Currently titled “Grease Live,” this production of the iconic Warren Casey-Jim Jacobs musical about 1950s high schoolers will feature an as-yet-to-be-named young ensemble cast.
“From Broadway to film, and across generations, ‘Grease’ is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told — and we can’t wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event,” said Shana C. Waterman, senior VP of event series for Fox. “Its iconic characters and addictive songs make it the perfect fit for Fox, and we’re going to give it the kind of star power and production quality to make every Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Kenickie out there want to get up and sing along.”
Paramount released the 1978 feature rendition of “Grease,” which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and still controls the TV rights. The studio last year relaunched its TV production operation and has said that mining the library for remakes is a key priority.
“It’s incredibly exciting to have one of our first major network productions be based on this universally celebrated Paramount title, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Kevin, Joe and Shana on this epic television event,” said Amy Powell, president of Paramount TV. “Fox’s passion for engaging audiences with bold storytelling and live musical formats make it a perfect home for this special broadcast.”
Fox’s project will draw inevitable comparisons to NBC’s recent live adaptation of “The Sound of Music,” which was a ratings — although not necessarily a critical — hit for the rival network. At the time, Variety TV critic Brian Lowry penned a list of 10 things to consider for the next live TV musical.