The 1990s sitcom The Nanny is being developed into a Broadway musical, with series creators Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson on board to write the show’s book, while Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Rachel Bloom and Adam Schlesinger will write the music.
The project was announced today by producers Brian Zeilinger and Scott Zeilinger. Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) will direct. A production timeline, additional creative team and casting will be announced later.
Bloom, who co-created and starred in CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, will write the musical’s song lyrics and share the music writing with Schlesinger. The songwriting team (along with Jack Dolgen) won a 2019 Emmy for their Crazy Ex-Girlfriend music.
Said Drescher and Jacobson: “We are so excited to be working on the Broadway musical The Nanny. We’re equally excited that the wildly talented Rachel Bloom will be writing the lyrics and music with the fantastic Adam Schlesinger, and to have the brilliant Marc Bruni directing. Nobody is cast yet – we’re plotting – but we feel confident we will find a fabulous actress who is funny, charming and has a great voice.”
As for whether Drescher would want to re-create her TV starring role onstage, the actress quipped, “Of course I would do it myselfm but we’d have to change the title to The Granny.”
“The Nanny was a fundamental part of my childhood,” said Bloom, “because it was the first time I saw an openly Jewish female protagonist on television. The story of Fran Fine, however, is a universal one that has touched the hearts of people of every race, religion and orientation. I am so proud to be using the characters established by The Nanny to tell a new story about one woman’s journey to becoming proud of who she is and what makes her different.”
The hit CBS sitcom ran from 1993-99, earning 12 Emmy nominations. Partly inspired by Drescher’s upbringing in Queens, the show has aired in more than 90 countries and 30-plus languages.
Said director Bruni, making a Sound of Music reference: “The Nanny television series began from a familiar theatrical premise – but what if instead of Maria Rainer with her guitar, Fran Fine showed up on the doorstep of a fractured family? Over its six seasons, the show examined class, coming of age, feminism, love and Broadway with heart and laughs. I am thrilled to be working with Fran, Peter, Rachel, and Adam in bringing these characters to the stage in a fresh new light that I hope will delight fans of the show, as well as capture the imagination of a new generation of theatre-goers.”
Scott Zeilinger and son Brian Zeilinger are co-producers of, among others, Dear Evan Hansen and Mean Girls, and their production company, Zeilinger Productions, has a roster of previous Broadway and West End credits including Network, 1984, The Elephant Man, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.