Olivia Newton-John, multi Grammy Award-winner and beloved star of the hit movie musical Grease, is set to guest star in the first two episodes of NBC’s upcoming talent competition series “Grease: You’re the One that I Want,” premiering Sunday, January 7 (8-9:30 p.m. ET), where America will choose the next “Sandy” and “Danny” to star in the Broadway revival of the hit musical. Newton-John will provide her words of wisdom and advice on what it takes to fill the lead roles.
In 1978, Newton-John’s co-starring role with John Travolta in Grease catapulted her into super-stardom. The film went on to become the most successful movie musical of all time and the movie’s soundtrack became the most successful movie musical soundtrack in history, featuring the duets “You’re The One That I Want” and “Summer Nights,” with Travolta, as well as Newton-John’s mega-hit, “Hopelessly Devoted To You.” The film was re-released worldwide in 1998 in celebration of its 20th anniversary to even more acclaim, a true testament to the film’s timeless quality.
Prior to her break-out role in Grease, Newton-John’s 1973 U.S. album debut, “Let Me Be There,” produced her first top ten single of the same name, with her being honored by the Academy Of Country Music as Most Promising Female Vocalist and a Grammy Award as Best Country Vocalist. This proved to be only the beginning of a very exciting career. Her countless successes include three more Grammy’s, numerous Country Music Awards, American Music Awards and People’s Choice Awards, five #1 hits including “Physical,” which topped the charts for ten consecutive weeks, and 15 top 10 singles.
Newton-John’s other film credits include Xanadu, Two of a Kind, It’s My Party, and Sordid Lives. She followed that success by co-starring with her daughter, Chloe, in the Showtime movie, “The Wilde Girls.” Clearly following in her mother’s footsteps, Chloe has recently signed her first record label contract. Newton-John’s latest recording, “Grace and Gratitude,” a CD for relaxation to promote spiritual balance and physical and emotional healing, was released in September 2006 and coincided with the launch of Newton-John’s signature line of body, heart and spirit wellness products for women.
In “Grease: You’re the One That I Want,” America will choose the two leads for a new Broadway production of “Grease,” which opens on Broadway in July 2007 and will be directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall (“The Pajama Game”). Marshall also will be a judge on the TV series along with Jim Jacobs, the co-creator of “Grease” and renowned theater producer David Ian. Billy Bush (“Access Hollywood”) and Denise Van Outen (Broadway’s “Chicago”) serve as host and co-host.
In the first two weeks of “Grease: You’re The One That I Want,” (January 7 and 14), viewers will go behind the scenes of the nationwide casting search where hopefuls from all across America strut their stuff in front of the panel of judges. In the third episode (January 21), the top performers from the nationwide search are flown to Los Angeles for “Grease Academy,” where they are trained by Marshall and professional acting, dance and vocal coaches to refine their skills. The top 12 contestants from Grease Academy will then perform each week in six live episodes, starting January 28, with America eliminating two contestants each night, ultimately deciding the two winners who will take on the lead roles on Broadway.
“Grease: You’re the One That I Want” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Al Edgington (“Last Comic Standing,” “The Amazing Race”), Lou Stroller (Tomb Raider, The Rock, Scarface) and Paul Telegdy, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production, BBC Worldwide, are the executive producers; Suzy Lamb (“BBC UK’s “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?”) is co-executive producer.