'High School Musical' TV Series Finds Its Lead
Disney's High School Musical TV series has found its first lead.
Joshua Bassett, a theater and Disney actor, has landed the main role of Ricky in the 10-episode series, High School Musical: The Musical, for Disney's upcoming streaming service launching late next year, ET has learned.
Bassett will play the cynical but charming high school junior who launches a bold plan to win back his ex-girlfriend, Nini: by auditioning to star opposite her in the school’s production of High School Musical. Disney began casting for the main roles, eight in total (including Ricky), in early September.
"Joshua’s interpretation of the Ricky character was brilliant -- funny, winning and, at the same time, uniquely vulnerable. The audience is going to love watching this charismatic young actor put his stamp on this next chapter of the High School Musical franchise," said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide.
"As someone whose childhood was shaped by the cultural phenomenon that is High School Musical, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to tell this story. Go Wildcats!" Bassett said.
The story follows a group of high school students who stage a performance of High School Musical for their fall theater production, only to realize that as much drama happens offstage as onstage. Every episode will include a new rendition of a beloved song from High School Musical, as well as the debut of an original song. The series will be filmed in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Bassett, 17, is a relative film and TV newcomer, having starred in a 2015 short film, a handful of guest starring roles, including Fox's Lethal Weapon and the forthcoming Bravo crime adaptation, Dirty John, and an arc on Disney Channel's Stuck in the Middle. On the stage, the Oceanside, California, native -- who is also a dancer and guitarist -- has performed in over 30 musical productions since he began at age seven.
Tim Federle (Ferdinand) and Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars), who will serve as the showrunner, are executive producing the new series.
High School Musical: The Musical premieres in 2019 on Disney's upcoming streaming service.
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