Paramount+ is set to release a new series, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, which takes place before the events of the beloved 1978 film. Showrunner and creator Annabel Oakes said she initially felt that “nobody needs a new Grease” and was curious about what happened with the Pink Ladies, inspiring her to create the prequel series. Oakes researched real-life groups similar to the Pink Ladies and decided that the TV medium would provide an opportunity to “go a little bit deeper into what’s behind those archetypes from the original film.”
The prequel series is set in 1954, a full four years before the original film, which was set in 1958. This timeline will allow for other changes in the musical prequel, including the incorporation of Black and Latinx musicians who were at the forefront of rock ‘n’ roll, a genre that was still pretty new during that time. The earlier timeline also means that the original students from Grease will not be present since they wouldn’t have started high school yet.
However, not all of the characters are absent from the prequel series. Ms. McGee, who is the principal of Rydell High in the original film, is part of the Paramount+ series. Fans of the musical will also be excited to know that there is another prequel in the works called Summer Lovin’. The movie musical is all about the story behind “Summer Nights,” which saw Danny and Sandy sing about their romantic meeting on the beach, each with their own version of what happened.
While fans of Grease may be curious about the prequel series, they can rest assured that the original film is still perfect. Rise of the Pink Ladies offers an opportunity to delve deeper into the characters and world of Grease, and the earlier timeline allows for new storylines and characters to be introduced. Paramount+ has yet to announce a release date for the series, but fans can look forward to a nostalgic trip back to Rydell High.