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Fox Adapting Live Musical (Yes, Just Like NBC)

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  • Atypical
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    #316800

    Dear Gawd.

    “Grease” live musical coming to Fox

    by James Hibberd on Apr 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM @ james_hibberd

    EW.com

    That’s right, “Grease” is the word that you heard.

    Fox is getting into the live musical game with a live three-hour version of the Broadway high-school classic. The network’s “Grease Live” special is billed as the first-ever live broadcast TV production of the 1971 musical from Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs, which also inspired the 1978 hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

    “From Broadway to film, and across generations, ‘Grease’ is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told—and we can’t wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event,” said Shana C. Waterman, senior VP of event series for Fox. “Its iconic characters and addictive songs make it the perfect fit for Fox, and we’re going to give it the kind of star power and production quality to make every Sandy, Danny, Rizzo, and Kenickie out there want to get up and sing along.”

    The move is sure to inspire cries of “copycat!” from industry observers and the folks at NBC, which kicked off the live musical event special last fall with “The Sound of Music Live”. NBC’s venture racked up nearly 22 million viewers when including DVR playback. Some predicted the network’s next live project would be “Grease,” but the Peacock opted for “Peter Pan,” which is expected to air Dec. 4. Now here comes Fox with arguably the most coveted Broadway title for a live TV adaptation. But Fox would likely point out that its own 2009 series “Glee” really brought musicals back into modern prime-time, a show that NBC was accused of copying with its far less successful “Smash.” And then you could bring all of this full circle and say “Glee” is essentially a modern-day ”Grease.”

    Also, NBC has explored “Grease” in prime-time before. In 2007, Fox’s rival aired a short-lived reality effort titled “Grease: You’re the One That I Want,” where contestants competed for the lead roles in a Broadway revival.

    Fox plans to air “Grease Live,” produced by Paramount Television, sometime next year (presumably on a Sunday, since the network only programs two hours a night on weeknights, but Fox could get special permission from its affiliates for a three-hour telecast).

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    MHayes1323
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    #316802

    I’d be fine with these networks reviving musicals for a broader audience if they had better casting (not the stunt-casting of Sound of Music) and they chose better musicals. Grease the movie may be popular, but really, the stage show is pretty damn bad. It’s such an obvious cash grab that I suppose it doesn’t matter anyway. I’ll stick to PBS Masterpieces if I wanna see a GOOD live musical on film.

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    vinny
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    #316803

    Grease!!!  My fav movie musical and I saw it on broadway when the Laura and that other guy won the NBC show.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #316804

    I liked the movie, but I never saw the play. With that in mind, I’m not expecting this to be that great. The movie was all I felt I needed to see, and I’ve watched it many times without a declining enjoyment level. I’m fine with these live event musicals on TV, but I really wish they would pick less iconic films.

    I know it wouldn’t get the same big audience, but why couldn’t they do something like Swing TIme or Top Hat? Do a modern retelling of a film that most people wouldn’t have seen, and actually do some intrepretation. Yes, it won’t compare to Fred Astaire, but neither will anything that was good enough to be remade with a large audience coming. Alternatively, pick something that didn’t have a movie, but had a big Broadway following, like Cats or Wicked. Bring theatre that people haven’t seen, not cut and paste rehashes of the material that people have seen over and over again.

    That being said, I’ll probably watch “Grease Live”, but I won’t have high expectations. 

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    MHayes1323
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    #316805

    I liked the movie, but I never saw the play. With that in mind, I’m not expecting this to be that great. The movie was all I felt I needed to see, and I’ve watched it many times without a declining enjoyment level. I’m fine with these live event musicals on TV, but I really wish they would pick less iconic films.

    I know it wouldn’t get the same big audience, but why couldn’t they do something like Swing TIme or Top Hat? Do a modern retelling of a film that most people wouldn’t have seen, and actually do some intrepretation. Yes, it won’t compare to Fred Astaire, but neither will anything that was good enough to be remade with a large audience coming. Alternatively, pick something that didn’t have a movie, but had a big Broadway following, like Cats or Wicked. Bring theatre that people haven’t seen, not cut and paste rehashes of the material that people have seen over and over again.

    That being said, I’ll probably watch “Grease Live”, but I won’t have high expectations. 

    Let’s put it this way: in the original musical, “You’re the One that I Want,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” and even the title song are not even in it. That leaves precisely one decent sing-along song: “Summer Nights,” which happens 15 minutes in. I’m sure they’ll get the rights to add in the popular songs (like the most recent revival did), but even then, Grease is a relic of its time and very outdated in both its message and writing. I’d love for them to do some musicals that haven’t already been done to death by every medium, something by Sondheim or Kander/Ebb (not Chicago), but unfortunately, those don’t have the market saturation that The Sound of Music or Grease do. Maybe next year they’ll do Anything Goes. I’d be happy with that. Until then, this lone theatre geek will continue to howl at the injustices of commercialization.

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    BenitoDelicias
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    #316806

    Of course they did….This is all about the money. At least NBC went first with Sound of Music and didn’t look as obvious as everything else after it will look. The original film can still be seen and be very much enjoyed for what it is, a remake like this is not necessary. Just like The Sound of Music.

    But I think this might be an even bigger hit than Sound of Music because this time they can get not one, but two…or three…or more, big time singing kids to do the job. Not just a Carrie Underwood type of star. So the curiosity factor, which is all that Sound had going for it, will be much more present this time. This will definitely be bigger, I’m sure they’ll go with closer (and logical) high school ages and there are A LOT of young annoying pop kids and Bieber wannabes out there that can take over these characters so girls will go crazy for this one. I can already see this awful Cody Simpson guy they got for Dancing With the Stars as Kenickie, for example. And the girl will most likely be one of the Ariana Grande type girls that are around.

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    24Emmy
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    #316807

    Of course they did….This is all about the money. At least NBC went first with Sound of Music and didn’t look as obvious as everything else after it will look. The original film can still be seen and be very much enjoyed for what it is, a remake like this is not necessary. Just like The Sound of Music.

    But I think this might be an even bigger hit than Sound of Music because this time they can get not one, but two…or three…or more, big time singing kids to do the job. Not just a Carrie Underwood type of star. So the curiosity factor, which is all that Sound had going for it, will be much more present this time. This will definitely be bigger, I’m sure they’ll go with closer (and logical) high school ages and there are A LOT of young annoying pop kids and Bieber wannabes out there that can take over these characters so girls will go crazy for this one. I can already see this awful Cody Simpson guy they got for Dancing With the Stars as Kenickie, for example. And the girl will most likely be one of the Ariana Grande type girls that are around.

    I’ll be surprised if Austin Mahone isn’t cast. Well, unless NBC snatches him up for Peter Pan.

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    Atypical
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    #316808

    Fox picked one of the worst musicals to do this with “Grease,” and yeah, it all reeks of NBC copycatting. I cringe at the upcoming casting discussions.

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    nkb325
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    #316809

    yea they just did Grease at my school and it is actually kind of surprising just how much better the movie is than the musical. It’s like not very good at all really save for a couple of good moments with Summer Nights and There are Worse Things I Could Do. I was actually really excited when I first heard about this but then remembered it would be the musical story not the movie. Hopefully they at least get some good talent involved but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they don’t

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    eastwest
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    #316810

    Your move, ABC! And if they try it, I’m betting either “Beauty and the Beast” or “Cinderella. As for this one, I was thinking this would’ve been the one NBC had lined up. I think this is a solid choice and very appropriate given the network it is being on has the show that made musicals on television cool for a time. And since “Glee” is inspired some what by “Grease”, kind of a full circle moment so that is neat.

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