Disney's High School Musical to premiere on Disney channels across Europe

MUMBAI: Disney channel original movie High School Musical is set to hit terrestrial television in 15 countries across Europe, including Italy, Germany, France and Russia.

BVITV EMEA executive vice president and managing director Tom Toumazis said, "As High School Musical's international fanbase grows ever-stronger on Disney Channel, we are delighted to also be working with key terrestrial TV clients in a wide range of markets to launch it to yet more new fans later this year and into 2007."

This will add new terrestrial TV sales for the made-for-TV musical made by Buena Vista International Television (BVITV), the international TV distribution arm of The Walt Disney Company.

The contemporary 'break into song' production has been licensed to the broadcasters RAI in Italy, ProSieben in Germany, ORF in Austria and M6 France, along with RTE in Ireland, ERT Greece, TRT Turkey and CYBC Cyprus. In Central and Eastern Europe, Channel One in Russia has also licensed it, as have TV2 Hungary, TV Media Planet Ukraine, TVR Romania, Pop TV Slovenia, and A1 Televizija in Macedonia. High School Musical has already been licensed to the BBC in the UK, for broadcast on BBC One later this year, and is expected to be licensed to many more key markets within the next month, informs an official release.

It will premiere on other international Disney Channels throughout 2006, with its UK Disney Channel premiere set for September.

The High School Musical US premiere in January broke Disney Channel ratings records, and for its 14 airings, has now been seen by over 40 million unduplicated total viewers. In June, the movie premiered on Disney Channels in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia and delivered the best-ever results for a Disney Channel Original Movie in all of these markets.

High School Musical made its international terrestrial TV debut on 1 July in primetime on Seven Network Australia and was the timeslot winner against all major demos. It is the No. 1 movie in 2006 for tweens 10-15 delivering a 17.9/67 per cent rating/share and also the No. 2 movie on Seven Network this year with a 9.5/40 per cent rating/share for the Under 55s. It premiered on TV2 New Zealand on 19 August, and was the No. 1 programme of the night amongst People 5+, adds the release.

In August, the movie received two Emmy Awards, an Imagen Award and three Teen Choice Awards. It has also won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Children's Programming.

In the US, the soundtrack is No. 1 of the year to date, and is now certified triple-Platinum, delivering six Gold-certified singles since its debut in January. In addition to being the year's #1 album so far, it is also the #1 soundtrack and #1 Kids' album of the year to-date. High School Musical is also currently Disney's biggest TV-based DVD title in the US, adds the release.

A sequel to High School Musical is in planning for 2007.

In this musical comedy, popular high school basketball star Troy and shy, academically gifted newcomer Gabriella discover they share a secret passion for singing. When they sign up together to audition for the lead roles in the school musical, it threatens their school's rigid social order and sends their peers into an uproar. In a desperate effort to maintain the status quo, the school cliques are soon hatching convoluted plots to separate the pair and keep them offstage. By defying expectations and taking a chance on their dreams, however, the couple inspires other students to go public with some surprising hidden talents of their own.

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