NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt just made the announcement at TCA. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the executive producers behind NBC’s live musical franchise, return. I hear the deal closed minutes before NBC’s TCA presentation. Zadan and Meron also produced the 2007 Hairspray movie. This will be NBC’s fourth consecutive live musical, following The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz.
Hairspray features a Tony-winning score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and a Tony-winning book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Based on the film by John Waters, it tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, an overweight Baltimore teen with dreams of landing a spot on a TV dance show and bringing racial integration with her.
Following the blockbuster ratings success of The Sound of Music, numbers slipped for Peter Pan before rebounding for The Wiz.
Talking about the first three musicals, Greenblatt noted this about their length, “The Sound of Music was the right length, The Wiz was a little short, while Peter Pan felt like it should’ve have been shorter,” adding after the audience started laughing, “I don’t mean that disparagingly”.
After the session, Greenblatt was asked whether he would consider a live staging of Broadway smash Hamilton. “I’m fortunate to be a personal investor in Hamilton and I’m friendly and close with all those producers and creative team. Sure, we’d love to be able to film Hamilton in some capacity. I think it will be years before they even look at a movie or filmed version of that show, but it’s a thrilling theatrical experience. It would be a thrilling movie or TV experience. I’d love to do it but I think it’s unrealistic for a decade or so.”