The Grease prequel series that has been in development is moving from one streaming platform to another as smooth as greased lightning. The series, now known as Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, was originally planned for HBO Max but is now moving to Paramount Plus, Variety reported last week. The move came a year after the project, previously known as Grease: Rydell High, was given a straight-to-series order.
Rise of the Pink Ladies will be an hour-long musical comedy about the formation of the titular group featured in the 1978 movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. In the movie, the group featured Sandy (Newton-John), Rizzo (Stockard Channing), Jan (Jamie Donnelly), Marty (Dinah Manoff), and Frenchy (Didi Conn). Fans will learn how the group got together and how they changed Rydell High School. Annabel Oakes (Atypical, Transparent) is the show's creator, writer, and executive producer.
The move came after HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys decided not to move forward with the show after WarnerMedia Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt left. Greenblatt wanted to make the show a "High School Musical kind of experience," but Bloys was not interested, according to Variety. The project then moved to ViacomCBS' streaming platform, which will soon change its name from CBS All Access to Paramount Plus. Considering the project will be produced by Paramount Television Studios and Grease was made by Paramount, it seems like a better fit.
Rise of the Pink Ladies is set to include new songs, as there still is no deal to include the familiar Grease songs written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey for the 1971 stage musical. The estate representing the songwriters originally withheld the rights, but sources told Variety Paramount TV is still hoping to secure a deal. Some of the classic songs included in the original stage musical are "Summer Nights," "Beauty School Dropout," and "Greased Lightnin.'" The movie also featured "You're The One That I Want," written by John Farrar.
Separately, Paramount is producing a prequel movie, titled Summer Lovin'. This is set to be directed by Brett Haley and written by Leah McKendrick. The original Grease already inspired a 1982 sequel, Grease 2, and the made-for-TV remake that aired on Fox in 2016.
Paramount Plus is set to launch in 2021, replacing CBS All Access. The platform will include a reboot of The Game, Taylor Sheridan's Lioness, and The Offer, a limited series about the filming of The Godfather. The platform will include library content from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures.