In 2013, network television suddenly and strangely became obsessed with running live musicals during primetime. After Rent premiered earlier this year, this craze seemed to die down. Well, prepare for musical mania again because ABC is joining the game and will show it’s version of The Little Mermaid Live! on November 5.
So far, all the musicals that have debuted on either Fox or NBC have had little quirks to set themselves apart. Grease: Live! gave instant behind-the-scenes snapshots by showing its cast members traveling from set to set on golf carts. Fox's Rent: Live! set up the iconic downtown New York loft in a theater in-the-round with a rock concert-style audience participation.
Now that it’s ABC’s turn again, the alphabet network plans to make a splash by incorporating puppets and elaborate costumes to recreate elements from the childhood classic The Little Mermaid into the made-for-television production. The Little Mermaid Live! has been marketed as “part-animated film, part-live spectacle” as it will shift between movie and the live performances. Diving under the sea to become a mermaid, crab, octopus, and more are Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula, musician Shaggy as Sebastian, John Stamos as Chef Louis, and Graham Phillips (Riverdale, Atypical) as Prince Eric. Glee-alum Amber Riley will emcee the event.
And in honor of The Little Mermaid Live! joining the pantheon of live TV musicals, it's only fitting to rank the last nine years of the good, the bad, and incredibly awkward live musicals we've seen on the small screen.
Here's the legion of musicals The Little Mermaid is about to join, from worst to best.