Greased Lightnin’: Fox Bringing Grease Live To the Small Screen
You’re the one that I want. And apparently, Fox wants you too.
Remember yesterday when we told you that the network ordered a live, three-hour broadcast of Grease à la NBC’s Sound of Music Live? More details about the 2015 project’s debut have emerged, with Fox executives promising that it will pack plenty of “star power.”
Senior vice president of event series Shana C. Waterman told The Hollywood Reporter “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.”
The Paramount Television production will feature music from the 1971 Broadway musical and likely couple the success of Grease’s 1978 film adaptation with that of NBC’s foray into live theatre broadcast. Grease the film, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton, grossed more than $400 million at the international box office, making it the winningest movie musical of all time. Comparatively, NBC’s December 5, 2013 airing of Sound of Music Live, starring Carrie Underwood, drew in more then 22 million viewers, including those who recorded the special via DVR. Its soundtrack topped at number 2 on the Billboard Soundtracks chart and moved 103,000 units as of January 2014. With karaoke favorites like “Greased Lightnin’,” “Sandy,” and “You’re the One That I Want,” Grease Live is sure to match—or even surpass—those numbers.
As far as who’ll fill the shoes of Travolta and Newton, that’s still up in the air. It would make sense that Fox tap into talent at Glee; the show’s fourth season featured a Grease arc with Lea Michele, Naya Rivera, and the late Cory Monteith taking on the Rydell High characters. The move would undoubtedly help bring younger viewers to the show and introduce “one of the most beloved musical stories ever told” to a new generation of sing-along fans.
Don’t think NBC is taking news of Grease Live sitting down. The Peacock is already moving ahead with its second live spectacular for December 2014: Peter Pan!