Olivia Rodrigo Makes A "Surprise" Appearance With Jesse Tyler Ferguson In 'HSMTMTS' Season 3 Trailer (2023)

Olivia Rodrigo had a stellar 2021, and she shows no signs of stopping. Her massive breakout music career involved bagging three VMAs wins, including the coveted Best New Artist award, and her acting career isn’t taking a backseat either. Since September, she’s been in production for Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 3, which follows the well-received success of the first two installments. (Both seasons’ soundtracks netted almost 1.5 billion combined streams so far.) And with all the traction the series is getting, some notable Disney stars, including an OG HSM alum, are joining the new batch of Wildcats as they embark on a new adventure.

This time around, the Wildcats seniors will be leaving the musical corridors of East High to take their tunes to a new location: sleepaway camp. Series creator Tim Federle said in a statement, “We are overjoyed to be heading to the great outdoors for season three,” adding that he’s “grateful to our partners and friends at Disney+ for their continued support of our next-generation Wildcats.” Here’s everything we know so far about Season 3 of HSMTMTS, the students’ “ultimate summer,” and who from the original movie series will be making a cameo.

HSMTMTS Season 3 Release Date

As announced on June 29, HSMTMTS Season 3 will premiere on July 27, only on Disney Plus.

HSMTMTS Season 3 Cast

While the main HSMTMTS cast is returning for Season 3, viewers will see a bit less of Olivia Rodrigo as Nini Salazar-Roberts, as Entertainment Tonight reported she’ll be a recurring character rather than a main cast member this time around. It’s a fitting move for the superstar, who spoke to The Guardian in 2021 about the difficulty of pursuing both music and acting. “I think it’s really hard to split time between the two and there are very few artists who do that efficiently,” Rodrigo said. “Acting is based on being a good liar and presenting a version of yourself that’s believable, and being a songwriter is the complete opposite. It’s like, here are all of my deepest, darkest secrets and I want you to know me so personally.”

Meanwhile, ET confirmed Rodrigo’s co-star Joshua Bassett, who plays Nini’s love interest Ricky Bowen, will return as a series regular for Season 3. In May 2021, he told PopSugar that he would “love to dance more in Season 3,” so get ready to see him bust a few moves.

Rodrigo and Bassett are central to the show’s appeal, with the former’s music career taking off between Season 1 and Season 2 of the show. In January 2021, she dropped her debut single, “drivers license,” a viral hit that went on to be parodied on SNL and, months later, won Song of the Year at the MTV VMAs. Many also believe “drivers license” is about a possible love triangle involving Rodrigo, Bassett, and fellow Disney star Sabrina Carpenter, which has created a new froth of interest around the Disney+ show.

In fact, Federle told Decider in May 2021 that “I know it’s certainly impacted album streams. I don’t always love the [streaming] algorithm, but the algorithm is such that she has one single, and then all of a sudden ‘All I Want’ starts playing and I think people are like, ‘Wait, what’s this?’” He also said there was no awkwardness between Rodrigo and Bassett on set after the success of her solo releases. “I did not feel the material impact anything other than everybody, including Josh, being exceptionally excited for Olivia with this crazy rocket ride.”

Other main cast members coming back to the series include Matt Cornett as E.J. Caswell, Sofia Wylie as Gina Porter, Julia Lester as Ashlyn Caswell, Dara Reneé as Kourtney Greene, and Frankie Rodriguez as Carlos Rodriguez. While Olivia Rose Keegan (Season 2 newcomer Lily) and Kate Reindeers (Miss Jenn) are both set to return in recurring roles for Season 3, it’s unclear whether the rest of last season’s new faces, including Derek Hough and Roman Banks as Zack Roy and Howie, respectively, will also reprise their roles.

On Jan. 18, Variety reported some exciting new additions to the cast, and one in particular stirred up nostalgia. Fans of the original movie series will remember Corbin Bleu, the actor who played Chad Danforth, aka Troy Bolton’s (Zac Efron) basketball teammate and BFF who tells him to get his head in the game. Per Variety, Bleu is joining the HSMSTMTS cast and will appear as himself, a “star of the High School Musical franchise.”

