Joshua Bassett Lands the Lead Role in ‘High School Musical: The Musical’

Joshua Bassett has been cast in the lead role of the highly anticipated “High School Musical: The Musical,” a series for Disney’s upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service, which is set to launch in late 2019. It is based on the iconic Emmy® Award-winning “High School Musical” franchise. The series will be filmed in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a single camera documentary style.

Bassett will play Ricky, a 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.”

“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.

The 10-episode story follows as 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 an original song.

Bassett said, “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!”

A native of Oceanside, California, 17-year-old Bassett is an actor, singer, dancer and guitarist. Since age seven, he has performed in over 30 musical theater productions and had roles in several commercials and television series, including a recurring role in Disney Channel’s “Stuck in the Middle” and a guest starring role in the upcoming crime anthology “Dirty John” for Bravo.

“High School Musical: The Musical” is executive produced by novelist, former Broadway performer, and Golden Globe® and Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter, Tim Federle (“Ferdinand”), as well as Emmy Award-nominated producer Oliver Goldstick (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Ugly Betty”), who also serves as showrunner.  Emmy Award-winning “High School Musical” executive producers Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush are also set to executive produce the series.


Bette Midler Joins Freeform’s ‘Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash’

Freeform announced today that Bette Midler will join Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker for the network’s “Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash,” an all-star party in honor of the cult classic film’s milestone anniversary. The two-hour special, filmed at the iconic Hollywood Forever Cemetery to celebrate the movie’s status as a Halloween staple, will premiere on SATURDAY, OCT. 20 at 8:15-10:15 p.m. EDT/PDT, as part of Freeform’s “31 Nights of Halloween” programming event.  

Hosted by Vanessa Hudgens and Jordan Fisher, “Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash” will feature exclusive interviews with the Sanderson sisters themselves, Bette Midler (“Winifred Sanderson”), Kathy Najimy (“Mary Sanderson”), and Sarah Jessica Parker (“Sarah Sanderson”), plus musical performances by Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Jordin Sparks, Jordan Fisher, Emily Estefan, PrettyMuch and Junior New System, as well as a “Hocus Pocus” themed costume contest, judged by Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, Margaret Cho and hosted by Ross Mathews. The special will also include exclusive interviews with “Hocus Pocus” cast and crew members Kenny Ortega (Director), Mick Garris (Writer), David Kirschner (Writer), Omri Katz (“Max”), Thora Birch (“Dani”), Vinessa Shaw (“Allison”), Sean Murray (“Thackery”), Amanda Shepherd (“Emily”), Doug Jones (“Billy Butcherson”), Larry Bagby (“Ernie”), Jason Marsden (voice of “Thackery Binx”), Tobias Jelinek (“Jay”), Peggy Holmes (choreographer) and John Debney (Composer). Drag superstar Lady Bunny will be rocking the spooky beats throughout the evening as the resident DJ. 

The night of Oct. 20 will be full of bewitching fun as the network will also be airing a “Pop’n Knowledge” edition of “Hocus Pocus,” before and after the Bash at 6:05 p.m. EDT/PDT and 10:15 p.m. EDT/PDT. The special edition will celebrate everything about the iconic film and the fandom with a mix of trivia, funny observations and commentary around key moments and quotes. This “Pop’n Knowledge” version of “Hocus Pocus” is an experience no fan should miss! 

“Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash” is executive produced by Kenny Ortega and Michael Levitt. 

Twenty-five years after its theatrical release, “Hocus Pocus” is more popular than ever – exclusively airing on Freeform during the Network’s “31 Nights of Halloween” stunt, the film reached 8.2 million Total Viewers in its first week. If NATO’s average ticket price of $8.97 were applied to the film’s performance, “Hocus Pocus” would have had a weekend box-office equivalent of approximately $73.6 million in its first five days if it were released today. 

During the first week of “31 Nights of Halloween,” Freeform ranked as the No. 1 cable network in the daypart among Women 18-34 (164,000) and Females 12-34 (202,000).

Freeform has expanded their annual Halloween programming event to “31 Nights of Halloween,” bringing more thrills and chills to the entire month. From Oct. 1, the network will be invaded by everyone’s favorite witches, a murderous barber, out of control dinosaurs and everything else that goes bump in the night. “Hocus Pocus” will air throughout the most haunting stunt on television, as well as conclude the event with a day-long marathon featuring the Sanderson Sisters on Oct. 31.

Set List Announced for Disney Night on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars

“Disney Night” – The nine remaining celebrities are putting on their Mickey ears and getting ready to transform into some of their favorite Disney characters and celebrate the magnificence of “Disney Night” on “Dancing with the Stars,” live on MONDAY, OCT. 22 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.

