Ten years ago, Disney Channel was looking to rejuvenate its lineup in order to further take advantage of the gains it had made against Nickelodeon. Since Disney had originally been a pay channel, it had a long way to go until it could compete with Nickelodeon, which had always been a basic cable station. It had caught up with Nickelodeon on the strength of its live action kids programming such as Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Disney Channel had high hopes for its 2006 lineup, though it wouldn't fully realize how many home runs it would hit during 2006.
Its first big hit would be the film that would introduce the musical genre to a generation of children- High School Musical.
The film introduced a young cast who would become household names. The film would become a franchise on its own, spawning a movie series, theme park shows and merchandise licensing. Despite the explosion of digital music, Disney would have no problems moving millions of High School Musical compact discs.
Even better for Disney- just a few months later another show would have its premiere, a show that would cement Disney Channel's dominance over the "tween" market- Hannah Montana.