Nick high on school musical


Watch out, Disney! Nickelodeon is sharpening its notes to create its own high school musical.

The Viacom-owned kids network is prepping to shoot the telefilm "Spectacular!" a music-filled comedy set in high school.

Robert Iscove ("She's All That") is directing the film, which stars a cast of relative unknowns, including Tammin Sursok, Nolan Funk, Victoria Justice (Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101") and Simon Curtis. Shooting begins April 21.

"Spectacular!" which has been kept below the radar, centers on a preppy high school student (Sursok) who is part of the school's Spectacular! choir. The group is in sad shape, with its most talented members either having graduated or been stolen away by a rival squad. The teen sees salvation in a cocky rocker (Funk), who reluctantly joins "Spectacular!" to win a money prize that would finance his rock 'n' roll dreams. But the rocker doesn't factor in falling for the preppy girl.

Nick stresses that "Spectacular!" is not a classic musical. The songs in the movie will be performance-based rather than featuring characters suddenly breaking out into song like in Disney's "High School Musical."

Lauren Levine, Jessica Horowitz, Marjorie Cohn and Bill O'Dowd are executive producing "Spectacular!" Scott McAboy is producing. Levine and McAboy also are part of the producing team on another primetime Nick telefilm, the upcoming Christopher Meloni starrer "Gym Teacher."

Although "Spectacular!" which shoots in Vancouver, is designed as a one-off, Nick is holding options on the talent for potential sequels. No airdate has been set, though the movie is intended to join the ranks of other original live-action programming on Nick, including the hit series "Zoey 101" and "iCarly."

Sursok, repped by Abrams Artists and Principato/Young, is a singer from Australia with three top five hits under her belt there. She appeared on the Aussie TV series "Home and Away" before moving to the U.S., where she appears on CBS' "The Young and the Restless." She also will appear in Wayne Kramer's feature "Crossing Over."

Canadian Funk, repped by Untitled, had a recurring gig on the CW's "Aliens in America."

Iscove recently wrapped production on "Love N' Dancing," starring Amy Smart. He is repped by Innovative and Todd Harris Management.

Disney unearthed a gold mine with "Musical," which became a surprise hit upon its debut in January 2006. The sequel, which aired in August, broke records for cable viewership, and the soundtrack was the second-best-selling album of 2007.