NBC paved the way for the big-production live musicals on TV with The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz!, but it was Fox’s Grease, directed by Hamilton‘s Thomas Kail, that earned the genre Emmy recognition.
The Paramount TV-produced Grease: Live tonight won four Emmy Awards, including the top category it was competing in, Special Class Program. It was the first of the current crop of live TV musicals to win multiple Emmys and the first to land a Special Class Program award. Only one other, NBC’s The Sound of Music Live, has been nominated in the Special Class field.
Backstage, an exultant Grease: Live executive producer Marc Platt said tonight’s wins reinforced his belief in the power of network television and he was astonished by “the instantaneous impact that network TV can have, especially for a live event.” “The communal feeling across the country was so powerful and instant,” he said.
The four trophies for Grease: Live at tonight’s Creative Arts ceremony are the first Emmys for the relaunched Paramount TV, which sold the staging of the classic 1978 movie as one of its first projects. The wins also should accelerate the push at Fox to find the next live musical. The network actively has been exploring titles and is said to be narrowing down its choices.
Meanwhile, NBC is already prepping its next live musical, Hairspray, for the upcoming holiday season.