Hairspray Live Ariana Grande

Hairspray Live Adds Ariana Grande in Pivotal, Pigtailed Role

Ariana Grande is now a checkerboard chick.

The Scream Queens victim has been cast as Penny Pingleton — the best friend of leading lady Tracy Turnblad (played by newcomer Maddie Baillio) — in NBC’s upcoming Hairspray Live, airing Dec. 7, the network announced Thursday.

Grande joins previously announced cast members Jennifer Hudson (as Motormouth Maybelle), Harvey Fierstein (as Edna Turnblad), Derek Hough (as Corny Collins), Martin Short (as Wilbur Turnblad), Kristin Chenoweth (as Velma Von Tussle) and, of course, Baillio as Tracy.

Amanda Bynes played the role of Penny in the 2007 film.

Your thoughts on Grande’s casting? Hopes for the remaining roles? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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19 Comments
  1. Ian says:

    She’s a total scene stealer though. The pig tails will be different for her, lol.

  2. iHeart says:

    great all we need to know now is who is going to play Link and Amber

    • iHeart says:

      and various other characters….hey I wonder if Jane Lynch will play the gym teacher? (seriously I saw a local production of Hairspray and the Gym Teacher reminded me of Sue Sylvester)

  3. Spence says:

    How funny… Known singer Ariana is playing the one character who pretty famously doesn’t have a large singing part in the show.. Lol

    • Becky says:

      While Penny doesn’t sing much in the beginning because her character is supposed to be a nervous nellie, she does eventually break out of that shell and have some heavy diva moments. Growls and all.

  4. MattySi says:

    She’s a great actress. She’ll do fantastic in this.

  5. Sarah jay says:

    My sister in law makes a amount of your ass

  6. Lauren says:

    Not huge fan of her music but she cracked me up on SNL. So I’m looking forward to this.

  7. Kate says:

    As it is sort of role that is remarkably similar to Cat on Victorious, she will be very funny and what will be interesting, or at least my multiple screenings of all versions of this musical, is as much as Linc and Tracy are the main couple, this role has the longer romance that is kind of, well, the point of the musical which has little nothing to do with Tracy and her weight since she and Penny don’t really super care about that.

  8. Paul says:

    Will never watch the doughnut licking America hater.

  9. Dude says:

    Not perfect casting. But she’ll do fine.

  10. Jake says:

    Since when did Hairspray need someone whom looks like they stole the majority of their wardrobe off a dead Sunset Blvd. Hooker?

  11. JPinks says:

    Wah-wah… :/

  12. Eli says:

    Jessy Schram (Nashville, Cash Grey) for Amber

  13. Temperance says:

    Great… Miss Mumbles will ruin Penny with her unintelligible delivery. *sighs*

  14. Will says:

    ugh wtf… was excited with each casting announcement but now… nope.