"High School Musical" to Debut on UK TV Sept. 22, BBC Later 2006; India Next

News   "High School Musical" to Debut on UK TV Sept. 22, BBC Later 2006; India Next With its Stateside TV success secure and professional screen-to-stage transfer on track, Disney Channel's "High School Musical" now prepares to hop the pond for its UK debut.

The original movie — which just earned Emmy Awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Children's Program — will hit the UK's Disney Channel Sept. 22 at 6 PM. It will be broadcast later this year for terrestrial TV on BBC One.

Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the cast of Billy Elliot were in attendance at a Sept. 10 special screening promoting the European debut of the show.

"We're pleased to be working with the BBC to launch the magic of High School Musical to terrestrial TV audiences in the UK - following its huge, multi-platform success stateside and elsewhere, we are sure that its appealing, well-drawn characters and storylines and joyful, catchy musical numbers, will capture the imagination of UK viewers," said Buena Vista International Television executive vice president Tom Toumazis.

In June, the movie premiered on Disney Channels in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. The made-for-TV special will also make its debut on Disney Channel India Sept. 24 at 7 PM with re-recorded songs in Hindi.

* High School Musical — the stage version of the popular musical — has already made its debut on the stage at New York's Stagedoor Manor (in August) and will play its professional premiere for Atlanta's Theater of the Stars (Jan. 2007).

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 to 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.

"Newsies" director-choreographer Kenny Ortega headed up "High School Musical," which premiered on Disney Channel Jan. 20, 2006. A sequel is already in the works.

For more information, visit www.disney.go.com/disneychannel.