'HSMTMTS' Creator Teases the Show's Plans to Give Olivia Rodrigo's Character 'a Proper Sendoff'

Season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series premieres July 27 on Disney+

Olivia Rodrigo
Photo: Randy Holmes/ABC/Getty

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is preparing to bid farewell to star Olivia Rodrigo.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, series creator and showrunner Tim Federle teased what's next for Rodrigo's character Nini in the upcoming third season.

While her East High classmates will be off at Camp Shallow Lake, Nini will embark on her own separate journey. Last season concluded with Nini receiving an opportunity to go to Los Angeles to explore her songwriting aspirations.

"I think she's ready to explore the world outside the halls of East High," Federle said of Nini, who was previously confirmed to have a smaller presence in season 3. "And Olivia herself was having such a monumental explosion in the music industry that it felt like the right thing to, frankly, work with Olivia to say, 'How do we get you out there into the world with us taking a little bit more of a backseat?' Which we were all proud to do to support her."

Federle then explained that "this season it's about trying to give her character a proper sendoff while also leaving room for other characters to really step into the fray and step into the spotlight."

Olivia Rodrigo as Nini and Joshua Bassett as Ricky 'High School Musical: The Musical
Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Basset. Walt Disney Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock

"Personally, it's a joy to see Olivia's music explode in such a big way," he added. "It was so fun to have her back and reminisce on the beginning."

Rodrigo, 19, has been a part of HSMTMTS since its debut season in 2019. During her time on the show, she garnered massive mainstream success with her hit single "Drivers License" and freshman album Sour.

Rodrigo, who had recently been touring in support of Sour, won three of her seven Grammy nominations in April.

olivia rodrigo
Francis Specker/CBS via Getty Images

At this time, Rodrigo is dating 26-year-old music executive Zack Bia. She split from boyfriend Adam Faze earlier this year.

"They've been dating since the Super Bowl," a source recently told PEOPLE of Rodrigo and Bia. "They really like each other."

Rodrigo is also working on new music.

"It's definitely a different experience writing a second album after having a debut that was so well received," she told Billboard in February. "I still write so much of my music in my bedroom though, and I don't think that experience will ever change. Writing songs will hopefully always be an outlet for me to process my feelings before anything else."

Season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series premieres July 27 on Disney+.

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