Dave Gee: Entertainment Now: Summer season for High School Musical on ABC
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Disney's smash hit High School Musical franchise is expanding its reach even more, with a new musical talent show due to hit network TV this July. High School Musical: Summer Session will debut on the ABC on July 20, and is described as a reality show spinoff, inspired by the hit teen High School Musical movies.

Producers are holding casting sessions around the United States for aspiring Troys and Grabriellas over the next few weeks, looking for budding stars aged 16-22. Finalists from the "nationwide search" will be invited to take part in a summer musical programme to "hone their singing and dancing skills".

Some of the stars of the original movies (possibly even Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens) are expected to make guest appearances as weekly judges and mentors. In traditional TV talent show fashion, competitors will be progressively eliminated each week, with the eventual winner receiving "the opportunity of a lifetime, becoming part of 'High School Musical' history"...

(This sounds suspiciously like an onscreen role of some sort in Disney's forthcoming big screen movie High School Musical 3: Senior Year (due to hit US theatres in October), but with producers able to adjust the size and scale of the part depending on the talent of their winner.)

Pop singer, Actor, and Reality TV star Nick Lachey (98 Degrees, Charmed, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica) will host HSM: Summer Session. Lachey is preparing to release a followup to his hit solo CD 'What's left of me' later this year.

* ABC - High School Musical: Summer Session - Casting Call Information