‘High School Musical’ Series to Debut on ABC, Disney Channel, Freeform Ahead of Disney Plus Launch

Joe Otterson

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Disney is going to give “High School Musical” fans a treat prior to the launch of the standalone streaming service Disney Plus.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” the series adaptation of the popular Disney Channel film franchise, will air its first episode across three Disney-owned networks nearly a week before it debuts at the launch of Disney Plus.

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The series premiere will air on ABC, Disney Channel, and Freeform on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET., while the streamer is due to launch on Nov. 12. The series features an entirely new cast of characters playing drama students and faculty of East High, the Utah high school where the original “High School Musical” was filmed. The 10-episode series sees them go from the auditions to opening night of their staging of “High School Musical: The Musical.”

The series stars Joshua Bassett, Olivia Rodrigo, Kate Reinders, Sofia Wylie, Matt Cornett, Dara Reneé, Julia Lester, Frankie A. Rodriguez, Larry Saperstein, and Mark St. Cyr. The series was created and is executive produced by Tim Federle, who also wrote the first episode. The first episode was directed by Tamra Davis. Oliver Goldstick, Davis, and “High School Musical” executive producers Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush also serve as executive producers of the first episode.

It is not unheard of for a streamer to air episodes of one of its originals on linear channels. CBS aired the first episode of the two-part series premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” ahead of its launch of CBS All Access in 2017, while the broadcaster also ran the first season of the CBS All Access series “The Good Fight” earlier this year.

The original “High School Musical” film launched on Disney Channel in 2006. It proved to be the most successful Disney Channel original movie of all time, setting both ratings and DVD sales records. “High School Musical 2” followed in 2007, with the final entry, “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” being released theatrically in 2008. The franchise helped launch the careers of stars like Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, and Corbin Bleu. Kenny Ortega directed all three of the films, which were all written by Peter Barsocchini.

The “High School Musical” series will be one of several originals available at the launch of Disney Plus. Others include the “Star Wars” live-action series “The Mandalorian,” the docuseries “The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and the films “Lady and the Tramp” and “Noelle.”

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