NBC isn’t the only network that wants to stage live musicals.
Now FOX is scheduling a live performance of Grease and has cast Julianne Hough as the angelic Sandy.
Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) has also signed on to play bad girl Rizzo in the network’s first-ever live TV production that will air Jan. 31.
“Grease is one of the movies that made me want to be an entertainer, and I have literally been waiting my whole life to play Sandy,” said Hough in a statement. “My siblings and I watched it and played it out over and over when we were kids. This is my dream role and performing it live on television will be one of the most thrilling opportunities I’ve had in my career so far.”
Added Hudgens, “Being Rizzo is something I’ve never imagined, and I love that because it will be a new challenge. She is such an iconic character that continues to transcend generations. I cannot wait to bring her to life on live television. I’m going to be a Pink Lady!”
The production will air from 7 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 31 and will be executive produced by Marc Platt (Legally Blonde). Grease is based on the original musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.
FOX follows NBC in trying to capture the zeitgeist with live musicals in prime time. Though NBC has invited a small but dedicated group of “hate-watchers” with its staging of The Sound of Music and Peter Pan, the productions generated a ton of buzz for the network and were big hits on social media.
On Friday, NBC announced that it licensed The Wiz, a musical retelling of The Wizard of Oz. NBC also has the rights to The Music Man but it has yet to decide what to air as a followup to Peter Pan.