Grease: You're The One That We Want (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Grease: You're The One That I Want is an announced NBC reality talent search type TV show that seeks to cast the male and female leads in a new production of Grease. It is to be based on an original format developed by the BBC under the title How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?
It will air on Sunday nights, beginning on January 7, 2007.
A new stage version of the musical Grease is being developed for Broadway theatre, to be shown from June 2007 and directed by Kathleen Marshall. The NBC show You're The One That I Want will use a reality TV show format to cast the lead characters of Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko. The show had open auditions for the roles in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. The applicants will be whittled down to twelve contestants by a panel of experts. American telephone voting will select who will undertake the lead roles for the first year of the production. Paul Nicholas and David Ian Associates Ltd, Nederlander Presentations and Phoenix Productions will produce the show.
The show's title is a play on the song You're The One That I Want from the 1978 Grease movie, that ironically was not featured in the original Broadway musical.
The show will have three judges: 2006 Tony award winning director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall, Grease co-writer Jim Jacobs, and British judge David Ian who was a judge on the original BBC How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?
The show's hosts will be British actress/presenter Denise van Outen and Access Hollywood anchor Billy Bush, the first cousin of U.S. president George W. Bush.
Development and original format
In 2005, Andrew Lloyd-Webber and David Ian agreed to be co-producers on a production of the Sound of Music. After approaching and being turned down by actress Scarlet Johansson, Lloyd-Webber approached the BBC, and created the reality TV show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, hosted by Graham Norton.
The format of the show was an open audition/reality TV show, where suitable members of the public (women aged 18years and older, ideally looking around mid-20's) could audition for the role of Maria von Trapp. The 2000+ entries were whittled down in a nation wide audition tour to 100 girls, who were then given additional singing and dance lessons en-masse over three days. These 100 girls were then whittled down by the expert panel to 50 girls, who were given two more days of coaching, particularly focused on acting.
The 50 girls were then reduced to 20, who undertook a week of additional coaching, before performing both as a group and as soloists at Andrew Lloyd Webbers Berkshire home, in the converted chapel where he has trailed and premiered all of his productions since Evita. These 20 girls were reduced to ten.
The reality TV format now took over the selection process. Each girl performed a solo song every week, and was given criticism by the panel of three experts, with additional comments by Lloyd Webber. The public then vote to save their favourite girl. The two with the lowest votes then sang an additional song, with one being saved by Lloyd-Webber's discretion.
On 20 August 2006, it was reported that Lloyd Webber had taken legal action against David Ian. Lloyd-Webber reportedly wanted to take the show's format to the United States to cast a Broadway theatre production of Grease. Lloyd-Webber discovered that Ian had already brought the idea to NBC, who announced they will look for unknowns to play Sandy and Danny, via reality TV show You're The One That We Want with David Ian and the BBC, leaving Lloyd Webber furious. David Ian said: "I don't understand the problem. Andrew has no connection with the stage show Grease, which I have successfully produced in the UK. There is a new production of Grease on Broadway in the spring of 2007, that's why I've been asked to judge on "You're The One That We Want.".
Open auditions started in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York in October and November 2006.