Carrie Underwood is following into Julie Andrews’ footsteps. In her first major acting gig, the Grammy winner has been tapped to star as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound Of Music. It’s based on the original Broadway musical and is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of NBC’s Smash and the 2013 Academy Awards. The three-hour event will air near the holidays in 2013. “Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn’t be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp,” said NBC’s chairman Bob Greenblatt. “She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist.” Added Zadan and Meron, “It’s a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical.”

The Sound Of Music, set in pre-WWII Austria, is based on the romantic true story of Maria von Trapp, an aspiring nun who leaves the abbey to become a governess for the widower Captain von Trapp’s seven children and finds herself falling in love with her employer and questioning her religious calling. It premiered on Broadway in 1959, where it broke box office records and won the Tony for Best Musical. The 1965 film version won the Best Picture Oscar. The Sound Of Music features a libretto by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse and a score by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) that includes “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Edelweiss,” and “So Long, Farewell.”

Following her winning run on Fox’s American Idol, Underwood has amassed more than 15 million albums sold worldwide, 16 No. 1 singles (seven of which were co-written by her) and five Grammys. She has dabbled in acting before with a guest spot on the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother and a role in the 2011 feature Soul Surfer. Underwood, repped by XIX Entertainment and CAA, also toplined her own holiday variety TV special for Fox in 2009, and has co-hosted the CMA Awards for the past five years.