On this day in 2006, Disney Channel debuted High School Musical. Directed by Kenny Ortega, it was watched by 7.7 million viewers (the most at that time for a Disney Channel Original Movie)!
With a plot described as a modern retelling of Romeo & Juliet, High School Musical is a story of two high school juniors from rival cliques who come together despite peer pressure and rivalry.
The musical was so successful that a sequel was produced (which aired in August 2007) and a feature film is currently in the works.
With High School Musical-mania sweeping the country, stage versions of the musical began to pop up around the country by August 2006 and a concert tour kicked off in November 2006. Disney Press began publishing novels based on High School Musical in June 2007. In August 2007, a professional stage version and a Disney On Ice presentation both hit the road. There are video games, documentaries and even a High School Musical reality show produced for TV in Argentina!
The franchise has won Billboard Music Awards, Emmy Awards, Teen Choice Awards, and even a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award.
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