A new chapter of Disney’s iconic “High School Musical” franchise will premiere on three television networks. ABC, Disney Channel and Freeform will present the first episode of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” for one night only, Friday November. 8 (8:00 p.m. EST), in advance of the series’ debut on the highly anticipated streaming service, Disney+ (launching Tuesday, Nov. 12).
The new series is created and executive produced by Tim Federle, a screenwriter, novelist, librettist and self-described “musical theatre kid.’ He is charged with ensuring the originality, relatability and a genuine reverence for the worldwide pop-culture sensation “High School Musical” is a core part of this series. Expect original, exciting stories with both new and familiar songs and settings that both its longtime fans and new viewers can enjoy.
Watch the official trailer here:
I mean that’s not a bad trailer, but who do I talk to about the awkward name of the show. One colon in the title is more than enough.
Starring an exciting, mult-italented cast, the scripted Disney+ series introduces 10 main characters: Nini, Ricky, Gina, E.J., Ashlyn, Kourtney, Carlos, Big Red, Miss Jenn and Mr. Mazzara – a group of drama students and faculty members at East High, the Utah high school where the original “High School Musical” movie was filmed. Through the course of 10 episodes, these characters count down from auditions to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical: The Musical.” They have budding romances, faltering friendships and harsh rivalries as they experience the transformative power that only high school theater can provide.
Ricky (Joshua Bassett) is a charismatic teen auditioning for the musical so he can win back the heart of ex-girlfriend Nini (Olivia Rodrigo), who has just returned from summer theater camp with a new boyfriend – and the same insecurities that keep her from owning the spotlight. Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) is East High’s supremely spirited drama teacher, who’s convinced that musicals can be lifesavers; Gina (Sofia Wylie) is a transfer student and diehard theater kid with plenty of secrets; E.J. (Matt Cornett) is Nini’s new beau from camp, who sees life as a competition and Ricky as his No. 1 foe. Kourtney (Dara Reneé) is Nini’s best friend and a fashionista equally obsessed with makeup tutorials and feminism. Ashlyn (Julia Lester) is E.J.’s cousin and an aspiring songwriter; Carlos (Frankie A. Rodriguez) is the student choreographer who has already memorized his Tony Award speech; and Big Red (Larry Saperstein) is Ricky’s best friend, a dude who can best be described as a spiritual descendant of Bill and Ted. Mr. Mazzara (Mark St. Cyr) is East High’s by-the-book S.T.E.M. teacher.
Looking forward to seeing what sort of production value Disney+ will be paying for in its series with a preview on free and cable TV. Were you a fan of the original High School Musical movies? Who was your favorite character?