NBC Hairspray Live Musical

NBC Eyes Hairspray as Next Live Musical Event

Corny Collins, you’re on live in 10… 9… 8….

The deals aren’t 100-percent done yet, but NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt announced on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena that Hairspray is likely to be its next live musical, to air in December.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who shepherded The Sound of Music Live, Peter Pan Live and The Wiz Live, are set to again serve as executive producers.

Ready, set, get to dream-casting!

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  1. Jennifer says:

    This is AWESOME. Would have liked Carousel better (Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald reprising their Lincoln Center roles!!!!), but I like Hairspray.

    • Gail says:

      That was actually a Carnegie Hall concert version back in June 2002. Though Audra did play Carrie in Carousel at Lincoln Center revival in 1994. Which probably means they are both too old for the roles.

  2. Drew says:

    They might as well. They already killed the chances of this becoming a beloved holiday tradition. Might as well go all in with their bad choices at this point.

    • Min says:

      Seems like its already three years in to being a beloved holiday tradition. With the exception of Pan, I loved the other two shows.

      • Drew says:

        Not really. A beloved tradition for some perhaps, but the ratings don’t reflect it being anything special. There have been a lot of poor decisions made in regards to these productions. Bad choices of which shows to adapt, which actors to cast, makeup, wardrobe, set design.
        They had a pretty good thing going with The Sound of Music, but they seriously dropped the ball after that.

        • They were definitely wrong in removing the urban setting in The Wiz. That turned it into a plain Wizard of OZ rip off, rather than its own unique and original thing.

          • David Stumme says:

            The urban setting was added in the film. They were performing the original stage musical, which did not have the faux-New York setting.

          • TJ says:

            The urban setting was only in the movie version of The Wiz. What they did was more like the original Broadway version of the The Wiz. It seems you have two groups of people to please….. the Broadway lovers or the movie lovers. The first time I saw the Broadway version of Grease….. I was in shock! I had no idea they were so different. So I’m curious, is FOX going to stick with the beloved songs from the movie or are they doing the Broadway version.

          • It’s interesting that you’d say that since even the Wikipedia page for the Broadway version of The Wiz describes it as “an urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the context of modern African-American culture.”

          • TJ says:

            It is an urbanized retelling of the story……. doesn’t mean that it is set in “urban” jungle. I believe it was Sidney Lumet who made it New York City…. or maybe it was Quincy Jones. Reading up on the film, it seems a lot of the script for The Wiz was influenced by Werner Erhard’s teachings and his Erhard Seminars Training (“est”) movement. I didn’t realize that.

          • What do you think they mean by urbanized in that description if not the location?

          • ScottJ says:

            Wiki is wrong there. If you look at the plot section its pretty much identical to the live version we saw.

          • Checked. You’re right.

  3. Et al. says:

    Really good choice. I was going to say the movie is too new, but by the time this airs it will be just about a decade old (which makes me feel really old).

  4. Anna says:

    Probably a wise choice, but I’m still bummed NBC got the rights to the Music Man and isn’t doing anything with it. Music Man has a soft spot in my heart for some reason although I get that it’s not as modern as other choices.

  5. Cool choice. I hope they do Rock of Ages someday, but they’re most likely to do something like Wicked.

    • Jennifer says:

      Wicked would be fantastic, but might be hard to pull off live on TV.

      • I’ve never seen it, I merely brought it up because it’s fairly known and it was a hit, two factors that almost guarantee its adaptation to a live performance on TV. What would make it hard to pull off on TV?

        • Jennifer says:

          There’s some “magic” that occurs on stage (Elphaba flying, moving objects), that they may not want to take a chance on doing it live with the chance that this could go wrong.

          On another note, I highly recommend seeing it if you can. It’s really great!

        • Ann says:

          There’s no way NBC would pay for the rights for Wicked. They’d lose money. The rights to the show alone would be too costly, since it’s still playing on Broadway with a lot of success.

          • dan says:

            The rights to Wicked have not been released yet. It is on Broadway, on tour (two national touring companies in the US) and it has some international productions. But it has not been licensed to any other organization (ie: no schools, community theatres, professional theatres, etc). I doubt the producers would license it to NBC before they make firm movie plans (which have been discussed for several years).

          • Gail says:

            I believe Universal, which NBC is a part of has the movie rights to the Wiz as they were a major investor in the Broadway show. That said they will most likely make a movie version of the show some day. They would never do a TV version while the show is doing so well in theaters and there has not been a movie yet.

    • TJ says:

      I thought I read that Wicked has been green lighted for a major motion picture.

  6. and now I have You Can’t Stop The Beat in my head… super fun musical that will translate well to TV (being that some of it takes place on TV) Love this!

  7. Kristin Chenoweth as Velma (Baltimore Crabs)!! Make it happen!

  8. herman1959 says:

    Let’s do this thing.

  9. So, Sean Hayes as Edna?

  10. Damianvargas says:

    Tituss Burgess as motormouth maybell please and I’m in! I wonder who would be Edna.

    • That’s a man. Maybell’s played by a woman. You’re thinking of Edna.

    • Edna’s the one played by a man, not Maybell.

    • Damianvargas says:

      I understand how the casting worked in the original musical and in the movie. It is possible to cast a man as woman in two roles you know? I saw this in a production of hairspray in California and the actor who played her was phenomenal. Do you ever wait for someone to actually be wrong about something before you correct them?

    • Charlo Crossley Fortier says:

      Only Edna originally played by DIVINE, WHO also played Herman F. Spitzer in the Original Hairspray motion picture,
      with RikkiLake as Tracy. Jerry Stiller
      played Wilbur Turnblad. Debbie Harry was Vema Von Tussle. Sonny Bono excellent as the husband! John awaters is amazingly crazy.

  11. iHeart says:

    ooooo I can’t wait to hear the casting announcements

  12. Jess says:

    My question is: what happened to The Music Man???

  13. Kay says:

    Kether Donohue seems like an obvious choice for Tracy, no?