10:00am PT by Rick Porter
'High School Musical' Series Gets On-Air Debut Before Disney+ Bow
Disney is enlisting several of its traditional outlets to help launch one of the debut series on streaming platform Disney+.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a new take on the Disney franchise, will get an on-air preview four days before the series premieres on Disney+ on Nov. 12 — launch day for the service. Disney Channel (where the HSM movies became a phenomenon), ABC and Freeform will air the first episode at 8 p.m. ET/PT Nov. 8.
The series, shot in documentary style, follows a new class of students at East High, the Utah school where the original movie was filmed. The 10-episode series will follow the characters as they mount a production of High School Musical: The Musical, a stage production based on the movie, from auditions to opening night. Along the way they experience budding romances, faltering friendships and fierce rivalries, along with the transformative power of high school theater.
The cast is led by Joshua Bassett (Disney Channel's Stuck in the Middle) as Ricky, who auditions for the show in an effort to win back his ex-girlfriend, Nini (Olivia Rodrigo). The cast also includes Kate Reinders as East High's spirited drama teacher; Sofia Wylie, Matt Cornett, Dara Reneé, Julia Lester, Frankie A. Rodriguez and Larry Saperstein as East High students; and Mark St. Cyr as the school's by-the-book STEM teacher.
Tim Federle (Ferdinand) created the series and executive produces. Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush, EPs of the three HSM movies, Oliver Goldstick and director Tamra Davis are exec producers of the first episode.
Along with High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, original programming debuting with the launch of Disney+ includes Star Wars series The Mandalorian, unscripted shows Encore! and The World According to Jeff Goldblum and feature films Lady and the Tramp (an update of the animated classic) and Noelle, starring Anna Kendrick. Library titles available at launch include all 30 previous seasons of The Simpsons, Andi Mack, Boy Meets World, Kim Possible, Brain Games, Star Wars Episodes i-VII and Rogue One, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Mary Poppins and numerous others. Full libraries from Pixar and the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be available in the first year.
Watch a trailer for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series above.