Other Disney alums will also join the show. Meg Donnelly, who starred in the channel’s three Zombies movies, will play college student and camp counselor Val, who is “ready to choreograph” this season’s production. Jason Earles, who played Miley Cyrus’ older brother in Hannah Montana, also makes his Disney comeback as Dewey Wood, the “killjoy” camp director. Disney alum Saylor Bell (Rule the Mix) will play the tech-savvy Maddox, while newcomer Adrian Lyles is the “mysterious” camp newbie Jet.

On March 9, ET revealed several more new faces set to join HSMTMTS for Season 3. Ben Stillwell will appear as Camp Shallow Lake cameraman Channing, Aria Brooks is set to portray first-time camper and eighth-grader Alex, and Liamani Segura will make her onscreen debut as another eighth-grader and “first-time auditioner” at the summer camp.

Another two stars to be added to the HSMTMTS Season 3 cast were announced on June 29: Jesse Tyler Ferguson and JoJo Siwa. Ferguson, who previously starred in Modern Family, will be joining the cast as Marvin, an old family friend of Rodrigo’s character Nini. Siwa will play the role of a Camp Shallow Lake alum named Madison, who can be seen briefly in the new Season 3 trailer.

HSMTMTS Season 3 Plot

For Season 3, the East High students will experience “campfires, summer romances, and curfew-less nights” at Camp Shallow Lake, a performing arts sleepaway camp in California where they’ll put on a production of Disney’s Frozen. Much of the cast will also be preparing to enter their senior year of high school, creating plenty of potential storylines involving relationships, college applications, and more. In addition to putting on Frozen, a drama-filled “docu-series” of the production is another aspect of Season 3’s plot that the Wildcats will have to navigate through.

Each season’s storyline has focused on remaking a musical: the original High School Musical in Season 1 and Beauty and the Beast in Season 2. This season, it’s the snowy classic Frozen — but who knows, perhaps they’ll even include some songs from the original High School Musical 3, especially since Bleu is now attached to the project. Bassett certainly hopes so. “Hopefully we'll get the budget approved for one of those rotating hallways that they had in High School Musical 3," he told PopSugar.

HSMTMTS Season 3 Trailer

Disney+ dropped the trailer for HSMTMTS Season 3 on June 29, full of humor, drama, and a glimpse into what Season 3 at Camp Shallow Lake has in store. As Lester’s character Ashlyn says in the 2-minute preview, “one could say the stakes have never been higher. And one will—the stakes have never been higher.”

Watch the trailer for HSMTMTS Season 3 below.

This post will be updated as more information on HSMTMTS becomes available.

Reporting by Justice Namaste, Alyssa Lapid, Jack Irvin, and Sophia Moore.

This article was originally published on


Why is Olivia Rodrigo not in High School Musical season 3? ›

For the series' third season, Olivia stepped down from a main cast member to recurring guest star so she would be able to attend awards shows, perform at music festivals, and go on tour in support of her debut album, SOUR.

Will Big Red be in HSMTMTS season 3? ›

In Season 2, he was cast as LeFou in East High School's spring production of Beauty and the Beast. In Season 3, he is not able to attend summer camp at Camp Shallow Lake due to working at Salt Lake Slices. He is portrayed by Larry Saperstein.

Was the I Love You scene in HSMTMTS improvised? ›

When it came time to revisit Ricky's "I love you" speech to Nini in the Season 1 finale, Bassett admitted he had never watched the scene before and that he actually improvised a lot of his lines on set. "I went outside, and I was stressing: 'I don't know what to say!

Will Gina and Ricky get together in Season 3? ›

During Season 3, while Gina is in a relationship with E.J. Caswell, they grow close again, with Ricky soon after rekindling his buried feelings for Gina during the season. In Let It Go, Gina confesses her feelings to Ricky again at the Frozen The Musical The Documentary red carpet and they share a kiss.

