October 29, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Before Hannah Montana, before the Jonas Brothers, before even Britney and Justin, there was Annette, Tommy, Darlene, and the rest of the Mouseketeers. For her book Why? Because We Still Like You: An Oral History of the Mickey Mouse Club, EW’s Armstrong researched the first true example of kid-centered TV, created by Walt Disney in 1955 to advertise newly opened Disneyland. ”We’re constantly hearing about the Miley Cyruses and the Zac Efrons of the world, but this is where that model began,” says Armstrong. ”Now it’s this multimillion-dollar industry, but at the time, making a show for kids, starring kids, was a revolutionary idea.” And it was spelled M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E.

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