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Fall TV preview: Hellcats

New drama, 9-10PM, The CW

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Hellcats wants you to forget everything you think you know about cheerleading. ”It’s really a sports show,” exec producer Kevin Murphy says of the drama, which follows a college cheer squad. ”We’ve found a way to take these strong, beautiful athletes and make an underdog show about them.” High School Musical‘s Ashley Tisdale takes her competitive cheerleading superseriously as squad captain Savannah; 78violet’s Aly Michalka plays skeptical outsider and rebellious smarty-pants Marti, who joins the team for the scholarship money. Expect clashes between the two — but also team bonding as they struggle to compete at nationals and gain school support for their sport. Tisdale, for one, is a convert. ”To do the stunts and the flying — oh my gosh, it scares me,” she says. ”You have to be in crazy shape to do the stuff they do.” DEBUTED SEPT. 8