LONDON — Blighty broadcaster ITV will commence “Grease Is the Word,” the U.K. equivalent of NBC’s “You’re the One That I Want” April 7. The show will run for 10 weeks ahead of a West End revival of “Grease.”
As with the U.S. model, the skein will use TV audience votes to cast lead roles Danny and Sandy, played by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the tuner’s 1978 movie version.
David Ian will produce separate stage versions on both sides of the Atlantic. London’s production will be a further outing for his 1993 U.K. production, helmed by David Gilmore, which has had successful runs in the West End and on the road. Following the TV show, the latest incarnation will begin previews at the Piccadilly July 25 ahead of an Aug. 8 opening. It will replace Michael Grandage’s highly profitable revival of “Guys and Dolls” (it recouped in five months), which ends a nearly two-year run April 14.
Joining Ian on the judging panel are ’80s pop singer Sinitta, record producer and concert promoter David Gest (the surprise audience favorite from ITV’s hit series “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”) and choreographer Brian Friedman.