Do You Remember The Failed 'High School Musical' TV Series, 'Madison High'?

The series starred Ms. Darbus

With all the hubbub of High School Musical 4 and the mega DCOM marathon we had last month, it's only fitting to remember the fallen TV series that time forgot.

In 2010, Disney Channel began plotting its first musical series — one that would follow the exploits of everyone's favorite drama teacher, Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed), as she left East High for Madison High, teaching a new set of students the art of musical theater.

Over the next two years, actors were cast and a pilot was filmed, and then, nothing. The pilot was not picked up for a series and that was that.

Unlike the failed Selena Gomez–starring Suite Life of Zack and Cody spinoff, however, there aren't any clips from the show online. But there is this great behind-the-scenes pic featuring two of the stars and property master Norman Jon Clark posing in front of the high school set.

The cast featured several current DCOM stars, including Katherine McNamara (Girl Vs. Monster), G. Hannelius (Den Brother), and Luke Benward (Minutemen, Girl Vs. Monster, and Cloud 9). Mark Indelicato from Ugly Betty was also cast.

Amanda Edwards/WireImage / Noam Galai/WireImage / Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Madison High

DCOM actors from left to right: Katherine McNamara, G. Hannelius, and Luke Benward.

Back in 2011, McNamara spoke with Popstar! about the show. She revealed that her character was the mean girl of the school; "a backstabber and a very two-faced person," she said, which sounds quite similar to HSM meanie Sharpay Evans.

The pilot featured four original songs, with the promise of more for each episode. Even better, DCOM veteran Paul Hoen directed the pilot — he'd already directed nine DCOMs, including Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, before Madison High, so he was clearly the best man for the job.

Apparently, the show was canceled before it even began because Hannelius was cast as the lead in Disney's Dog with a Blog, though the validity of this is uncertain. It's really too bad the show never saw the light of day, but it'd still be nice to watch the unaired pilot. (Hint hint, wink wink, Disney Channel. We need more Darbus in our lives.)


High School Musical