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Live version of ‘Grease’ coming to TV in 2015

Live version of ‘Grease’ coming to TV in 2015

'GREASE' THE MUSICAL:Cast members from the musical "Grease" perform on stage, Friday, April 25, at the Mastercard Theatre of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. This musical first premiered on Broadway in 1972 and later became a hit movie in 1978. Photo: Associated Press/Wong Maye-E

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Grease,” the Broadway musical and hit film, will be made into a live television production, broadcaster Fox said on Monday, in the latest network television attempt to woo viewers with live performances.

The musical about a high school romance between a good girl and a bad boy at Rydell High will be a three-hour production that will air next year. Actors have not been announced, but Fox said it would feature a “young ensemble cast.”

Fox, the broadcast unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, follows the lead of NBC, which attracted 19 million viewers to watch its live performance of “The Sound of Music” last year, which starred country music singer Carrie Underwood.

The musicals are part of networks’ strategies to entice audiences to watch events live instead of recording them for later viewing on digital video recorders, which are less valuable to advertisers.

Comcast Corp-owned NBC will air a live performance of “Peter Pan” in December in the hopes of replicating the success of “The Sound of Music.”

“Grease” debuted on stage in 1971 and was adapted into a film by distributor Paramount Pictures starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in 1978. It currently ranks as the highest-grossing musical film in the United States with $188 million in ticket sales.

The TV musical will be produced by Viacom Inc’s Paramount Television.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy)

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