NBC Announces 'Music Man' Live TV Production

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Robert Preston stars in the musical comedy 'The Music Man' at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway, 1957.

NBC will be doing a live production of "The Music Man".

Bob Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman, announced during the network's upfront presentation Monday morning that the network has closed a deal to bring a broadcast version of the 1957 musical, which won five Tony Awards.

Though no timetable has been set, Greenblatt said that "The Music Man" would come down the line at some point. It will likely follow the network's Dec. 4 production of "Peter Pan", which is still in the casting stage.

"The Music Man" centers on a con man who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to the naive Iowa townsfolk, promising to train the members of the new band.

The news followed Greenblatt's hat tip to "The Sound of Music", his first live musical event, which lured 19 million viewers this past winter. "Many of you were rolling your eyes up until the morning of Dec. 6 [2013], when the ratings came in," he said, referring to the Carrie Underwood vehicle's harsh reviews.

As for rival Fox's bid to get into the live musical space with the recent announcement of Grease, Greenblatt stated from the stage: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

In addition to the hit Broadway original, "The Music Man" was adapted into the critically acclaimed 1962 film version starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. Following the success of the 2000 stage revival that was nominated for eight Tonys, a 2003 TV movie was made with Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber and Molly Shannon.

  • This story first appeared on THR.com


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