The Wiz — Not Music Man — Might Be NBC's Next Live Musical

The Music Man might be about to ease on down the road — and right off NBC’s 2015 roster.

The Peacock net is now considering mounting a production of The Wiz — the funky, ’70s-era adaptation of The Wizard of Oz — as its next live musical event.

Music Man is something we have optioned the rights to, and we’re looking very seriously at some casting options, but we’ve also optioned the rights to The Wiz,” NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt noted Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “That could be what we do instead.”

Last May, NBC announced plans to stage The Music Man as a followup to its 2014 holiday production of Peter Pan (starring Allison Williams) and 2013 version of The Sound of Music (with Carrie Underwood).

Peter Pan Live!‘s 9.1 million total viewers and 2.3 demo rating in December were down 50 percent from Sound of Music Live!‘s fast nationals in 2013, but it still gave NBC its second highest-rated non-sports Thursday in three years, and its second most-watched one in more than five years.

As with NBC’s previous musical picks, The Wiz not only had Broadway runs (in the mid-70s and again in 1984), but also spawned a big screen adaptation — starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson — in 1978.

Which musical would you rather see in 11 months’ time: The Music Man or The Wiz? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

 

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62 Comments
  1. I’d watch that one.

  2. Nick says:

    As long as they make it as weird as possible I’d totally watch!

  3. Joey says:

    Honestly would much rather watch The Wiz than The Music Man.

  4. Tran says:

    Hope The Wiz would do much better than Peter Pan.

  5. ceebee says:

    The Wiz!!! Of course!

  6. Alice says:

    I was really looking forward to the Music Man, a lot. But it would be nice to improve the representation of POC in these shows, and The Wiz would certainly do that.

    • Paul says:

      The Wiz [movie] tanked even with Michael Jackson’s star power. The script and score were not very good. And between the disappointing James Franco Oz film and the Zelena arc on OUAT, I’m Ozd out. I’d go for Music Man if they cast Neil Patrick Harris, Matt Bomer [yes he sings & dances] or Harry Connick Jr. as Harold Hill.

  7. This!!!! I need the Wiz live, how can i be down lol

  8. John says:

    “The Wiz” might be a more interesting option. “Peter Pan” flopped because it’s not a particularly beloved show and not to knock the talent involved, it just wasn’t really that great. “The Music Man” would be fine and all, but unless they cast it well, they better not expect a heavy target demographic that is anything below the baby boomer generation. “Sound of Music” worked (as a ratings draw, anyway) because it’s a really well liked musical and they also had the Carrie Underwood draw. I guess I’m preaching to the choir about all of that, but back to the point: “The Wiz” would definitely be a more interesting choice, imo.

  9. topoopon says:

    Wasn’t “Music Man” already redone for TV with Matthew Broderick a few years back?

  10. dude says:

    Anika Noni Rose for Dorothy!

  11. T.W.123 says:

    YES!! YES!!! THE WIZ!!!! YES!!! YES!!!!!!

  12. Carola says:

    The Wiz is much better choice! Way better than Peter Pan too! Hope they choose that one.

  13. Avery says:

    I’d watch either one, but I’d love, love to see Zachary Levi as Harold Hill, especially since he has a history with NBC.

    • Drew says:

      He would be pretty awesome in that role. I was looking forward to seeing if they could pull off the level of charisma and charm that Harold would need to have. I think that Zachary would do that.

  14. joshuachenault says:

    I want to see THE WIZ! One of my favorite childhood movies and I feel like they could get some marvelous stars for this show.

  15. Erin says:

    Calling casting of Jennifer Hudson in 3..2..1.. She already sang “Home” on Smash on NBC. It would be a logical leap.

  16. DMCo says:

    Thank God!! Music Man? Really. I’m in my 50’s and would prefer to watch The Wiz.

  17. Amanda says:

    I would love to see this, but I need all of you to remember that Dorothy was only suppose to be 16 years old. The original broadway play had her as a teenager, the sole reason why the movie flopped was because Diana Ross was WAY too old to be trying to play Dorothy and everyone wanted to see Stephanie Mills (broadway Dorothy, who was a teen at that time) to play the part. HOPEFULLY, they honor the original play and fill it with a talented TEEN and not try to drum up ratings by casting an ADULT to play that role. But honestly, I would probably still watch it anyway….lol

    • Matty says:

      Knowing NBC they will ignore the fact that Dorothy is supposed be 16 and they’ll cast Jennifer Hudson in the role… I see it now…

    • Jack says:

      Many would disagree that this was the “sole reason”.

      Rarely is a teen character actually played by a teen. Even on Broadway. Yes, it sometimes happens, but it is extremely rare.

      • dan says:

        The movie flopped because it was just bizarre! The Broadway version was much better. It didn’t help that they cast Diana Ross, but she wasn’t the sole reason it was terrible. The whole setting was strange and they took it too far from the stage version. The Wiz would be a much better choice than The Music Man for NBC’s live event.

  18. christine says:

    Id watch the Wiz

  19. Matty says:

    I wouldn’t watch either one. The Wiz doesn’t seem like a very accessible (to the general public) option, and might actually turn a lot of people off.

    • Wild child says:

      Why wouldn’t it be “accessible to the general public?” Is if because the cast would be black? I’m really trying to understand your reasoning here. The Wiz actually has a very strong cult following in the AA community but it’s a show all people of all backgrounds can enjoy.

