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December 19, 2014

Nickelodeon Goes to 'Summer Camp': Is it the Next 'High School Musical'?

by Rebecca Paiement, posted Nov 17th 2009 12:00PM
Peter Barsocchini'High School Musical' writer Peter Barsocchini is making the pre-teen rounds, moving from his 'HSM' Disney Channel roots over to Nickelodeon, which has just picked up a half-hour pilot of his new concept, 'Summer Camp.'

Set to begin filming in Malibu next month, "Summer camp, in reality, is an iconic experience for kids," Barsocchini tells the Hollywood Reporter, "and the show is an opportunity to present the comedy and emotion kids experience when they are away from home for the first time."

Barsocchini made a name for himself in 2004 when he wrote 'High School Musical' for his daughter, Gabriella, and her friends, many of whom he named 'HSM' characters after. The sequel became the highest-rated cable broadcast in history, with 17.2 million viewers, and the theatrical 'Senior Year' installment had the biggest opening weekend of any movie musical in history. The series, in turn, launched the careers of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, among others.Peter Barsocchini'High School Musical' writer Peter Barsocchini is making the pre-teen rounds, moving from his 'HSM' Disney Channel roots over to Nickelodeon, which has just picked up a half-hour pilot of his new concept, 'Summer Camp.'

Set to begin filming in Malibu next month, "Summer camp, in reality, is an iconic experience for kids," Barsocchini tells the Hollywood Reporter, "and the show is an opportunity to present the comedy and emotion kids experience when they are away from home for the first time."

Barsocchini made a name for himself in 2004 when he wrote 'High School Musical' for his daughter, Gabriella, and her friends, many of whom he named 'HSM' characters after. The sequel became the highest-rated cable broadcast in history, with 17.2 million viewers, and the theatrical 'Senior Year' installment had the biggest opening weekend of any movie musical in history. The series, in turn, launched the careers of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, among others.

The 'Summer Camp' pilot will be a single-camera operation, directed by Lev L. Spiro ('Ugly Betty'; 'Weeds'; 'The OC') and co-produced by E1 Entertainment and Reveille. Carolyn Bernstein of Reveille, who is co-executive producing the pilot, says that "summer camp is an American tradition and Peter has captured this rite of passage in a fun, family comedy that's perfect for Nickelodeon."

Surely, there is hope that 'Summer Camp' will present the usual suspects of beautiful teens, crushes, rivalries and heartbreak required to win over the fickle, yet impressionable, kiddie crowd and become the place where 'High School Musical' fans go for vacay. Perhaps Barsocchini can even beat his own record and do for Nick what 'HSM' did for Disney.

"Our slogan is, 'Camp is why kids invented summer,'" says Barsocchini. And just maybe hungry adolescents waiting to make puppy-dog eyes over the next teen heart throb is why Barscocchini invented 'Summer Camp.'

First order of business: Find the next Zac Efron.

Tell us: Is 'Summer Camp' the next 'High School Musical'?

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