It looks like ABC has succumbed to FOMO. According to Deadline, the network is officially throwing its hat into the ring with a live musical adaptation of The Little Mermaid — some big news for an already incredible year for Disney. Today, they announced the fall schedule for their upcoming programming, which includes a two-hour musical special, titled The Wonderful World Of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!
Coming to screens October 3, The Little Mermaid Live! (not to be confused with the non-Disney live action movie adaptation of the fairytale coming soon) does something a little different than we've come to expect with live TV adaptations of musicals. Instead of one full musical production, the 1989 animated classic will be combined with select live action musical performances for a best-of-both-worlds situation.
Instead of the original voice actors, this new special is slated to feature "celebrity artists" who will perform the iconic songs, which were originally written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. The special will be produced by company Done + Dusted, and executive produced by Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, David Jammy, Katy Mullan, and Richard Kraft from Kraft-Engel Productions.
This news comes just as live TV musicals are really picking up steam. Back in 2013, The Sound Of Music Live! kicked off the trend, airing on NBC and starring Carrie Underwood. Other shows, like Peter Pan Live! with Allison Williams, Grease Live! featuring Vanessa Hudgens on Fox, and Hairspray Live! starring Maddie Baillio followed, making way for future performances like this one, as well as other upcoming shows like NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar, Fox's A Christmas Story, and Fox's Rent.
As far as The Wonderful World Of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! is concerned, however, we'll just have to wait. Despite its soon-ish release (just six months away and counting!), details are sparse. For now, we'll have to kill time by guessing which "celebrity artists" might grace the production, and cross our fingers that, despite the unconventional new formatting, it does the original production justice.