The college campus, cruising cars, the good-girl and the not-so-good-but-drop dead-charming bad man who captured the millions of hearts will soon return. That was Grease, the musical that debuted on Broadway in 1972, and was later released in theaters in 1978 to astounding success. 21st Century Fox ( FOXA) will air a remake sometime in 2015.
This time around, the original heartthrob John Travolta won't be leading the cast, nor will the demure Olivia Newton-John be around to charm audiences. Rather, the show on Fox's networks will be a live musical series, with cast ensemble yet to be finalized. The show will be titled Grease: Live.
A show of this nature might have been expected, especially after Comcast's ( CMCSA) NBCUniversal brought the hills alive with its successful adaptation last year of The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood. Viewers of Music reached 18.5 million, a formidable tentpole. After that success, NBC decided not to repeat the pattern of this show for the risk of losing the 'exclusive' advantage.
A few months after Music, Fox apparently started to calculate its own chances of creating something similar. What could be better than Grease? The film still sends chills down the spine of those who watched it in 1970s.
This could be a dealmaker or breaker for Fox Broadcasting. As storylines go, Grease doesn't have the heft of the Sound of Music, a story about a family's flight from Nazi Germany behind the will of a free-thinking woman. Grease, by contrast is so cheesy that unless it's remade for the modern audience stands all chances of exploding like an ultra-sweet chocolate cake.
There have been times when Fox has lost out on its viewership over some bad choices and miscalculated decisions regarding the shows. The time is now just right to test the waters, since a television viewer today has more hunger for innovation than did five years ago.
No matter how much the networks spend on promotion and marketing, unless the show is solid, then nothing can save the ratings. Fox, the pressure is on you.
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At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.