Past live musical production on NBC include 2014's Peter Pan Live!, 2015's The Wiz Live!, 2016's Hairspray Live! and 2018's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

By Gabrielle Chung
May 12, 2021 05:12 PM
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Annie
Annie the Broadway musical (2012)
| Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty

NBC has found its next live musical event.

On Wednesday, the network announced that it will be bringing the Tony-winning musical Annie to the TV screen this holiday season.

Titled Annie Live!, the special will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron, who have worked on all of NBC's live musicals since 2013's The Sound of Music Live!.

"It is a joy to come back to NBC and produce a new live musical, a form I loved bringing back to life with my partners Neil Meron and the late Craig Zadan," Greenblatt said in a statement. "And we're thrilled to work with Susan Rovner and her new team because they share our belief in the power of broadcast television to bring families together for events like these."

Added Meron, "There are few musicals like 'Annie' where you know the words to every song and the overriding message — especially in the trying times we live in — is optimism. The song 'Tomorrow' means more than ever now, and it's not lost on us that even Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal are impacted by this little orphan who simply believes in the goodness of everyone!"

Annie Live! will be directed by Lear deBessonet, with Alex Rudzinski — whose live musical credits include Grease Live! and Rent: Live — acting as live television director and executive producer.

"As we look to drive big live audiences for NBC, we could think of no better way than to bring back the network's holiday musical tradition," Susan Rovner, Chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal television and streaming, said in a statement. "And there are no better partners to do this with than the incredible Neil Meron and Bob Greenblatt, who oversaw every live musical during the years he ran NBC. Under their leadership, Annie Live will bring a fresh perspective to this timeless classic, coupling a dynamic first-class creative team with casting choices that will ensure this is a must-watch event for the whole family."

NBC has found success with live musical events in the past. Previous productions include 2014's Peter Pan Live!, 2015's The Wiz Live!, 2016's Hairspray Live! and 2018's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

Based on the Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the original production of Annie opened on Broadway in 1977 and ran for nearly six years. It won seven Tony Awards in its opening year, including best musical.

Annie
Annie the movie (2015)
| Credit: Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

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The musical went on to spawn various productions and tours across the globe, including multiple Broadway revivals in 1997 and 2012.

In addition to the stage, Annie was adapted into movie in 1982, which starred Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, Ann Reinking, Bernadette Peters and Aileen Quinn.

A modern-day adaptation starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale was released in 2014.