Disney Just AXED Its Longest-Running Kids’ Series With No Explanation

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Credit: Disney+/Canva

The longest-running kids’ and teens’ series on Disney+ just got the axe from the entertainment giant, despite its stellar performance and ratings since the very first episode.

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Credit: Disney+

When The Walt Disney Company first rolled out its brand-new streaming platform, the content library was chock full of timeless Disney animated classics, old-school Disney documentaries, Disney Channel series, and animated shorts from days gone by. But Disney had a few surprises for subscribers in the form of brand-new content created exclusively for the Disney+ platform. On November 12, 2019, when Disney+ went “live,” it featured several new movies, series, and shows, sure to wow fans and keep them loyal to their monthly subscriptions.

On day one of the rollout, Disney+ featured The Mandalorian, Marvel’s Hero Project, The Imagineering Story, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Forky Asks a Question, PIXAR’s latest short, Float, the live-action remake of Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, a new Christmas film titled Noelle, and a brand-new series called High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (HSMTMTS).

High School Musical The Musical The Series

Credit: Disney+

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is a “mockumentary” musical drama created by Tim Federle. It was inspired by the High School Musical film series set at a fictional version of the iconic East High School. The first season follows a group of teens with aspirations of becoming actors who play roles in High School Musical: The Musical at the school. The series goes on to showcase a different musical in each respective season while taking a look at the lives of the characters, played by Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, Dara ReneĂ©, Frankie Rodriguez, Mark St. Cyr, Kate Reinders, Joe Serafini, Saylor Bell Curda, and Adrian Lyles.

The series debuted shortly before the unveiling of the Disney+ streaming platform, premiering on Disney Channel, ABC, and Freeform as a preview on November 8, 2019, just four days before Disney+ went live. Even before it debuted, the series was already green-lighted for a second season, which premiered in May 2021. The series’ third season debuted in July 2022.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' to End With Season 4 - Variety

Credit: Disney+

Since the first episode debuted in 2019, the series has received critical acclaim, especially for the performances given by the cast of the HSMTMTS. Film critics likened the series to Glee because of its musical themes. Since 2019, the series has won five Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and has been nominated for five Children’s and Family Emmy Awards. It’s also one of Disney+’s longest-running series and the longest-running kids’ and teens’ series from Disney.

But despite the rave reviews and the series’ popularity Disney has announced that Season 4 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series will be its last.

In May 2023, Disney made the bold decision to remove more than 50 shows and films from the Disney+ content library. It was the first time since the streaming platform debuted that Disney+ originals were purged. Among the offerings removed were Willow, Big Shot, and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. The purge led fans to wonder which of the Disney+ originals might be next, and now they know.

The World According To Jeff Goldblum Episode 110 – “Cosmetics” Disney+  Preview – What's On Disney Plus

“The World According to Jeff Goldblum”/Credit: Disney+

Instead of the weekly release of a new episode of HSMTMTS, Disney has confirmed that all eight episodes of Season 4 will debut on Disney+ on Wednesday, August 9. According to The Direct, Season 4 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series will center around “an epic crossover between the series’ lead stars and the High School Musical movie’s original cast members as the latter group will film a fictional High School Musical 4 reunion movie in East High.”

The move on Disney’s part to cancel such a successful series has fans wondering now whether Disney+ will purge the High School Musical film series once HSMTMTS is a thing of the past. But so far, the best guess is that the removal isn’t likely, as the series is long-standing and still retains a sizable fan following.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!