Stevens Point is the setting of a new Disney Channel original series called “Liv and Maddie.”
The show is about two identical twins. One is returning from filming a popular television show called, “Sing it Loud!” while the other is an aspiring basketball player.
The twins deal with daily Disney wackiness caused mostly by their conflicting personalities.
Executive producer Andy Fickman is the man responsible for setting the show in Stevens Point. His grandparents grew up in town while Fickman and his family lived in the south. He remembered coming to Stevens Point and getting the “small town feel.” That’s the feeling he wanted to put into “Liv and Maddie.”
This isn’t the first time Wisconsin has been featured in television. “That 70s Show,” a period sitcom much loved by 20-somethings, is also set in Wisconsin, as referenced by the infamous “Hello, Wisconsin!” in the opening sequence. The name of the fictional town, “Point Place,” could allude to Stevens Point, but the show’s website says it is set in a suburb of Green Bay.
“Liv and Maddie” is definitively set in Stevens Point and there are a few references to Wisconsin sprinkled in, such as the UW pillows in the girls’ bedroom and Bucky Badger gracing the walls.
The twins attend Ridgewood High where their father is the coach of the basketball team and their mother is the school psychologist. If the Stevens Point Area High School were to take on the Ridgewood basketball team, they would be playing the Fighting Porcupines.
There may be more references to Stevens Point in future episodes, including the university. Stevens Point is mentioned in almost every episode.
It’s rare to see Stevens Point on television outside of the local news, and some students are hesitant about being Disney-fied.
“Wisconsin is sometimes portrayed incorrectly, so I’m a little wary,” said senior Rachel Sommer. “I think it’ll be interesting to see what they do with it.”
Other students are surprised that Stevens Point is getting recognition.
“I would like to see some locations unique to Stevens Point be featured in the show. And I think it would be cool to see some representation of our university,” said Disney fan Sarah Godlewski. “It could be used to promote our town.”
Fickman wants citizens of Stevens Point to embrace the show and hopes it will bring a smile to their faces.
Most of the show has been filmed on a soundstage at Disney Studios. There’s no guarantee that the show will film in Stevens Point, but if you see a camera crew running around, smile for the Disney Channel.