'Rise of the Pink Ladies,' That 'Grease' Prequel Everyone Wanted, Moves Forward at Paramount+
Last fall, the Grease prequel series formerly known as Grease: Rydell High shifted from HBO Max to Paramount+, and it also received a new focus and title with the series being developed as Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. Now fans of the classic musical starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John can rejoice, because the project has officially been ordered to series for 10 episodes.
The Hollywood Reporter has news on the Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies TV series being the first series to get picked up at Paramount+ after Nicole Clemens (president of Paramount Television Studios) began overseeing original programming at the streaming service.
When this project was in development at HBO Max, it sounded like a prequel that would have followed all of the characters from the original Grease before the events of the movie. However, with the series shift to Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, it became clear the series would focus on Rizzo, Marty, Jan, and Frenchy, the quartet of girls played by Stockard Channing, Dinah Manoff, Jamie Donnelly, and Didi Conn in the original musical.
A Much Better Focus
The logline for Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies takes place “before rock ‘n’ roll ruled, before the T-Birds were the coolest in the school.” In the series, we’ll see “four fed-up, outcast girls dare to have fun on their own terms, sparking a moral panic that will change Rydell High forever.”
Since this series takes place before the T-Birds seem to have formed, it’s clear that the show will be solely focused on the Pink Ladies. Presumably, it will find each of them coming into their own as teenage girls at a time when sex and promiscuity was frowned upon. That’s a lot more interesting than seeing the T-Birds talk about whether girls “put up a fight” when they were trying to hook up over the summer.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies sounds much more promising than a broad prequel focused on all of the characters. Each of the ladies have a lot more personality than the T-Birds, and it’s not hard to imagine how a backstory about all four of them can be used to enhance what we already know about them when the events of Grease unfold. In fact, if the show goes beyond a single season, the formation of the T-Birds would make for a huge hurdle that the Pink Ladies would have to deal with at Rydell.
Despite transferring to Paramount+, writer Annabel Oakes (Atypical, Awkward) is still on board as showrunner, and she’ll also be executive producing with Marty Bowen of Temple Hill and Erik Feig of Picturestart. It’s not clear when production might begin, but now that Paramount+ has officially ordered the series, it probably won’t be long until cameras are rolling.
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