NBC is no longer the only player when it comes to live network TV productions of classic musicals.
FOX announced on Monday (April 28) morning that the network is moving forward with "Grease Live," an entirely self-explanatory live production of "Grease," which will premiere in 2015.
After "The Sound of Music Live!" premiered to a whopping 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 22 million viewers (in Live+7 figures) for NBC last December, "Grease" was considered a possible contender to be the network's second live musical. Instead, NBC went with "Peter Pan," which will air live on December 4, 2014 with a yet-to-be-announced cast.
That left "Grease" for FOX and the network is mighty excited.
“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," blurbs Shana C. Waterman, Senior Vice President 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."
"Grease Live" will be produced through Paramount TV and will wire in a three-hour block in 2015, featuring what FOX only describes as "a young ensemble cast."
"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,” states Amy Powell, President, Paramount TV. “FOX's passion for engaging audiences with bold storytelling and live musical formats make it a perfect home for this special broadcast."
Featuring book, lyrics and music by Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs, "Grease" premiered on Broadway in 1971. While NBC went to great pains to clarify that "The Sound of Music" was an adaptation of the Broadway music and not of the classic Julie Andrews movie, FOX is adapting the version of "Grease" that became a box office smash in 1978, featuring John Travolta. That means that John Farrar's "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "You're the One That I Want" will be featured in FOX's live show. Those songs from the movie have become established parts of the "Grease" canon and were integrated into the 2007 Broadway and London revivals as well.
FOX has a full stable of "Glee" and "American Idol" veterans available to tap for "Grease Live," which has us already expecting Jena Irene as Rizzo and Caleb Johnson as Teen Angel. But heaven help us if we end up with Ace Young as Danny and Diana DeGarmo as Sandy.
Are you excited for FOX's "Grease Live"?