In 2006, the Disney Channel released a brand-new original movie, High School Musical, which told the story of Troy and Gabriella, two students at East Side High, home of the Wildcats. The movie was one of Disney’s most popular musicals, so much so that Disney released the sequel on the Disney Channel one year later. Then, in 2008, High School Musical 3 was released nationwide in theaters. The franchise was so popular that the Wildcats appeared in parades at Walt Disney World and, 13 years after the first film premiered, Disney created a brand-new show based on it — High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series takes viewers back to East Side High — actually the school that portrayed East Side High in the original High School Musical franchise. The students at the school want to honor the franchise that put their school on the map by staging their own stage version of the movie in season 1. The show stars Joshua Bassett as Ricky, Matt Cornett as EJ, Kate Reinders as Miss Jenn, Sofia Wylie as Gina, and Olivia Rodrigo as Nini. The show was an immediate hit and has recently been renewed for a fourth season.
As you may or may not know, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series launched Olivia Rodrigo to superstardom. The singer recently released a new album that was a chart-topper, and she went on a massive tour in 2022. Her schedule gets busier and busier, which has many wondering if she will continue her role as Nini in HSMTMTS. In season 3, Rodrigo’s character was made recurring and not the main role it had been, but HSMTMTS showrunner Tim Federle said they are working on giving Nini a “proper sendoff.”
Federle recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about Rodrigo’s future on the popular show and was asked if Season 4 would be her last.
It’s so funny, we are early enough in the season 4 writers’ room that I’d be lying if I told you I had an exactly right answer for that. I would never say never to Olivia, and I would never use the word “last,” because I hope the show goes on and on and on and we get like a [Grey’s Anatomy,] “Patrick Dempsey on the beach with Ellen Pompeo” moment 17 seasons later. But yeah, I think it’s probably a fairly safe bet to say that, for now, we have so many cast members who we love and who we’re serving, that I think there’s no immediate plans for Nini to be a huge part of the show going forward. But the world has a way of surprising me and I never say never…
Any show that’s about the power of music — it’s so corny to say this, but this is me — and the way that making music with people you love can change your life and change the world, for this to have occurred, for Olivia, all I can do is sit back and be like, “If the worst thing that ever happened to me is that the star of my show became the biggest pop star in the world and had to chase that, then that’s a pretty damn good bad thing to happen to me.” I’m so proud of her.
Season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series premiered on Disney+ on July 27, with the show being renewed 2 months before the season 3 premiere. Since season 3 premiered just a few days ago, we don’t have any details about what season 4 will entail or when we can expect it to premiere on Disney+, but we will keep you updated as Disney releases more details.