'The Music Man': NBC will air a live version of the musical

NBC says it will air a live production of 'The Music Man.' 'The Music Man' was previously adapted for TV in 2003.

L: Harold Filan/AP R: Jason Bell/ABC
'The Music Man': The film version released in 1962 starred Robert Preston and Shirley Jones (pictured left), while the 2003 TV version starred Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth (pictured right).

NBC says it's planning to air a live production of "The Music Man."

NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said Monday the network has acquired rights for a TV version of the 1957 Meredith Willson musical.

The network had success with a live production of "The Sound of Music" starring Carrie Underwood and is following that with a live version of "Peter Pan" in December.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers for "The Sound of Music" and "Peter Pan," did a 2003 TV version of "The Music Man" with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth.

Greenblatt did not say if Zadan and Meron would produce the live "Music Man." An air date wasn't announced.

A 1962 big-screen version of the musical starred Robert Preston and Shirley Jones.

“Music” also starred “True Blood” actor Stephen Moyer as Captain von Trapp, five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald as the Mother Abbess, and Broadway veterans Christian Borle and Laura Benanti as the captain's friend Max Detweiler and the captain's love interest Elsa Schrader (otherwise known as the Baroness), respectively. Associated Press writer Mark Kennedy said the “acting inexperience [of Underwood] was laid bare” but praised the singer for taking on the project, writing that “full credit goes to Underwood for trying, though. She was not just dancing and singing live in front of millions in a medium she is a novice at, but she also was stepping into the role made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film.” 

Kennedy praised the performances of Borle, Benanti, and McDonald, writing that “this is what these Tony Award winners do for a living and it showed."

No word yet on who will take on the roles of Peter, the Darling children, or Captain Hook in the planned December production of the story by J.M. Barrie, though Greenblatt stated that Peter will be played by a male performer and that singer Justin Bieber will not be taking on the role, according to TVLine.

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