Whether you loved it or hated it, NBC has announced plans to follow-up the massive success of “The Sound of Music Live!” with a new TV special to air on the network in 2014.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network is now “circling a couple of titles” to stage sometime next year. The reports says NBC might consider making the live musical specials an annual holiday event. “SOML” drew in 18.6 million viewers during its December 5 broadcast featuring Carrie Underwood in the lead role of Maria.
The only standard is that the musical chosen must be a Broadway classic with a recognizable songbook. Given that rule, that leaves a number of Broadway favorites at the network’s disposal.
’Bye Bye Birdie’
Considering that these shows are likely meant to be family-friendly, 1960’s “Bye Bye Birdie” could have the right, fun tone. It also means NBC could cast sexy, young actors in the leads. The story is all about a pop star, who before being drafted into the army, performs a song for one lucky young lady. Ariana Grande would be perfect as #1 fan, Kim MacAfee and, as for the pop star Conrad Birdie, why not give “Awkward” and “Spectacular!” star Nolan Gerard Funk a call.
’West Side Story’
If “Bye Bye Birdie” doesn’t please NBC executives, Grande as Maria in “West Side Story,” which first hit the stage in 1957, seems almost like dream casting. Her voice and demeanor are perfect for the good girl who falls for the wrong guy. Heck, she’s already done a “Romeo and Juliet”-inspired music video. And, if they need the right guy to play Tony, this might be the right time for Joe Jonas to return to his musical theater roots.
“Grease” isn’t necessarily a “classic,” but it sure does have songs that are pretty identifiable. Plus it means that the world can finally be treated to Lourdes Leon (Madonna’s daughter) in the role of Rydell High’s baddest girl, Rizzo.
’How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’
Then there 1961’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which found recent success on Broadway thanks to young stars like Daniel Radcliffe, Darren Criss and Nick Jonas tackling the lead role of J. Pierrepont Finch. In fact, either Jonas or Criss would be perfect to bring it to the small screen. That kind of star power could bring the right buzz and credentials to the network after the backlash for “SOML.”