If you thought the Pink Ladies started with Rizzo and Frenchy, get ready to have your minds blown. The Paramount+ musical prequel Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies will explore the origins of the girl gang with the coolest jackets that everyone wanted to be a part of after seeing the 1978 movie Grease. During a TV Critics Association winter press tour panel to promote the show, creator and showrunner Annabel Oakes explained that while she initially had no interest in trying to bring Grease to TV, her mind changed after she started doing some research into what it was like to be a high school girl in the ’50s and ’60s.
She learned that the Pink Ladies were a real thing, and discovered that there was a lot of story to tell about marginalized people in the 1950s. Star Ari Notartomaso described the show as “a love letter to the women of Grease and a love letter to the people who were not given screen time in the original Grease, or in the media in general.”
The prequel musical is coming to Paramount+ this spring. Here is everything we know so far.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies Storyline
Oakes said that while Grease the musical and film was “the 1970s commenting on the 50s,” the series will comment on both the ’70s and the ’50s from a 2023 perspective. The show is set four years before the events of the movie and follows four misfit students who become the founding members of the Pink Ladies.
Star Marisa Davila said that the Pink Ladies of the new series will be dealing with all of the same problems as the Pink Ladies in the movie, but Notartomaso added that there will be new opportunities as well to tell stories about non-white and non-straight characters. Tricia Fukuhara said that her character Nancy, for example, will be dealing with the lingering trauma of having been in an internment camp, and the more present trauma of being a young woman in high school.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies release date
School is in session this spring. Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies hits Paramount+ on April 6.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies Teaser Trailer
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies cast
Meet the new Pink Ladies:
Marisa Davila as Jane
Cheyenne Isabel Wells as Olivia
Ari Notartomaso as Cynthia
Tricia Fukuhara as Nancy
The cast also includes Shanel Bailey as Hazel, Madison Thompson as Susan, Johnathan Nieves as Richie, Jason Schmidt as Buddy, Maxwell Huntington-Cooper as Wally, and Jackie Hoffman as Assistant Principal McGee.
As for whether any characters or actors from the movie will make an appearance, Oakes said she could only tell us to wait and see.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies Music
While the cast is made up of mostly relative newcomers, there’s some real star power behind the scenes when it comes to the music and choreography. Prolific songwriter Justin Tranter is handling the songs, and celebrity choreographer Jamal Sims is handling the dancing. Both have acknowledged the pressures of adding 30 new songs and dance moves to the Grease canon, but not all the songs are new. Some are covers of tunes that will be very familiar to Grease fans, and you can hear snippets in the teaser above.
Where to watch
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies will stream exclusively on Paramount+.