EXCLUSIVE Jane Krakowski has stepped down from the role of Lily St. Regis in NBC’s upcoming Annie Live! after being diagnosed with a breakthrough case of Covid, the network said Friday. Smash star Megan Hilty will step into the role.
“I am beyond thrilled to join this all-star cast, crew and creative team,” said Hilty in a statement. “My family and I have been super fans of Annie for as long as I can remember, and we always look forward to the epic televised musicals produced by Bob Greenblatt & Neil Meron, so to be a part of this particular production is an honor and a dream come true. I wish Jane the speediest of recoveries and hope to do her proud.”
According to NBC, Krakowski is “experiencing a breakthrough Covid case while working on a separate project in Ireland despite being double vaccinated, a regular testing process and abiding by protocols.”
Hilty joins Celina Smith, who will play Annie, and an ensemble that includes Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace and Tituss Burgess as Rooster.
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Hilty is best known to TV audiences for her portrayal of Ivy Lynn in NBC’s musical drama Smash, and she recently appeared in Lifetime’s Patsy & Loretta. Other TV credits include Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Difficult People, The Good Wife and The Good Fight. She made her Broadway debut as Glinda in Wicked and was Tony-nominated for her role in 2016’s Noises Off.
Annie Live! will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Rudzinski sharing the directing duties. Choreography will be led by Sergio Trujillo. The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions.
The musical will air Thursday, December 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Hilty is represented by Randi Goldstein and Nick Collins at Gersh.
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