"Newsies" director-choreographer Kenny Ortega headed up "High School Musical" which debuted on Disney Channel Jan. 20 at 8 PM (ET).
The show's debut charted No. 1 in cable TV programs for the week of Jan. 16-22, pulling in 7,732,000 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, a record high for the network. Subsequent airings also charted well for the company: Jan. 21 at No. 2 for the week with 6,120,000 viewers and Jan. 22 at No. 7 with 4,856,000.
The "High School Musical" soundtrack — released on Jan. 10 — is noted as a "Pacesetter" on The Billboard 200, jumping to No. 58 (on this week's chart) from its debut at No. 143. It also appears at No. 1 on the Top Kid Audio chart and No. 4 on the Top Soundtracks. At press time, the album was No. 1 on Apple iTunes' "Today's Top Albums" and three singles — "Breaking Free," "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "What I've Been Looking For" — from the soundtrack placed in "Today's Top Songs."
First Street Films in association with Disney Channel present the work penned by Peter Barsocchini ("Shadow-Ops") and featuring a score by David Lawrence and songs by Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, David Lawrence, Faye Greenberg, Ray Cham, Greg Cham, Andrew Seeley, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, Andy Dodd, Adam Watts, Jamie Houston.
High School Musical centers on the unlikely friendship that evolves between the jock Troy and brainiac Gabriella at a karaoke contest. Little did the two know that she would be transferring into his school. The duo decide — against their friends' wishes and to the dismay of school stars (a drama queen and her twin brother) — to audition for the high school musical. The cast features Zac Efron ("Summerland"), Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale ("The Suite Life of Zack and Cody"), Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel, Monique Coleman as the featured teens with Alyson Reed, Bart Johnson and Joey Miyashima.
Ortega directed and choreographed Disney's "Newsies." Among his other choreographic film credits are "Dirty Dancing," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Pretty in Pink," "St. Elmo's Fire," "Xanadu" and " To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar." He also directed and choreographed the short-lived Broadway musical Marilyn centering on the actress Marilyn Monroe.
For more information, visit the Disney Channel website at www.disney.go.com/disneychannel.