We've seen trailers, but a new music video gives an entire musical number from the upcoming Grease prequel series Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, premiering April 6 on Paramount+. See the cast of the series sing "Grease (Is the Word)" above.
The series reportedly takes place four years prior to Danny and Sandy's star-crossed love story, the subject of the 1972 Broadway musical and its smash hit 1978 film adaptation. Broadway favorite Jackie Hoffman (The Addams Family, Xanadu) stars as Rydell Assistant Principal McGee, the character played by Eve Arden in the 1978 film. The character's designation as assistant principal indicates viewers may get to find out how she became principal by the time we make it to the events of the beloved movie-musical.
And, it appears Hoffman will play the only character from either the stage musical or its film adaptation. With no Rizzo, Frenchie, Marty, or Jan in sight, it remains unclear if the Pink Ladies and
Burger Palace Boys T-Birds we've come to know and love from Grease will be featured. This new group of Rydell students will include Broadway alum Shanel Bailey (The Book of Mormon) as Hazel, Marisa Davila as Jane, Cheyenne Isabel Wells as Olivia, Ari Notartomaso as Cynthia, Tricia Fukuhara as Nancy, Madison Thompson as Susan, Johnathan Nieves as Richie, Jason Schmidt as Buddy, and Maxwell Whittington-Cooper as Wally.
The 10-episode series is written and executive produced by creator and showrunner Annabel Oakes (Atypical, Transparent). Additional executive producers include Marty Bowen for Temple Hill, Adam Fishbach, and Erik Feig and Samie Kim Falvey for Picturestart, with Grace Gilroy producing. The pilot is directed by Althea Jones (Dispatches From Elsewhere), who will return to direct two additional episodes and executive produce.
Rise of the Pink Ladies is one of two Grease prequel projects currently in development, joining a film centered on Sandy and Danny's summer romance. Summer Lovin' and Rise of the Pink Ladies are both produced by Picturestart, Temple Hill, and Paramount.
These prequel properties would make Grease the most expansive cinematic universe derived from a stage musical. Since its stage premiere in 1971, the property has been produced for the screen twice and inspired both a 1982 film sequel and a 2007 competition reality series casting a Broadway revival of the stage show. Only Neil Simon's The Odd Couple—which received two film adaptations, three television series, and an animated series—would rival its spin-offs. It also places Grease among a small group of stage works that have become TV series, a list that along with The Odd Couple also includes Barefoot in the Park, The King and I, Superior Donuts, Fleabag, and Kim's Convenience. With series based on Oklahoma!, Cinderella, and A Chorus Line in the works, that list might just be getting larger soon.