Why did Olivia quit HSMTMTS? ›

Olivia played the role of Nini Salazar-Roberts on the beloved Disney+ show since it first premiered in 2019. According to Tim, Olivia is departing from HSM:TM:TS to continue pursuing her uber-successful music career that took off after she released her Grammy-winning single, "Drivers License," in 2021.

Who does Nini end up with? ›

Act Two. In the Season finale, Nini gets thrown off by the fact that E.J. is now in Ricky's role. While singing Breaking Free, E.J. decides to step aside so that Nini can sing with Ricky. After the curtain call, Ricky confesses his love for her and she confesses her love for him and they kiss.

Who is leaving HSMTMTS season 3? ›

How Olivia Rodrigo Left Her Role of Nini on 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' Saying goodbye! Olivia Rodrigo officially left her role as Nini during the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 3 finale.

Why is Nini barely in season 3? ›

Olivia has specified in multiple interviews that while she enjoys playing Nini, music is her priority now and, in season 3, she stepped down from being a main cast member in the show. Following an emotional season 3 finale and a touching, personal Instagram post, Olivia has now bid goodbye to the series.

Who does Ricky date in season 3? ›

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series closed out season 3 with a doozy of a finale reveal to cap off a wonderfully chaotic season -- Ricky and Gina are officially a couple.

Who is the villain of HSMTMTS? ›

Portrayed by

Zack Roy is a recurring character and the main antagonist in Season 2. He makes his first appearance in Season 2 as the new Drama Teacher at East High rival high school North High School.

What does EJ stand for in HSMTMTS? ›

Kourtney Greene. Elton John "E.J." Caswell was one of the main characters and second male lead in the Disney+ original series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series for the first three seasons. He is the son of Cash Caswell.

Why did Nini leave HSMTMTS? ›

Nini's Future on HSMTMTS

Before the third season of HSMTMTS premiered, Olivia Rodrigo announced that she was embarking on her first tour. Unfortunately, this meant that she had very limited time to film, and her involvement in the show was reduced to a recurring role.

Who does Nini date in Season 3? ›

Not to mention our dear Nini (Olivia) just got accepted to her dream drama program, leaving behind all she knows—including Ricky, who she just got back together with.

Who will Ricky end up with? ›

A lot that happened in the finale, from Ricky and Gina finally getting together, Ashlyn and Big Red both had big epiphanies about their sexuality, EJ was figuring out his future post-graduation.

Will there be a 4th season of HSMTMTS? ›

When does High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 4 come out? It's official, wildcats! Disney+ has greenlit High School Musical: The Musical: The Series for a fourth season. That means we'll get to see our faves back together again, whether they're putting on another big show or heading to college.

Where is Nini in season 3? ›

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series creator Tim Federle has confirmed to ET that Rodrigo will continue to have a "smaller presence" in season 3. The season will follow the students of East High to Camp Shallow Lake for summer break, meanwhile Nini will be off exploring songwriting in Los Angeles.

Who is leaving HSMTMTS? ›

It also serves as a poignant goodbye to Nini Salazar-Roberts (Olivia Rodrigo) as she officially departs from the show. Federle reveals that the season 3 episodes for Rodrigo — who appeared only as a guest star this season — were shot in three days before the singer went on her Sour tour.

Did Joshua and Olivia make up? ›

High School Musical: The Musical – The Series is now three series-strong and it looked like Olivia and Josh have remained friends as they still work closely together! They've each continued to publicly support each other's success and we'll no doubt hear more songs they've written together in the new series of HSMTMTS.

Who is Nini biological dad? ›

Identity Revealed! Nini's moms revealed that their old family friend Marvin, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, is her biological father.

Why did Ricky break up with Nini? ›

Nini wrote Ricky a song telling him that she loves him for their one year anniversary. This shocked Ricky and caused him to ask for a break because he panicked about not being able to tell her his feelings. Nini officially breaks up with Ricky at school, telling him she "met someone else at camp."

Do Nini and Ricky kiss in season 3? ›

Ricky and Gina Kiss

It's the moment we've all been waiting for! Nini and Ricky finally shared a kiss.

