NBC announces additional live, family-friendly musicals after 'Sound of Music' success
NBC, Will Hart, Associated Press
While NBC's live production of "The Sound of Music" had its fair share of critics last December, the number of viewers is what NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was tracking.
"Many of you were rolling your eyes up until the morning of Dec. 6 , when the ratings came in," Greenblatt said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Although Carrie Underwood's performance was not nearly as notable as that of Julie Andrews, an estimated 18.5 million viewers tuned in to the production last year, outperforming every non-sporting NBC Thursday since "Friends" aired its final episode in 2004.
Because of that success, NBC has since announced two additional live musicals that are in the works. The production of "Peter Pan" will air on Dec. 4, while the production of "The Music Man" will air sometime in 2015.
Before the announcement, Greenblatt explained to The Hollywood Reporter the type of musical he was looking to recreate.
"We're looking for another show, a well-known title, something that people already know and love that can interest kids and adults and can be produced live, which is no small feat," Greenblatt told The Hollywood Reporter.
After the announcement, Greenblatt explained the importance of selecting a musical that could bring the family together.
“We’re very pleased to be underway on 'Peter Pan' as our next live holiday musical for the whole family,” Greenblatt said in January.
Casting for the live show is currently taking place. It has been announced that the role of Peter Pan, which was historically played by a woman, will most likely be cast as a male role.
Other networks have also turned to recreating musicals. Fox recently announced its upcoming 3-hour, live performance of "Grease" that will air in 2015.
"'Grease's iconic characters and addictive songs make it the perfect fit for Fox, and we’re going to give it the kind of star power and production quality to make every Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Kenickie out there want to get up and sing along,” said Shana C. Waterman, Fox’s SVP Event Series, according to Deadline.
The musical "Into the Woods" is also in production as a motion picture by Walt Disney Studios and will be released in theaters on Dec. 25, 2014. The film has a renowned cast including Meryl Streep as the Witch, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella and Chris Pine as Cinderella's prince.
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