NBC's December airing of The Sound Of Music, the live musical starring Carrie Underwood as Maria Von Trapp, ended up being such a surprise hit that the network is eager to repeat the formula. This weekend, NBC president Robert Greenblatt announced to The New York Times that yet another live musical is in the works for the holiday season. And, what will it be? Peter Pan, set to air on December 4.
The beloved J.M. Barrie tale went from children's literary favorite to one of Disney's most enduring classics, with the 1953 animated film influencing everything from fairy franchises to Michael Jackson's investment choices. Pan also had its turn on Broadway, with Mary Martin's transformation into Peter Pan becoming one of the 20th century's most iconic musical performances. Interestingly, Martin also starred in Broadway's The Sound Of Music a few years later — as well as NBC's highly watched Peter Pan live telecasts throughout the 1950s.
In essence, NBC is returning to a cherished legacy here — Greenblatt has been hinting that he aims to reintegrate Broadway into the network's programming. With The Sound of Music a holiday smash and Peter Pan likely to follow that success, it seems his intuition is leading the network in a unique direction. No word on who will play Pan yet, but somehow both Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber feel like strangely viable candidates to us. (NYT)