previewed on May 14, 2010 and premiered on July 23, 2010. In the United Kingdom and Ireland it previewed on the same date and premiered on June 12, 2010. It premiered in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines on August 14, 2010.