NBC to Make Live Musicals a Thing

NBC preps one for next year ... and likely the next and next

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 10, 2013 10:54 AM CST

(Newser) – NBC's live version of The Sound of Music may not have wowed critics, but it pulled in 18.6 million viewers—the most to watch the network on a Thursday night since the Frasier finale in 2004, the Huffington Post notes (that is, if you don't count sports). So NBC is eying another live musical (no word on which one specifically yet) for next year, and perhaps the one after, and the one after that, a network boss tells the New York Times. "I think we could do this again—and again and again," says entertainment chair Robert Greenblatt.

"All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us," Greenblatt adds. "Rights holders of musicals have said, 'Please do one of our shows.'" Key to The Sound of Music's success, he notes: Carrie Underwood, even if social media users had some less-than-friendly assessments of the choice. "I’m not sure almost 20 million people would have come out for a lot of other names," says Greenblatt. (He also notes that other suggested stars, like Anne Hathaway, probably wouldn't have been able to dedicate 10 months to prepping, like Underwood did.) As to the social media reaction, it has its upside. "I’d rather have people deeply engaged than ignoring it," he notes, and anyway, "There is no snarkier universe than the Broadway world." In other Sound of Music news, a star of the original film has died at age 91.

The cast of The Sound of Music Live!
The cast of "The Sound of Music Live!"   (AP Photo/NBC, Will Hart)
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