NBC tries to follow-up the success of The Wiz with Hairspray.
Following up the great success of The Wiz, NBC has announced that their next live musical will be Hairspray!
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Broadway World announced the news that the team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will, once again, executive produce the live broadcast just like they have with the last four options.
The news was announced at today's TV Critics Association winter press tour stop in Los Angeles. "That title seems really fun and I think it will be really great live," said NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt. He went on to caution that "The deal is still to be closed," and that a formal announcement will be out shortly.
Zadan and Meron have had a lot of success with their television musicals, partly because they have created the best formula. "Since we changed the playing field for ourselves this year in the way we did everything - and the whole technique of doing the show is different - we set out on a path that has changed the way we do them," Zadan explained. "That's going to inform what the next show is going to be. We don't want to go back to the way we did Peter Pan or The Sound of Music; we want to keep moving forward."
Hairspray is considered by many to be one of the most fun, yet poignant, musicals around. The musical features music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, and is based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name.
The story focuses around Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teen in 1962 Baltimore and her desire to appear on The Corny Collins Show and dance. When Tracy lands a starring position on the show, she becomes an overnight celebrity and fights against social injustices of the time - including the need to integrate the program.
The musical is quite popular, having been on Broadway two times and winning many Tony Awards. There have also been two big screen productions of the musical, including the 2007 hit from Zadan and Meron, which starred John Travolta, Nikki Blonsky, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Marsden, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley and Allison Janney.
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They may be calling on some of those names again - Christopher Walken starred in Peter Pan as Captain Hook two years ago, and Elijah Kelley and Queen Latifah were standouts in The Wiz as The Scarecrow and the Wizard, respectively.