'High School Musical 4' set for 2010

Popular franchise returns to Disney Channel

The "High School Musical" franchise is returning to television.

Disney on Tuesday announced a green light for "High School Musical 4," an original TV movie to premiere on Disney Channel in 2010.

The film will introduce a new cast of characters and will center on East High Wildcats' cross-town rivalry with the West High Knights.

"High School Musical" became a phenomenon when it premiered on the Disney Channel in January 2006. It spawned the Disney Channel sequel "High School Musical 2," whose 2007 premiere ranked as the number one basic cable telecast of all time with 18.6 million viewers.

The franchise then took a leap to the big screen with "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." The movie, which marked the high school graduation of Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa) and company, has grossed $250 million in the worldwide boxoffice.

Hoping to achieve a similar success with a new generation of East High School students, Disney Channel has tapped tapping Peter Barsocchini, who wrote each of the first three movies in the franchise, to pen the fourth installment.

Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush return as the executive producers.
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