A sing-along version of Grease will air on CBS in June, the same night the 74th annual Tony Awards were originally scheduled to air. The Tonys, which honor the best of Broadway, has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the night of June 7 wide open for the network. Grease will also act as the next edition of CBS' "Sunday Night at the Movies" programming.
The Grease sing-along edition will feature pop-up lyrics so families can sing their favorite songs together. The 1978 film, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, features the songs "Grease," "You're The One That I Want," "Summer Nights," "Sandy" and "Greased Lightnin.'" "Hopelessly Devoted To You," which was written exclusively for the movie, was nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar. The film, which is based on the 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 7.
Grease remains a cultural phenomenon, having inspired a sequel in 1982 and an Emmy-nominated made-for-TV remake, which aired on Fox live in 2016. HBO Max is also developing a spinoff series titled Grease: Rydell High, which "reimagines" the movie's themes, but is still set in the 1950s. There will be a mix of musical numbers from the period and new original songs, as well as some hits from the movie. Unfortunately, the estates of Jacobs and Casey are not allowing producers to use the songs written for the original musical, which includes "Greased Lightnin'" and "Summer Nights," a source told Variety.
Back in April, CBS announced plans to revive the long-dormant "Sunday Night at the Movies" label to make up for the lack of programming Sunday nights due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans to wrap their seasons early. The series began on May 3 with Raiders of the Lost Ark and continued on May 10 with Forrest Gump. Mission: Impossible airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Titanic on May 24 and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on May 31. All of these films, including Grease, are part of the Paramount library, which is under the same ViacomCBS umbrella as CBS.
As for the Tony Awards, they were postponed back in March, before the nominations were announced. The awards show, which is presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will still air on CBS live from Radio City Music Hall when it is rescheduled. The original Grease musical was nominated for seven Tonys, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, in 1972.