The Disney Channel now can claim the most-watched basic cable TV movie in broadcasting history.

High School Musical 2 drew an audience of 17.2 million for its August 17 premiere, more than doubling the viewership of its predecessor.

High School Musical attracted 7.7 million viewers in 2006.

The previous basic cable record-holder was CNN's 1993 debate on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which drew 16.8 million viewers. If kids were watching TV on August 17, they were probably watching High School Musical 2.

The Disney Channel said the movie attracted four out of five female viewers in the six-to-11-year-old age group.

The High School Musical phenomenon has made stars of cast members Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale, while also spawning hit records and sold-out concerts.