Disney Goes Back to 'High School’

3/07/2009 2:00 AM Eastern

Disney Channel will tap its popular High School Musical movie franchise a fourth time as the network announced production on the latest entry for later this year.

The fictional East High Wildcats will feature a new cast of characters when High School Musical 4 premieres on Disney Channel in 2010, according to Gary Marsh, president of entertainment for Disney Channels Worldwide.

The first two High School Musical telepics premiered on the Disney Channel and drew nearly 600 million viewers worldwide. The August 2007 premiere of High School Musical 2 was the No. 1 cable telecast of all time, drawing 18.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data measured on a live-plus-seven-day basis.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year, premiered in theatres October 2008 and has grossed $250 million worldwide at the box office.

“The High School Musical trilogy introduced a new generation to the celebrated genre of movie musicals. In crafting this next iteration, we’ve challenged the entire creative team to raise the bar again — and create something truly worthy of this extraordinary global phenomenon,” Marsh said in a statement.