We’ve got chills. And they’re multiplying.
CBS All Access, soon to be rebranded as Paramount Plus, announced it will be bringing us a prequel to a beloved classic in Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. The hour-long musical comedy series is being produced by Paramount Television. Annabel Oakes (Atypical, Transparent) is the creator, writer, and executive producer.
The series was originally ordered by HBO Max in November 2019. They decided not to move forward with the title earlier this year, after some serious management shake ups within WarnerMedia.
Now it’s the show’s title and plot that have been shaken up.
When the series was originally announced, it was called Grease: Rydell High. At that time, the plot was described as a reimagining of the original movie. It would feature some original characters, and still be set in the 1950s. According to HBO, it would “explore the peer pressures of high school, the horrors of puberty and life in middle America with a modern sensibility.”
Which sounded fine and all, but I’m much more excited about the Pink Ladies angle.
According to the latest announcement, the series will explore how the infamous girl gang the Pink Ladies (made up of Sandy, Rizzo, Jan, Marty, and Frenchy) began. And how the reverence, fear, and moral panic they sparked changed Rydell High forever.
Um, yes please, that sounds amazing. Although, is it really a prequel if Sandy is in the cast? It seems like either the story will take place during the girls’ senior year, just like it did in the movie, or they’re retconning the timeline.
No word yet on casting. Though one would hope that this time around the high schoolers will be played by age-appropriate actors and not 30-somethings trying to pass as teens.
Is There a Grease Cinematic Universe?
Paramount is also currently producing a prequel film called Summer Lovin’, about Sandy and Danny’s infamous beachy romance. Hopefully what will> be retconned are the cringey questions from the T-Birds in that song.
And speaking of that song, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies may be a musical, but don’t get your hopes up too high about hearing classics like “Greased Lightning” or “Summer Nights.”
The estate representing the original composers of the 1971 musical is withholding the rights to use the songs. Or at least they were when the HBO Max version was announced. But Variety reports that Paramount Television Studios is still hoping to make a deal for the original music. So fingers crossed.
Paramount grabbing up the series makes sense, since Paramount Pictures produced the original film. It’s only natural that they’d wish to keep that IP in house.
It’s also not the only revival of a nostalgic title we’ll get from Paramount Plus when it launches early next year. The streaming service is releasing a reboot of The Game, the 1997 thriller starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. And it will also release a limited series called The Offer, about the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.