Who is returning for season 4 of HSMTMTS? ›

In the show's fictional version of HSM 4, Corbin, Monique, Lucas, Bart, Alyson, and KayCee will play themselves, and reprise their High School Musical roles as Chad Danforth, Taylor McKessie, Ryan Evans, Coach Jack Bolton, Ms. Darbus, and Martha Cox, respectively.

Who is the mean girl in HSMTMTS? ›

Sofia Wylie is best known as High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' resident mean-girl-gone good. As the series approaches its third season, debuting on July 27, however, Wylie wants you to know her character is not yet done growing.

Is Gina leaving HSMTMTS? ›

Due to Terri's (Gina's mom) job as a F.E.M.A. employee, she moves away from Salt Lake City and East High School. But she returns for the season finale and the musical when a "friend" (E.J.) purchases her a plane ticket back.

Did Nini have two moms? ›

Nini lives with her two moms Dana and Carol and meets up with her father Marvin in California during the summer holidays.

Will Big Red be in HSMTMTS season 4? ›

Senior year, baby! Ricky, Kortney, and Big Red will all be seniors—as will Nini, if we do see her at all. EJ, as you may remember, technically graduated already. That said, Carlos, Seb, Ashlyn, and Gina will all be juniors in season 4, and there are some characters from season 3 who could also join.

Who does Ricky cheat on Amy with? ›

In the Season 4 episode "And Circumstance", it is revealed that Ricky had a 4.2 GPA average however it was not earned since it was revealed in Season 1 Episode 1 and 7 that he cheated with the help of Joe Hampton, and girls he either slept with or flirted with.

Did Ricky get his grade 11? ›

It is only in Season 2 that Ricky resumes his education; he eventually passes Grades 10 and 11 only to fail Grade 12 in Countdown to Liquor Day.

Who did Ricky get pregnant? ›

Amy Juergens. Portrayed by Shailene Woodley, Amy gets pregnant by student Ricky Underwood after a one-night stand at band camp before her freshman year of high school.

Who is the new Nini in HSMTMTS? ›

Nina "Nini" Salazar-Roberts is a main character in the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. She is portrayed by Olivia Rodrigo.

Who almost played Nini in HSMTMTS? ›

Olivia Rodrigo Almost Wasn't Cast as Nini in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Mindblown. Before Olivia Rodrigo was, well, pop household name and Gen Z megastar Olivia Rodrigo, she was better known as Nini Salazar-Roberts.

Are Maddox and Jet siblings? ›

Maddox is one of the main characters in Season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. She is Jet's sister. She is E.J. Caswell's childhood friend from Camp Shallow Lake.

Did Gina kiss EJ? ›

Gina ran outside and got E.J.'s attention before he left. She told him that what he heard was wrong, and then asked him if he would be her first kiss, receiving a wide smile from him. They both run into each other arms where they share their first kiss (offscreen) in the Parking lot at Salt Lake Slices.

Who is the red head in HSMTMTS? ›

Big Red is a main character in Disney+ High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. He is portrayed by Larry Saperstein.

What did EJ do to Nini? ›

A Billion Sorrys

E.J. writes this song for Nini to apologize for stealing her phone.

Did Nini and Ricky break up again? ›

Warning: Spoilers ahead. To High School Musical: The Musical: The Series fans, Ricky and Nini were endgame, but the characters didn't see it that way. Following an emotional moment in the show's second season, the East High teens — played by Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo, respectively — called it quits.

Who replaced Olivia Rodrigo in HSMTMTS? ›

Sofia Wylie holds the center of the frame and the center of so many stories with so much wit and wisdom and just wicked talent that we were all really excited to elevate her and allow her to take that central role,” said Federle.

Why did Lily steal Ricky's harness? ›

Lily has been one of the main antagonists throughout the season, even stealing Ricky's harness on opening night to ruin the Beast transformation.

Does Amy sleep with Ricky? ›

Amy and Ricky get ready to go on an overnight trip, to which they will sleep in the same room but not have sex with each other.

Does Ricky kiss Ashley? ›

Adrian overhears her parents arguing about her decision and becomes overwhelmed, deciding to run away to Ben's house for the night. Later Ashley and Ricky kiss despite Ricky telling Ashley that it is a bad idea. Ruben and Cindy discover Adrian has fled, and Madison believes Jack is cheating.

Did Joshua and Olivia date? ›

Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett's careers have taken off since first meeting — and allegedly sparking a real-life romance — on the set of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series in early 2019. Rodrigo's musical career has skyrocketed.

Who will play Nini in HSMTMTS season 3? ›

Recurring Cast
  • Olivia Rodrigo as Nini Salazar-Roberts (3/8)
  • Kate Reinders as Miss Jenn (3/8)
  • Corbin Bleu as Himself (4/8)
  • Meg Donnelly as Val (5/8)
  • Jason Earles as Dewey Wood (6/8)
  • Ben Stillwell as Channing (5/8)
  • Aria Brooks as Alex (3/8)
  • Liamani Segura as Emmy (3/8)

Will Vanessa Hudgens be in HSM 4? ›

It was recently announced that Hudgens and Efron's fellow East High alums Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel, Monique Coleman, and Kaycee Stroh as well as fan-favorite faculty members Alyson Reed and Bart Johnson will all be reprising their roles in season 4 of Disney+'s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series for a ...

Will ashley tisdale be in HSMTMTS season 4? ›

It wasn't until going back and just seeing it again going, 'I can't believe this. ' It really was gratitude." Bleu adds that the films really bonded the cast — which also includes Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale — in a special way, even after all these years.

Is Olivia Rodrigo coming back to High school Musical Season 3? ›

Olivia has specified in multiple interviews that while she enjoys playing Nini, music is her priority now and, in season 3, she stepped down from being a main cast member in the show.

Is Olivia Rodrigo joining HSMTMTS season 3? ›

Olivia Rodrigo is coming back to High School Musical: The Musical: The Series just in time for the season 3 finale.

What happens to Nini and Ricky in Season 3? ›

Following his breakup with Nini, Ricky planned to go to Jackson Hole with North High's Lily and her family for the summer. When it's revealed that she was the one who stole his harness before East High's opening night of Beauty and the Beast, the teen finds himself at Camp Shallow Lake.

Will Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo be in hsmtmts season 3? ›

Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett Reunite at 'HSMTMTS' Season 3 Premiere. Created with Sketch.

Who is Nini's biological father? ›

Identity Revealed! Nini's moms revealed that their old family friend Marvin, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, is her biological father.

Who is joining HSMTMTS season 4? ›

In September 2022, Disney confirmed that Monique Coleman, Bart Johnson and Alyson Reed will join Bleu, Grabeel and Stroh in the fourth season.

Does Nini have two moms? ›

Nini lives with her two moms Dana and Carol and meets up with her father Marvin in California during the summer holidays.

Who is Nini dating in season 3? ›

Not to mention our dear Nini (Olivia) just got accepted to her dream drama program, leaving behind all she knows—including Ricky, who she just got back together with.

Will Nini return in HSMTMTS season 4? ›

In a July 2022 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Tim confirmed that Olivia Rodrigo, who played Nini Salazar-Roberts on the series in its first three seasons, will not reprise her role for season 4. “I think she's ready to explore the world outside the halls of East High,” Tim told ET.

Do Gina and Ricky kiss in Season 3? ›

The Kiss. E.J. and Ricky nearly come to blows in the season 3 finale. However, E.J. reveals that everyone saw Ricky and Gina's relationship coming. After Gina finally admits her feelings for Ricky, they share a kiss …

Will Joshua be in HSMTMTS season 4? ›

The students in "HSMTMTS" also find out that they will be playing extras in the movie, Joshua Bassett, Sofia Wylie, Matt Cornett, and Dara Reneé confirmed at Disney's D23 Expo on Sept. 10, 2022. On Sept.

Did Olivia actually date Joshua? ›

Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett reportedly begin dating

Thanks to their incredible chemistry in the series, Olivia and Josh had fans convinced something more was going on between the duo. While they've never confirmed if they were together, fans are convinced they dated and broke up in 2020.


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