Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies: Release Date, Cast, And Other Things We Know About The Paramount+ Series

The Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies cast
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Since its release in 1978, Grease has been viewed by many as one of the best musicals of all time thanks to its story of Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson’s high school romance, its depiction of 1950s culture, and those songs. How can you forget those songs? Over the years, there has been a sequel, stage adaptations, and even Grease Live!, but the timeless classic has never gotten the TV series treatment. Well, grab your leather, your pinkest of jackets, and all that attitude because we’re about to get Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies.

If this is the first you’re hearing of the upcoming Paramount+ streaming series, worry not, because we have everything you need to know about the show’s story, cast, and when you can expect to see it on the 2023 TV schedule

Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies Premieres April 6, 2023

The Paramount+ logo

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Before you know it, we’ll all be returning to Rydell High School, as Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is set to premiere Thursday, April 6, 2023 on Paramount+, the streamer has announced. Like other Paramount+ original series like Tulsa King, Mayor of Kingstown, and The Offer, the prequel series will see new episodes drop each week throughout its 10-part first season.

The Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies Cast Includes Marisa Davila, Cheyenne Isabel Wells, Ari Notartomaso, And Tricia Fukuhara

Marisa Davila, Cheyenne Isabel Wells, Ari Notartomaso And Tricia Fukuhara

(Image credit: The CW; Pasadena Playhouse; Penn State; Only Children)

When Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies premieres, it will see a whole new group of actors playing the fearsome group from the original musical. In January 2022, Paramount+ announced that Marisa Davila (Holidate, My Big Fat Blonde Musical) would be playing a character named Jane, Cheyenne Isabel Wells (The Late Late Show with James Corden) would be playing Olivia, Ari Notartomaso (Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin) would be portraying Cynthia, and Tricia Fukuhara (Queen Pins, Only Children) would be taking on the role of Nancy.

The rest of the cast consists of Shannel Bailey, Madison Thompson, Johnathan Nieves, Jason Schmidt, Maxwell Whittington-Cooper, and Jackie Hoffman as Assistant Principal McGee. Hopefully no one has to be the beauty school dropout of the cast. 

The Musical Series Takes Place Four Years Before The 1978 Movie

The Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies cast

(Image credit: Paramount+)

The original Grease took place in 1958 and followed the The T-Birds and The Pink Ladies as Rydell High’s already established cool kids, but when the new Paramount+ series starts up, we’ll be seeing a much different side of the iconic female-led group and their stomping ground.

According to the official log-line, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies will be set four years before the events of beloved musical and will follow four young, fed-up outcasts as they set out to have fun on their own terms and make a name for themselves, even if the episode creates a moral panic in the ecosystem of Rydell High.

But, even though the show takes place years before the movie, it will still have the same pomp and circumstance and signature style, at least in terms of music and dancing, as Jamal Sims has been hired to choreograph all the numbers that are being written by Justin Tranter. And, who knows, maybe they’ll be up to the task of recreating that legendarily difficult carnival scene

The Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies Trailer Goes Back To Rydell High

The Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies cast

(Image credit: Paramount+)

In January 2023, a few months before the show was set to drop, Paramount+ released the first teaser trailer for Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, which offered a quick glance at the the “Pink Ladies,” “Thunderbirds,” students, and faculty at Rydell High School.

The teaser, despite being 45 seconds in length, also showed off a half-dozen or more song and dance numbers, letting the world know that yes, this will be another musical set in the fictional high school audiences walked through decades ago.  

Series Creator Annabel Oakes Grew Up A Big Grease Fan But Was Initially Skeptical Of Making Rise Of The Pink Ladies

The Grease Cast

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Even though series creator Annabel Oakes grew up a huge fan of Grease and Grease 2, she admitted during a December 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly that she was initially a little skeptical to make Rise of the Pink Ladies, saying: 

I thought, 'Nobody needs a new Grease.’ The original Grease is absolutely perfect. But then, I thought about it for a second and I thought, 'What unanswered questions do I have from Grease?' Because everything was tied up really nicely with Danny and Sandy. But I was like, 'What was up with the Pink Ladies? Were those girl gangs real?' I started googling and I found out that there were real Pink Ladies at the high school of the original creator of Grease, Jim Jacobs.

One thing that Oakes wanted to do with the project was take the archetypal characters from the 1978 movie dig deeper to create more realized versions of Rydell High students, which she and her writers could explore more due to the length of the series compared to a feature film. And similar to the way in which the original movie presented 1958 through a then-modern lens, Oakes and her team plan to explore the breaking of glass ceilings, boundaries, and social norms of the era.

Justin Tranter Wrote 31 New Original Pop Songs For Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies

Olivia Newton-John in Grease

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Some of the most iconic movie songs from the past 50 years came from Grease, with standouts like “Grease Lightning,” “Beauty School Dropout,” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” the latter of which was performed beautifully by the late Olivia Newton-John. Though it remains unknown if we’ll hear any of those tracks (besides “Grease,” which appears in the teaser), the upcoming musical series won’t be short on tunes.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the Paramount+ streaming series will feature 31 new original songs crafted by Justin Tranter, who has written songs for artists such as Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, and Dua Lipa throughout his career. It’s safe to say we’ll all have more than a few songs stuck in our heads come April. 

The Series Originally Started Out As A Musical Film Called Grease: Rydell High On HBO Max

The Pink Ladies in Greese

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Even though Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies wasn’t made official until July 2021, the series, or at least a different version of it, has been in the works for a few years now. In October 2019, it was reported that HBO Max (which had not yet launched), would become the streaming home of Grease: Rydell High, a musical that would have reimagined the popular movie and brought some of the characters over to the small screen.

There wasn’t a lot of information at the time, at least concerning characters and when the show would take place, but Grease: Rydell High was supposed to have big musical numbers like the original movie. In April 2020, Deadline reported that Annabel Oakes, who would go on to spearhead Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies was brought on to write the pilot episode. Later that year, Variety published a report saying the show was moving to Paramount+ (which was still CBS All Access at the time) and that it had been rebranded to its current title. According to sources in that report, the move was believed to have been the result of regime changes over at HBO Max.

When Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies debuts later in the year it will be just one of the many reasons to sign up for a Paramount+ subscription.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.