The Music Man on Deck as NBC's Next Live Event

The Music Man Live NBC 2015Cue the trombones — 76 of ’em, to be exact!

NBC announced today it will be staging a live rendition of The Music Man in 2015 — following up last year’s ratings smash The Sound of Music Live! and a planned staging of Peter Pan later this year.

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The 1957 Broadway musical tells the tale of Harold Hill, an instrument salesman who makes false promises to help an Iowa town launch a marching band, but winds up staying longer than planned when he begins to fall for Marian, a librarian who’s suspicious of his intentions.

A 1962 big-screen version of The Music Man starred Robert Preston and Shirley Jones as the central couple. Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth headlined a 2003 TV remake on ABC.

Any casting ideas for NBC’s live Music Man reboot? How about Zachary Levi and Jennifer Hudson? Sound off 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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  1. stefanjames says:

    I’m all for Kristin Chenoweth reprising her 2003 role as Marian. Make it happen, NBC!!!

  2. Kari says:

    I think Matt Bomer would be a great Harold Hill.

    • Ted says:

      I second that. As for Michael’s suggestion of JHud for Marion, she would stand out like a sore thumb in pre WWI Iowa. No. Stop the affirmative action on beloved stories.

      • Brooke says:

        Racism gets in the way of your imagination, eh?

        • Enough says:

          Affirmative action gets in the way of historical accuracy. Marian Paroo is Irish.

          • Brooke says:

            Is it historically accurate that the whole town burst into song and synchronized dance? Do tell me more about how historically accurate this fiction story is.

          • Sara says:

            One of the songs mentions the fact that she’s Irish. And if you imagine a black librarian in 1910 Iowa you are delusional and not from the midwest.

      • Martoukian says:

        I don’t mind the fact that Jennifer Hudson is black, but she would be a really lousy fit for that role. In fact, Jennifer Hudson would be better as Harold Hill than she would as Marian. Now THAT would be some fun casting.

      • S. says:

        Vocally she’d be a complete mess. Love JHud but that’s not the right voice for that character. She’s got a nice range, but listen to the songs from The Music Man and it’s clear she’d be terrible. I doubt Kristin Chenoweth would do it. She’s already done it and we really don’t need to see her in the same part again. Wouldn’t be angry if they had Craig Bierko reprise his Broadway role though. It’s not like that was ever televised.

  3. Carla Krae says:

    That 1962 movie is one of my favorites.

  4. Lisa says:

    I like Megan Hilty as Marian.

  5. Ezzy says:

    Matthew Brodrick did it in 2003. I wonder if he’d be intrested in doing it again. If not, then Nathan Lane.

    • Lisa says:

      Aren’t they a little old for the lead?

      • Violet says:

        I think Nathan Lane would be great as Mayor Shinn. Also Josh Gad as Marcellus and Laura Osnes as Marian…

    • Marc says:

      Good idea, hire Matthew Broderick so he can ruin another remake of the same show. His performance was laughably BAD. But then he has given the exact performance for every show he has done the last 30 years!

  6. jj says:

    eric mccormack was a fantastic harold hill on broadway

  7. Stormy says:

    Neil Patrick Harris or Sean Hayes as Harold Hill, Katherine McPhee or Mandy Moore as Marian.

  8. David4 says:

    I have never seen this one….

    Can’t wait for Peter Pan though!!!

  9. EJ says:

    Neil Patrick Harris is my only choice although Zachary Levi is s good idea, too.

  10. Nancy says:

    Donny Osmond

  11. Elliot says:

    I feel like someone needs to cast Neil Patrick Harris in one of these, and Music Man seems as good a fit as any. Hilty as Marian is also a great idea.

  12. EJ says:

    Oh, wait…can James Wolk sing?

    • Znachki says:

      This could be genius. He definitley has the right quality to play a charasmatic con man. As far as singing goes, much of what Harold Hill “sings” is more talk singing and/or limited in range. If he can do in MM what he did with Kelly Clarkson in “The Crazy Ones” and in the “Zach Mitzvah” episode it would work.

      • katie says:

        yes! that would be fantastic, particularly since i’m still not over losing the crazy ones (sob). anna kendrick for marian? we know she can sing, and playing someone who gets conned might actually be something new for her.

  13. tara17 says:

    Was hoping for Spamalot… oh well.

  14. ls says:

    Josh Radnor. He was amazing in the She Loves Me concert at the NY Philharmonic a few years ago.

  15. Bill Wilson says:

    It’s a layup. Jimmy Fallon! Lots of free Tonight Show publicity!

  16. DeeCee says:

    Just thank your lucky stars it isn’t on ABC, or we’d probably see Spats McGee (a/k/a Mark Ballas) in the title role with Julianne Hough playing the female lead! LOL

  17. WTactualF says:

    As long as it’s not Stephen Moyer and Carrie Underwood, I’m in.

  18. sha100 says:

    Megan Hilty, Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenowith would be great in these roles. It seemed like Megan and Neil had some chemistry when he hosted the Tony’s last year and they are my favorite actors. It would be great to see Cheno in this role too.

  19. Drew says:

    I am all for bringing in a known name here and there, but part of the fun of The Sound of Music was that it wasn’t just another Broadway production, only filmed. It was a blend of seasoned Broadway performers and those who were knew to performing live in that way. So when it comes to casting, I’d like to see some surprises and not just people that we know will pull it off without blinking an eye. I’m looking forward to Peter Pan and this one should be great too.

  20. mabesny says:

    Hugh Jackman!

  21. Zippy says:

    Matthew Morrison as Harold Hill!

  22. Blinged Up says:

    I think all I can think of from now on when I see the Music Man is Jack Black in Bernie. ha

  23. j says:

    Zachary Levi and Jennifer Hudson?!?! Um… No. I have no opinion on Levi, but Jennifer Hudson is pretty much the exact opposite of the voice type that the role requires. Plus, if it’s not Audra McDonald, I will never stop screaming.

  24. Xwatcher says:

    Derick Hough and Megan Hilty

  25. katie says:

    honestly, nbc will probably make this an annual tradition. and audra mcdonald and laura beranti need to be in every single one. wouldn’t it be nice to root for laura beranti’s character for a change?

  26. Paul DeBoy says:

    Hugh Jackman and Laura Benanti.

  27. David P. Graf says:

    Why even bother doing this remake? Nothing yet can touch the original movie.

  28. Carolyn says:

    I would like to see Kristin Chenoweth as Marian, and possibly Hugh Jackman or Chris Noth.

  29. gbharas says:

    Seth Macfarlane. Hands down. And before people bring out the torches and pitchforks on me, YouTube Seth Macfarlane performing Ya’ll Got Trouble at the BBC Proms. He’s the only one I’ve ever heard who’s voice comes even close to Robert Prestons.

    • gbharas says:


    • S. says:

      Seth could do it, he’s got an excellent voice and I’d totally believe him in the part. I just doubt NBC could get him. Fox probably would probably shut that down. I can’t remember if it was in a Sunday timeslot before, but if so that’d be a problem too because it airs against Family Guy in that instance. Even if it didn’t, there are all kinds of contractual things that get in the way of stuff like this. Shame because he’d be great in it.

      • Stormy says:

        Seth is polarizing. Lots of people really dislike him [kind of like James Franco]. Hugh Jackman is too old [fine on Broadway but not for TV closeups]. NPH, Sean Hayes, Adam Lambert, Matthew Morrison or Matt Bomer would work.