High School Musical 4 Set to Debut on Disney Channel in 2010

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East meets West in a classic love triangle set against the cross-town school rivalry between the East High Wildcats and West High Knights, in “High School Musical 4,” the fourth story in the celebrated franchise that became a cultural sensation, fueled unprecedented digital music downloads and underscored the strength of Disney Channel and Radio Disney’s connection to kids, tweens and families.

“High School Musical 4” brings the franchise back to television in a music and dance-filled Disney Channel Original Movie that will introduce a new cast of characters. It is scheduled to begin production later this year for premiere on Disney Channel in 2010. The announcement was made today by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide.

Marsh said: “The ‘High School Musical’ trilogy introduced a new generation to the celebrated genre of movie musicals. In crafting this next iteration, we’ve challenged the entire creative team to raise the bar again — and create something truly worthy of this extraordinary global phenomenon.”

The screenwriter of “High School Musical 4” is Peter Barscocchini who wrote each of the three movies in the franchise. Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush return as the executive producers.

Disney’s Emmy Award-winning “High School Musical” premiered in January 2006 on Disney Channel in the U.S. It went on to become a smash hit internationally, airing on Disney Channels and free-to-air broadcasters worldwide. To-date it has reached more than 290 million viewers in over 20 languages across 100 countries, including India, China and Russia.

The “High School Musical” soundtrack was the #1 album of 2006 and the DVD was the year’s #1 TV movie on DVD. “High School Musical” also delivered licensed amateur and professional touring stage productions, a best-selling junior novel, a popular consumer products franchise, a themed show at Disneyland Parks and Resorts in Anaheim, Orlando and Paris, and a sold-out, 42-date arena concert tour in North America and Latin America.

The movie’s critically acclaimed sequel, “High School Musical 2,” ranks as the #1 basic cable telecast of all time (18.6 million viewers for its August 2007 premiere) and thus far has been seen by nearly 300 million Total Viewers in 24 languages around the world. The “High School Musical 2” soundtrack is triple Platinum, and its DVD release was the top-selling TV property on DVD for 2007.

Walt Disney Pictures debuted “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” in theatres in October 2008. Its premiere weekend box office sales marked the highest debut ever for a musical and for a live-action G-rated film. Thus far it has grossed $250 million at the box office around the world. “High School Musical: Senior Year, Extended Edition” on DVD released in February.

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