As more people ignore ads by streaming television, more streaming television has come to resemble advertising. A promotion for a franchise favorite used to expand the corporate empire, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (7 p.m., ABC, Freeform and Disney, TV-G) gets a network and cable sneak peak.
This documentary-style 10-episode series will follow a high school drama club as it prepares to put its own spin on the “High School Musical” musical that its members grew up watching on the Disney Channel.
As the title implies, this is all rather “inside,” an unabashed plug for Disney and a way to promote a Disney franchise (“High School Musical”) in a new way while helping to launch a new Disney venture (the Disney+ Streaming service, launching Nov. 12).
In one clip, a cast member claims she owned all of the “High School Musical” merchandise as a child. You can almost hear the cash register chiming in the background.
This is not the first series to follow a high school drama class as they prepare to mount a show. In 2018, NBC aired the ambitious series “Rise,” about an earnest teacher who inspired his students to put on a production of “Spring Awakening.”
Viewers did not warm to the serious series. Perhaps they were looking for something closer to “High School Musical,” a series inspired, at least in part, by Fox’s popular “Glee.” That show, like many Fox productions, is now property of Disney.
ABC offers viewers this first taste of “High School Musical: The Musical.” To stream the remaining 11 episodes, you’ll have to pay for Disney+.
The Disney Channel also airs the original “Musical” (7:34 p.m., TV-G) and “High School Musical 2” (9:34 p.m., TV-G).
- Musical fans of a different sort may enjoy the “Great Performances” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG) presentation of “The King and I,” a recent revival of the tale of a British teacher and the king of Siam, starring Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe.
- In a scant four days, Netflix will have to compete with Disney+ and much of the Disney library. Not to be outdone, it begins streaming an animated 13-episode series adaptation of the Dr. Seuss children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham.”
The exercise has a frantic feel, closer to contemporary daytime animated fare than classic cartoons. The theme song by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has nothing to do with Seuss, and feels like it was left over from the 1990s.
An impressive cast provides voices for the characters, including Adam Devine, John Turturro, Michael Douglas, Tracy Morgan, Keegan-Michael Key, Diane Keaton, Daveed Diggs, Ilana Glazer, Jeffrey Wright, Jillian Bell and Eddie Izzard.
- “20/20” (8 p.m., ABC) revisits one of the great tabloid stories of the early 1990s. Before Tanya, O.J. or Monica, there was the Long Island triangle of Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco and his 17-year-old lover, Amy Fisher. After the teen shot Mary Jo on her front porch in May 1992, the world’s media became besotted with all things Buttafuoco.
The tale inspired three made-for-TV movies. Alyssa Milano, Drew Barrymore and Noelle Parker were cast as Amy Fisher in competing network projects.
“20/20” includes interviews with the Buttafuocos’ daughter, Jessie, who was only 9 when her mother took a bullet to the head.
- Country stars appear on “Nashville Squares” (7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., CMT, TV-PG).
- Old and new Hollywood meet in the 1967 western “El Dorado” (9 p.m., Outdoor), starring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and James Caan, whose star would rise with the “Godfather” some years later.
- Jamie and Frank bicker over the public perception of police on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).