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‘High School Musical’s Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo on Supporting Each Other’s Songwriting
Meant to bridge the gap ahead of the new season, subsequent episodes -- each of which will drop nuggets about what the characters are up to immediately after the season 1 finale -- will premiere every Wednesday on Instagram. Each short features the HSMTMTS characters Facetiming each other for relationship advice, thoughts on the spring musical (which will be Disney's Beauty and the Beast) and drama department gossip, such as whether or not Gina will stay in Salt Lake City and Nini's status with the Youth Actors Conservatory.
"We knew that with shutdowns and new protocols around filming, season 2 would debut later than we'd originally anticipated. So creating these little in-between videos was a way to remind the audience where the characters are, right after the season 1 finale," creator Tim Federle tells ET over email about the genesis of the video shorts. "The videos feature the entire 11-person series regular cast and the action picks up right after opening night of High School Musical. Everyone has something (or someone) on their mind..."
ET exclusively premieres the first episode featuring Olivia Rodrigo's Nini and Dara Renee's Kourtney, as they Facetime the day after they successfully put on East High's production of High School Musical. In the clip, Nini breaks the news to her BFF about being accepted into the conservatory. But reality sets in when Nini receives an incoming call from her beau, Ricky (Joshua Bassett), who has no idea.
"Ricky is finally in a good place with Nini. He learned how to say 'I love you,' and mean it. And so Ricky is coming off the high of season 1 wanting to keep that good thing going. But nothing stays easy for very long in a TV show. (Or in life.)," Federle teases of Nini and Ricky's conversation.
With the introduction of the Instagram shorts, Federle hints that this is merely a preview of things to come for season 2 of HSMTMTS, which will include a heavier social media presence within the show.
"In fact, the entire season starts with a video the kids make -- 'Something in the Air' -- for East High Drama Club's new Instagram handle, so we def[initely] dip a toe in the social media waters," he reveals. "Instagram was the place, by the way, where Olivia and Josh first started posting their real-life original songs, which led them to write for the show. Art imitates life!"
As for what fans can expect when it comes time for the new episodes to start rolling out, "more music, way more drama, amazing guest stars and original songs from Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett," Federle writes. "It's gonna be a juicy season."
Watch the HSMTMTS cast get interviewed by original High School Musical star Corbin Bleu below.