The Disney spirit shines as the show opens with a spectacular number, featuring “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors” host and Season 25 Mirrorball winner Jordan Fisher singing and dancing with the stars, pros and “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors’” Ariana Greenblatt, Jason Maybaum and the Juniors pros. Jordan returns later in the show to sing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from “Cinderella,” alongside “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors’” Ariana Greenblatt and Jason Maybaum. In addition, there will be a special guest performance by Andrea Bocelli and Mateo Bocelli of the song “Fall on Me” from Disney’s upcoming motion picture, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” And hitting the ballroom floor in style throughout the night will be Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck. Each couple will perform to songs from Disney films, including Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” and classic films “Beauty and the Beast,” “Mulan,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Tangled,” among others. Each couple will perform a foxtrot, waltz, Charleston, jazz, jive, quickstep, Viennese waltz or contemporary.

Each couple will dance to the following magical songs (in alphabetical order):

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Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten – Foxtrot – “Just Around the Riverbend” from “Pocahontas”

 

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Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess – Waltz – “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid”

 

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DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold – Charleston – “A Star is Born” from “Hercules”

 

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Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe – Jazz – “When Will My Life Begin?” from “Tangled”

 

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Joe “Grocery Store Joe” Amabile and Jenna Johnson – Jive – “Zero” from “Ralph Breaks the Internet”

 

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John Schneider and Emma Slater – Quickstep – “I Wan’na Be Like You” from “The Jungle Book”

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Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke – Viennese Waltz – “Gaston” from “Beauty and the Beast”

 

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Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber – Contemporary – “Reflection” from “Mulan”

 

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Milo Manheim and Witney Carson – Quickstep – “Incredits 2” from “The Incredibles 2”

For week five, viewers may cast their votes for their favorite “Dancing with the Stars” couples via phone and online at www.ABC.com, beginning from the start of the episode on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m. EDT/5:00 p.m. PDT and closing at 4:00 a.m. EDT/1:00 a.m. PDT on Tuesday.


‘Toy Story of Terror’ Airs Tonight on ABC

Disney•Pixar’s first special for television, “Toy Story OF TERROR!,” a spooky tale featuring all of your favorite characters from the “Toy Story” films, airs THURSDAY, OCT. 18 (8:30-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Rebroadcast. OAD: 10/16/13)

What starts out as a fun road trip for the “Toy Story” gang takes an unexpected turn for the worse when the trip detours to a roadside motel. After one of the toys goes missing, the others find themselves caught up in a mysterious sequence of events that must be solved before they all suffer the same fate in this “Toy Story OF TERROR!”

The cast of “Toy Story OF TERROR!” includes Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Joan Cusack as Jessie, Carl Weathers as Combat Carl/Combat Carl Jr., Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as Rex and Kristen Schaal as Trixie.

“Toy Story OF TERROR!” is produced by Galyn Susman and directed by Angus MacLane. The special is from Disney•Pixar.

“Toy Story OF TERROR!” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound. This episode carries a TV-PG parental guideline.


‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,’ Airs Tonight on ABC

This full-length version of the classic animated PEANUTS special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” includes the bonus cartoon, “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown,” featuring the Great Pumpkin, and will air THURSDAY, OCT. 18 (8:00–8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Rebroadcast. ABC OAD: 10/30/01)

In the 1966 animated special “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” The PEANUTS gang celebrates Halloween, with Linus hoping that, finally, he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin, while Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween party. Cast members include Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown) and Christopher Shea (Linus). The cast also includes Sally Dryer as Lucy, Chris Doran as Schroeder, Bill Melendez as Snoopy, Kathy Steinberg as Sally, Tracy Stratford as Violet and Ann Altieri as Frieda.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was executive produced by Lee Mendelson and created and written by Charles M. Schulz. Bill Melendez is the producer and director and Vince Guaraldi is the music composer.

On Oct. 2, 1950, the PEANUTS comic strip launched in seven American newspapers. PEANUTS animated specials have become a seasonal tradition. Charlie Brown kicking the football, Linus and his blanket and Lucy leaning over Schroeder’s piano are images to which everyone can relate. Such phrases as “Security Blanket” and “Good Grief” have become a part of the global vernacular. Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez’s association with Charles Schulz stretches back to 1965 with “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which debuted on CBS in 1965 with Mendelson as executive producer and Bill Melendez as animator and director. The three men continued their long-term association until Schulz’s death, working together on 50 PEANUTS network specials and four feature films. The network specials won five Emmys®, two Peabodys and 18 other Emmy nominations.


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