‘High School Musical’ Series Updates: The Latest On Where The Show’s Second Season Stands

Ever since the first season of 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' ended, fans have been waiting on season 2. From filming to season 2 scoop, these are the latest updates about the Disney+ series.

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Image Credit: Disney+/Fred Hayes

The High School Musical universe expanded in a major way with High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Just like the trilogy of High School Musical movies before it, the Disney+ series became a massive hit when it launched in Nov. 2019. Season 2 is already in the works with the full cast set to return.

The cast members of the High School Musical series have solidified themselves as Hollywood’s most talented rising stars. Despite a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cast and crew are working hard on the second season. While many aspects of season 2 are under wraps, there are key aspects of the new season that we do know. HollywoodLife is breaking down all the updates about High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2.

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo stars as Nini. (Disney+/Fred Hayes)

‘High School Musical’ The Series Cast

The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series cast is full of incredibly talented young stars. Olivia Rodrigo, 17, stars as Nini Salazar-Roberts, who is cast as Gabriella Montez in the production of High School Musical within the series. Olivia’s new song “drivers license” was released on Jan. 8, 2021, and recently debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Joshua Bassett, 20, stars as Ricky Bowen, Nini’s on-again, off-again love who is cast as Troy Bolton in the show’s musical. Joshua just released his new single “Lie Lie Lie” on Jan. 14, 2021. On the same day as his song’s release, the young actor was hospitalized for an undisclosed reason and had to have surgery. He gave an update on his condition via his Instagram Story on Jan. 19 and said that he’s “feeling much better.”

Sofia Wylie
Sofia Wylie as Gina in season 1. (Disney+/Fred Hayes)

The show also stars Sofia Wylie, 17, as Gina Porter, who is cast as Taylor McKessie in the school production and made the understudy for Gabriella. Sofia rose to fame playing Buffy in the hit Disney Channel series Andi Mack.

Matt Cornett, 22, stars as E.J. Caswell, who is initially Nini’s boyfriend. He is cast as Chad Danforth and the understory for Troy. Prior to the High School Musical series, Matt made appearances in TV shows like Bella and the Bulldogs, The Goldbergs, and Life in Pieces.

Larry Saperstein, 22, plays Big Red, Ricky’s best friend. Big Red and Ashlyn, played by Julia Lester, notably kissed in a mid-credits scene after the season 1 finale. Ashlyn is E.J.’s cousin who is cast as Ms. Darbus. Dara Reneé, 20, stars as Kourtney, Nini’s best friend who is an aspiring fashion designer and works in the costume department for the musical. Dara’s first role was in the Disney Channel Original Movie Freaky Friday, which premiered in 2018.

Frankie Rodriguez
Frankie Rodriguez and Joe Serafini as Carlos and Seb. (Disney+/Fred Hayes)

Frankie Rodriguez, 21, portrays Carlos Rodriguez in the Disney+ series. He is the choreographer of the musical and is in a relationship with Seb Matthew-Smith (Joe Serafini). Carlos and Seb made history as Disney’s first gay couple. Frankie previously had roles in shows like I’m Fine and Modern Family. Joe had appeared in a number of Pennsylvania stage productions before nabbing the breakout role of Seb, who is cast as Sharpay Evans in the school musical. Joe will be a series regular cast member in season 2.

Mark St. Cyr, 33, stars as Mr. Benjamin Mazzara, the STEM teacher at East High. Kate Reinders, 40, plays Miss Jenn, the East High drama teacher. Kate is no stranger to theater. She has appeared in Broadway productions like Gypsy, Wicked, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

When Is Season 2 Of ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Coming Out? 

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2 does not have a release date yet. The series premiered in Nov. 2019 and was renewed for season 2 before it even debuted on the Disney streaming service, Deadline reported.
“We challenged executive producer Tim Federle to re-imagine the world of High School Musical for a contemporary audience. At every turn, Tim has delivered a show that’s imaginative, layered, optimistic, and heartfelt, one that remains reverential to the original High School Musical premise while carving out its own identity with new characters, new relationships, and both new and familiar songs. We’re thrilled to have the encouragement and support for a second season from our platform partners at Disney+,” Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, said in a statement.
High School Musical
The core members of the ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ cast. (Disney+/Fred Hayes)
On Feb. 5, 2020, the show’s official Instagram account revealed photos from the cast’s first season 2 table read. Production for season 2 had started in Salt Lake City in Feb. 2020 but was shut down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The show had filmed two episodes before the shutdown. The series began filming the second season again in Oct. 2020. Federle told the Los Angeles Times that the show had to make “obvious” adjustments due to COVID, which included avoiding “scenes where we had 100 people in the background.”
While waiting for season 2, Disney+ released High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special on Dec. 11. The TV special featured the cast singing holiday classics and new holiday songs, including one Ricky writes for Nini titled “The Perfect Gift,” which Joshua wrote himself. The holiday special was filmed safely amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

How To Watch The ‘High School Musical’ Series

The High School Musical TV series is a Disney+ original series.  It’s not available on any other streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu. The entire 10-episode first season is currently available to binge on Disney+. Season 2 will premiere on the Disney streaming service as well.

What Happened At The End Of Season 1?

The first season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series ended with a number of epic moments. Ricky rejoins the musical right in the middle of it to sing “Breaking Free” With Nini. The production is a hit.

Olivia Rodrigo Joshua Bassett
Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett in a scene from season 1. (Disney+/Fred Hayes)

After the show, Ricky tells Nini that he loves her and they’re finally together after a full season of ups and downs. However, Nina is also offered a spot at a prestigious music school right after her performance. As Gina prepares to leave again, Ashlyn invites Gina to stay in her guest room. Whether that’s long-term or not remains to be seen.

What Is Season 2 Going To Be About?

The musical for season 2 of the High School Musical series will be Beauty and the Beast. In Feb. 2020, the show’s official Instagram posted a video of the cast singing “Beauty and the Beast” from the Oscar-winning Disney film to announce the musical. HollywoodLife also spoke EXCLUSIVELY with several cast members about what’s ahead in the second season.

“Nini goes through a lot of changes in season 2,” Olivia told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “She is a little bit stressed out and confused. There are a lot of different balls in the air for her in season 2, so I think the audience is going to be really invested in how her story turns out.” Olivia has also written another original song for the second season. The actress and singer co-wrote the season 1 song “Just For A Moment” with her co-star Joshua.

Matt teased to HollywoodLife that HSMTMTS season 2 “is bigger and better in every way with storylines, character arcs, music, dance numbers.” When it comes to Gina, Sofia revealed that season 2 will be “uncovering a lot of who she really is since the first season we kind of peeled back her little wall that she had up. Now we’re seeing all that’s underneath that.”