NBC has set its next live musical — “Bye Bye Birdie,” with Jennifer Lopez on board to star.
Lopez will executive produce with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and her company Nuyorican Productions will produce with Universal Television. Harvey Fierstein will write the television adaptation, with the special slated to air in December, 2017.
John Stamos has partnered with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Wiz Live!) for a cable drama series chronicling the fame and excess of daytime soaps in the 1980s. Universal TV, where Zadan and Meron are under a deal for series and live events, is the studio.
The untitled drama, now in early stages of development, will be inspired by the experiences of Stamos, whose acting career was launched in 1982 when, at the age of 18, he landed the role of Blackie Parrish on the ABC daytime drama General Hospital.
Hamilton cast member Ephraim Sykes and young School of Rock cast member Shahadi Wright Joseph are the latest actors announced to join NBC’s starry broadcast of Hairspray Live!
Sykes will star as Seaweed J. Stubbs with Wright set to portray Little Inez, NBC announced September 7.
Tony Award-winning Pippin star Andrea Martin will play overbearing mother Prudy Pingleton opposite pop star Ariana Grande (13, Scream Queens) as her daughter Penny Pingleton in NBC’s December live broadcast of Hairspray.
Hairspray also stars Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein recreating his Tony-winning Broadway role as Edna Turnblad, as well asKristin Chenoweth as Velma Von Tussle, Sean Hayes as Mr. Pinky, Rosie O’Donnell, as the gym teacher, Garrett Clayton as Link Larkin,Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad, pop star Grande as Penny Pingleton, Derek Hough as TV host Corny Collins, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle and newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad.
Hairspray Live! will air December 7 at 8 PM.
Fierstein will provide a new teleplay, and Jerry Mitchell ( Kinky Boots, On Your Feet!) will serve as choreographer for the live production with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ( Smash, Catch Me If You Can and Broadway’s upcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
Sean Hayes will play the role of Mr. Pinky, dress shop owner, in NBC’s holiday presentation of Hairspray Live! Rosie O’Donnell will play the gym teacher in the live adaptation of the 60’s set musical, producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan announced during the live holiday special’s TCA panel, happening now.
Dove Cameron, who plays Liv on Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie, and Teen Beach Movie‘s Garrett Clayton have joined the cast of Hairspray Live!, NBC’s live musical produced by Universal Television that will air December 7 from Los Angeles. She will play Amber Von Tussle and he is Link Larkin.
The singer-actress has joined the cast of Hairspray Live!, she announced on Twitter.
She will play the role of Penny Pingleton in the upcoming NBC live musical.
“Penny has been a dream role since Hairspray opened on Broadway,” tweeted Grande, who made her Broadway debut in the musical 13.
At today’s Variety’s annual TV Summit held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, playwright Aaron Sorkin revealed the news that Scott Ellis will direct NBC’s upcoming live adaptation of A FEW GOOD MEN. The ‘West Wing’ scribe said of the multi-Tony nominated Broadway director, “I couldn’t be more excited.”
Ellis directs the current revival of Roundabout Theatre Company’s SHE LOVES ME. His other Broadway credits include “Steel Pier,” “1776,” “Twelve Angry Men,” “Curtains,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “You Can’t Take It with You.” He also served as executive producer on Showtime’s “Weeds” and has directed episodes of “Modern Family,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Good Wife,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Frasier” and “30 Rock,” for which he was nominated for an Emmy.
Producers of NBC’s “Hairspray Live” have tapped a 20-year-old actress and singer from Texas for the lead role as Tracy Turnblad in the 1960s-set musical.
Maddie Baillio of League City, Texas, was unveiled as the “Hairspray Live” star Tuesday morning on NBC’s “Today.” She was chosen from a field of nearly 1,000 actresses who turned out for an open casting call earlier this year. She’ll star opposite Harvey Fierstein, who appeared with Baillio on “Today.” Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short and Derek Hough are also on board.
Talk about a trip of a lifetime: NBC is sending Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, and George Foreman on what appears to be a small-screen reality version of The Bucket List.
Katie Couric is joining Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as an executive producer onFlint, the duo’s Lifetime original movie about the drinking water contamination disaster in Flint, MI, from Sony Pictures Television.
The hard-hitting, fact-based drama will examine the events that led to the “toxic crime” committed against the residents of the town of Flint, Michigan. It is looking to focus not only on the politics and poor management that led to the poisoning of the water, but also on the human element of the residents who not only suffered, but whose voices were ignored.
NBC’s Hairspray Live! continues to draw impressive names.
Martin Short and Derek Hough have signed on for the upcoming musical production, NBC announced Wednesday.
Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and Grammy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson and multiple Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein will headline the cast of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!,” the network’s next live Broadway musical holiday event following the phenomenal success of “The Wiz Live!”
Also joining the creative team will be acclaimed television director Alex Rudzinski, who received extraordinary reviews for his television direction of “Grease Live!” Rudzinski was also the TV director for “Dancing With the Stars” from 2005-14.
One of the biggest man-made humanitarian crises in recent U.S. history — the drinking water contamination in Flint, Michigan — will be the subject of Flint, an original movie, which has been put on fast-track development at Lifetime. It hails from The Wiz Live producers Craig Zadan & Neil Meron and Sony Pictures Television.
Aaron Sorkin will stage a live version of “A Few Good Men” on NBC in early 2017, the network announced Wednesday.
Director Kenny Leon, who won praise in December for starting The Wiz Live for NBC, will return in December for the Peacock web’s fourth live musical venture, Hairspray Live. The show will be based on the 2002 Broadway musical blockbuster that was an adaptation of John Waters’ 1988 film (and remade from the musical version in the 2007 John Travolta-Queen Latifah starrer). The telecast will air December 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, whose work has traversed film, television and theatre, have earned a total of six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 14 Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, a Grammy Award, six GLAAD Awards and two Tony Awards. Their work includes THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE, HAIRSPRAY, FOOTLOOSE, CHICAGO, THE BUCKET LIST, PETER PAN LIVE, THE WIZ LIVE, GYPSY, CINDERELLA, THE MUSIC MAN, PROMISES, PROMISES, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS… and so much more.
Most recently, for their work on THE WIZ LIVE, they were honored earlier this week by the NAACP. At the Image Awards ceremony on Thursday evening, THE WIZ received two awards, including Outstanding Actor in a TV-Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special (David Alan Grier) and Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special.
Zadan and Meron took the time to chat with BroadwayWorld about their big wins and the incredible experience of working on THE WIZ LIVE, as well as the early stages of some of their upcoming projects, including bringing HAIRSPRAY to live-television audiences and taking BOMBSHELL to Broadway. Check out the full interview below!