Disney is taking advantage of three of its linear networks—ABC, Freeform and Disney Channel—to promote new Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Friday, Nov. 8. The series will then be available when Disney+ goes live for subscribers on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The move is an indication of how companies that own streaming services as well as networks—particularly Comcast’s NBCUniversal—might market upcoming streaming fare to try to drive subscriptions. HBO Max will have access to HBO, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and more, while Apple TV+, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, will have to rely on their existing non-linear, non-broadcast platforms to get the word out.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is a reboot of the wildly popular mid-2000s hit High School Musical. The pilot introduces 10 new characters who attend and teach at East High School: Nini, Ricky, Gina, E.J., Ashlyn, Kourtney, Carlos, Big Red, Miss Jenn and Mr. Mazzara. Over the course of 10 episodes, all of them will work together to produce a high-school musical, while building friendships, falling into romance and creating rivalries as they go.
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 and Big Red (Larry Saperstein) is Ricky’s best friend. Mr. Mazzara (Mark St. Cyr) is East High’s by-the-book S.T.E.M. teacher.
The series was created and is executive produced by Federle, who also wrote the first episode, which was directed by Tamra Davis. Oliver Goldstick, Tamra Davis and Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush also serve as executive producers of the first episode.
Filmed in Salt Lake City, Utah, the high school serves as both the setting and film location for the original movie and the new series.