  20. Drew says:

    That sucks. First, because I was looking forward to The Music Man. Second because The Wiz is just a cheap knockoff of The Wizard of Oz. It’s like getting the generic brand cereal at the store. Why would that be exciting? Peter Pan was so horrible that they really need to make this one good. I would have zero interest in The Wiz going into it. I’ll probably watch anyway, but it would be an uphill climb from the start.
    If they do it, would they go with an all black cast? Or would they mix it up?
    It just sounds like these live shows are moving in the wrong direction. The Sound of Music was a solid foundation to build on, but they completely dropped the ball with Peter Pan, and now they’re going with an even less well known knockoff version of a beloved story. Not a good idea.

  21. Temperance says:

    Please, never Music Man… the lamest musical in history. It one of the main reasons why people don’t like musicals.

  22. Jeremy says:

    THE WIZ!! THE WIZ!! Any version of Dorothy’s journey through OZ is much more engaging and fun than The Music Man! THE WIZ is so funky and upbeat! THE WIZ all the way!

  23. herman1959 says:

    The Wiz, of course!

  24. ron ambrry says:

    I would rather see the music man the wiz is a terrific musical but music man is a classic

  25. Nina says:

    Unless Kevin Spacey is Harold Hill I want the Wiz! Justin Timberlake for Scarecrow?

  26. Grey says:

    Oh good Lord, have mercy!

  27. Mika02 says:

    Yessssssss!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Stephon J.S says:

    PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN! I LOVE THE WIZ!!!

  29. Amanda says:

    I would love to see cinadrella live do that one…

  30. Daya says:

    I’ve seen “Music Man” a zillion times; “The Wiz” never. (Besides, people don’t seem to get tired of remaking that story!”

    Still hoping for them to do “King and I”…maybe in sixteen or seventeen…

  31. Gail says:

    I would chose The Wiz simply because the movie version wasn’t very good and here is a chance to do the show right. The movie of The Music Man is a great representation of the original show. You are most likely not going to improve on it no matter who is cast. Same problem with the Sound of Music except in that case the movie improved on the stage version. Really there was no point in doing it again.

    I think the biggest problem with these shows is casting. They need people with Broadway experience. Sadly most are not well known so they cast someone like Carrie Underwood and the characters of Mother Superior, Elsa and Max become the stars of the Sound of Music.

    The other problem with casting is that it takes a commitment of about three months or more to put these shows together so it is unlikely that you would get someone like Neil Patrick Harris or Jennifer Hudson willing to devote that much time to it

  32. mirvin365 says:

    The Wiz, plez!
    Keke Palmer as Dorothy
    Bruno Mars as Scarecrow
    Jesse L Martin as the Tin Man
    James Monroe Iglehart from Aladdin on Broadway as the Lion
    Eddie Murphy as the Wizard (borrowed that from a friend)

  33. Wild child says:

    Something tells me they’ll end up casting Zendaya in the part. Not saying I don’t like her but meh. Can Amandla Stenberg sing. If so I think she’d be a good choice.

  34. TV Gord says:

    I’d like to see a completely diverse The Wiz! White, Black, Asian, Latin, Middle Eastern, etc. That could be really cool!

  35. michael says:

    The wiz would be spectacular, they have already done Music man for wonderfull world of disney…. with matthew broderick… the wiz needs a retooling.. the film flopped… but if done right NBC could have a hit ont here hands with this jsut cast it right and heres a number one factor in the stage play it was played by a young women stephanie mills as Dorothy.. please cast a younger girl in the part….. an d not a middle aged women……. and try to stay close to the broadway stage show…. dont do any fancy stuff to it, like did in the motion picture.

  36. michael says:

    this could become a holiday classic like oz every year on tv……. oh heres a suggestion for one after this one Annie live……. fox is doing grease with julianne hough htink bringing these msuicals to live on tv is awesome

  37. Amanda says:

    The Wiz wasn’t even good with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. That says it all. The Music Man has a far better script and musical numbers. It’s one on a short list of these live musicals that I’d even consider watching.

  38. Eric says:

    I kind of prefer The Wizard Of Oz getting 21st century adaptation, but would be okay with The Wiz. I’m guessing we’re likely to see Christian Borle (Smash) and Michael Park (As The World Turns) being casted for next NBC musical special… seeing they were involved in 2 previous musicals (The Sound Of Music & Peter Pan). As long as NBC gives us a musical special that won’t disappoint.

  39. I like The Wizard of Oz ALOT … If they do The Wiz I would be curious to watch. I would want to see their version. I didn’t like the Diana Ross version so I am up for an update. Also, I was looking forward to The Music Man so I hope they do that one eventually. I also, would LOVE to see a LIVE version of ANNIE. I know they just did a new movie but, it would be great to see The FULL Musical as it should be LIVE!!! :)

  40. John says:

    The wiz is irrelevant music man has a much better story line the music and lyrics are beautiful

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  42. A Pertain says:

    Would love to see a live version of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers -or- Oklahoma!

  43. Emily Tinsman says:

    Music Man is a classic, entertaining show! I was in it at my high school last year and would love to see this show put to life on tv! You would definitely see more views with Muis Man! I can guarantee!