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James Hibberd

Disney's 'High School Musical 2' Breaks Cable Records

August 18, 2007 11:48 AM

Disney Channel’s “High School Musical 2” broke records Friday night to become the most-watched basic cable television event of all time.

The much-anticipated sequel to Disney Channel’s enormously successful 2006 movie drew 17.2 million viewers, besting previous record holder, TNT’s Western “Crossfire Trail,” by 38 percent. “HSM2” is also the most-watched television telecast on record for kids 6 to 11 and TV’s most-watched Friday telecast in total viewers in more than five years.

Compared to broadcast network programming, the “HSM2” audience was equivilent to last season’s average viewership for an episode of CBS’s “CSI” or ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.” Disney Channel took advantage of the anticipated turnout by following the movie with a preview of its upcoming series “Phineas and Ferb,” which drew 10.8 million viewers.

The original “HSM” was Disney’s most-successful movie when it debuted to 7.8 million viewers last year. Since, it’s become a cash machine for the network, spawning a best-selling album, DVD, book series, video game, concert tour and upcoming ice show.


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Comments (1)

Troy Woody:

Wow, sounds like cable/ADS might finally have a shot at giving broadcast a run for it's money. At least if you watch Disney specials or your targeting children there might be the occasional need to place a few spots in those shows. I still watch free TV with an antenna, and that is good enough for my family. Not to mention the picture quality is better than cable!

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