Most Likely to Succeed: "High School Musical 2" Draws Record-Breaking 17.2 Million

News   Most Likely to Succeed: "High School Musical 2" Draws Record-Breaking 17.2 Million "High School Musical 2" scored 17.2 million viewers for its Aug. 17 television premiere on the Disney Channel, Disney announced.

The showing of the sequel, which was followed by rebroadcasts over the weekend, more than doubled the ratings of the original Disney Channel musical from 2006 ("High School Musical" had 7.7 million viewers).

The teen tuner broke a number of records and is now being touted by the company as:

  • "The most-watched basic cable telecast of all time in total viewers" (beating the 16.0 million that watched ESPN's "Monday Night Football" game on Sept. 23, 2006)
  • "The most-watched TV telecast ever in Kids 6-11 (6.1 million)"

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  • "The most-watched entertainment telecast ever (behind only 2004's Super Bowl) in Tweens 9-14 (5.9 million)"
  • "The No. 1 basic cable movie of all time in total viewers" (beating out TNT's "Crossfire Trail" which pulled in 15.5 million Jan. 21, 2001)
  • "TV's No. 1 Friday telecast in more than five years in total viewers" (since May 10, 2002) *

    Original stars Zac Efron (as Troy), Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella), Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay), Lucas Grabeel (Ryan), Corbin Bleu (Chad) and Monique Coleman (Taylor) all returned for the sequel. Also returning are Alyson Reed (Ms. Darbus), Chris Warren, Jr. (Zeke), Olesya Rulin (Kelsi), KayCee Stroh (Martha), Ryne Sanborn (Jason) and Bart Johnson (Coach Bolton). Mark Taylor joins the cast as country club manager Mr. Fulton. (Efron was seen this summer as Link Larkin in the film version of Hairspray.)

    "The Wildcats are back," reads an announcement for the sequel. "This time, school's out and East High School hoops star Troy Bolton, A-student Gabriella Montez and the rest of the Wildcats are getting ready for a fun summer vacation. But that all changes when scheming drama queen Sharpay Evans uses her dad's connections to get Troy a job at their ritzy country club — and a chance at a college basketball scholarship. The catch? He'll have to turn his back on his friends and pair up with Sharpay in a musical extravaganza for the club's annual talent show. But when Gabriella and the Wildcats start making plans without Troy, he must decide where his loyalties truly lie."

    Kenny Ortega ("Newsies"), who both directed and choreographed the original film, returned for the sequel, which was penned again by writer Peter Barsocchini. Songwriters for the sequel include Matthew Gerrard, Robbie Nevil, Jamie Houston, Tim James, Antonina Armato, Randy Petersen, Kevin Quinn, David Lawrence and Faye Greenberg. Lawrence also composed the score for the movie.

    Songs featured in the picture (and available on the soundtrack) include "What Time Is It," "Fabulous," "Work This Out," "You Are the Music In Me," "I Don't Dance," "Gotta Go My Own Way," "Bet On It," "Everyday," "All for One" and "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a."

    Disney's original "High School Musical" has already spawned sing-along, dance along and pop-up editions, two versions of the soundtrack, two DVD versions, two stage versions, a concert tour, an ice show and a third film is in the works.

    Visit the "High School Musical 2" website at disneychannel.com/highschoolmusical2 for more information.