Fox has a director duo for its foray into the live-TV musical game: Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski are set to helm Grease: Live, which airs January 16. Kail — who helms Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rap musical Hamilton, which is moving to Broadway in July after earning the best reviews of any show this season — will oversee the stage direction. Rudzinski (Dancing With The Stars) serves as the live broadcast director. Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens are set to star in the production.
“Thomas Kail’s brilliant directing work on the explosive Hamilton and the cutting-edge In The Heights showcase his groundbreaking talent for merging classic Broadway musical storytelling with contemporary song styles and narratives,” said executive producer Marc Platt. “Alex Rudzinski brings a wealth of experience in live television directing and has a modern sensibility and vision in creating entertainment that captivates his audiences. We are enormously proud to have Thomas and Alex at the helm of re-imagining one of the most beloved musicals of all time.”
The project from Paramount Television marked the first official network greenlight for the two-year-old TV division of the movie studio that was behind the blockbuster 1978 feature adaptation of Grease starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Live musicals have become a hot TV commodity following the huge success of NBC’s staging of The Sound Of Music, which they network followed up with a live production of Peter Pan last year.