''High School Musical'' is a 2006 American television film, first in the ''High School Musical'' film franchise. Upon its release on January 20, 2006, it became the most successful film that Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) ever produced, with a television sequel ''High School Musical 2'' released in 2007 and the feature film ''High School Musical 3: Senior Year'' released to theaters in October 2008. It is the first Disney Channel Original Movie to have a theatrical sequel. A fourth installment, ''High School Musical 4: East Meets West'', has been announced to be in the writing stages and to premiere in Disney Channel in 2010. The film's soundtrack was the best-selling album in the United States for 2006.
''High School Musical'' was Disney Channel's most watched film that year with 7.7 million viewers in its premiere broadcast in the US. In the UK, it received 789,000 viewers for its premiere (and 1.2 million viewers overall during the first week), making it the second most watched program for the Disney Channel (UK) of 2006. On December 29, 2006, it became the first Disney Channel Original Movie to be broadcast on the BBC. Globally, High School Musical has been seen by over 225 million viewers.
With a plot described by the author and numerous critics as a modern adaptation of ''Romeo & Juliet'', ''High School Musical'' is a story about two high school juniors from rival cliques – Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), a beautiful and shy transfer student who excels in math and science. Together, they try out for the lead parts in their high school musical, and as a result, divide the school. Despite other students' attempts to thwart their dreams, Troy and Gabriella resist peer pressure and rivalry, inspiring others along the way not to "stick to the status quo". Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale), a drama queen and high school diva will do anything to sabotage the friendship between Troy and Gabriella and also get a lead in the school musical.
''High School Musical'' was filmed at East High School located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the auditorium of Murray High School, and Downtown Salt Lake City. Murray High School was also the set of several other Disney productions: ''Take Down'' (1978), ''Read It and Weep'' (2006), ''Minutemen'' (2008) and ''High School Musical: Get in the Picture'' (2008).