High School Musical – Get in the Picture

Sunday saw the premiere of the latest entry to Disney’s High School Musical franchise: the series “High School Musical – Get in the Picture” reality show on ABC. The new series runs Sundays and Mondays and is presented by pop star Nick Lachey (no connection to the HSM franchise so far).

In HSM – GitP thousands of kids from all over the US are competing for their chance to become part of the HSM family. However, it is not a part in the upcoming theatrical feature HSM3 they are competing for but a contract to record two singles with Walt Disney Records and film a music video for one of the singles, with the music video being shown during the end-credits of HSM3.

According to first reports from the US (e.g. the review by the New York Times or the review by Variety for the first episode) judges are rather friendly in their assessment of the child performers’ skills during the initial audition phase. While understandable, it is questionable whether this will hurt or help the entertainment factor and popularity of the show. Competing concepts as America Got Talent! or American Idol do get a fair bit of their success from the harsh comments of the judges afterall.

Having just released the first trailer for the upcoming High School Musical 3 – Senior Year theatrical release the new reality series sure is a giant marketing blitz for the franchise and its latest movie. So expect the stars of the franchise to appear at various points and plug the movie. But we are nto that far yet. In the first episode viewers were treated to the east coast auditions, starting out in Disney’s backyear – Orlando. Shots from the auditions with the 6 judges (heree called faculty as they will actually give classes to the candidates in later stages) were mixed with shots showing the judes visiting the home towns of candidates.

The second night of the show on Monday saw the east coast auditions continue and move through the east coast semi finale and finale. So from the originally remaining 30 east coast candidates it went down to 10 and finally 6 candidates only. For details on the performances and the seemingly rather critical comments of the faculty take a look at the great write-up by Liz Pardue at ZAP 2 it.

Next up coming Sunday are the West Coast auditions with the main audition in Long Beach and smaller auditions in various towns (Sunday), followed by the semi finale and finale for the west coast on Monday. In the third week the 12 remaining candidates (6 per coast) then go into the process of training and elimination. For more information check out the official website.

Unfortunately the premiere of the latest franchise member did not interest as many viewers as the original movies. Variety calls it “tepid opening ratings” – according to Quotenmeter.de 4.03 million viewers watched the prime time premiere of the show, which it called a flop. However, the other big networks couldn’t really convince Sunday night either. So while disappointing at least ABC did not loose with too much of a margin. It will be interesting to see how the series continues to fare with the viewers in aprticular since with other casting shows as e.g. American Idol usually there is a ratings drop after the auditions, when the funny bad performances are done with.

Any of our readers watching the show? If so: let us know what you think! Did you like? Why? Care to do a write-up of the episodes for the blog in the cming weeks? Let us know!

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