Hellcats starring Ashley Tisdale premieres tonight on the CW

High School Musical’s Ashley Tisdale is switching from the stuck-up rich girl in high school to the competitive college cheerleader good girl in the new CW comedy-drama Hellcats. Will Hellcats lead to catfights – or a more hip and street-like cheerleading squad… or both?

ashley-tisdale-hellcats

Rivaling Ashley Tisdale’s character Savannah Monroe in the “Election meets Bring It On” series is pop rock band 78violet’s Alyson Michalka, who is sure to bring the show’s ”sexy sass.” Alyson plays “wrong side of the tracks” pre-law college student Marti Perkins. Despite Marti’s contempt for cheerleading, she becomes the newest cheerleader on the squad because of an offered scholarship and financial problems.

“What happens is that she ends up integrating her own sense of style into the team and makes it much more loose and groovy and more street and not so rigid and old school, classic cheerleader,” Aly said.

Hellcats is textbook CW, with its One Tree Hill dramatics and Gilmore Girls charm, but has an edgy draw and really feels more like the ABC Family reboots currently dominating the charts, a la this summer’s smash Pretty Little Liars and Make It or Break It.” Hellcats premieres tonight on the CW at 9 p.m. The series is based on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick.

Ashley and Alyson also came together to promote Hellcats as the feature cover story for Seventeen magazine, and the actresses chatted about boys and high school school.

“In high school, it was all about popularity, being with the boyfriend and all the girls thinking he’s cute,” said Ashley. “Now, I am more into a guy’s personality. I like someone I can have fun with and who can be more laid-back than I am, because it calms me down. At the same time, I want to be with someone who wants to work as much as I do and who respects me like I respect him.”

Although Aly isn’t dating anyone, she’s not shy to express her romantic side and exactly what she wants. “In a serious relationship I will definitely write music about a guy. I’m totally into mix tapes and I’m all about small little things,” she said. “I’ll drop by their door and just leave a gift or come over if they’re sick and make them chicken noodle soup and rent a DVD and play board games. I think those little things mean a lot to someone.”

She added, “I just need to find that guy who’s worthy of committing myself to, because I’m not your average girl. And I think a lot of guys are intimidated by girls who know what they want. I still live at home when I am in L.A., I’m really close to my family, I have a busy life and I’m super-close to my sister—so basically if you date me, you date her. And he’s either into it or he’s not.”

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