Given the success of The Sound of Music Live!, NBC has announced that the network is working to stage another live musical for 2014. NBC’s chairman of the entertainment division Robert Greenblatt and producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are said to be working together to narrow down a list of potential productions, according to a report by The New York Times.
The Sound of Music Live! dominated the night with NBC’s best 18-49 Thursday average, excluding sports, since the ER finale in April of 2009. In total number of viewers, the production served as NBC’s best Thursday average excluding sports since the Frasier finale in May of 2004 which drew 22.597 million viewers.
The trio acknowledges that the event was such a huge success in part because they casted country superstar Carrie Underwood in the leading role of Maria with Greenblatt expounding by saying, “I’m not sure almost 20 million people would have come out for a lot of other names.” Thus, it is understood that for future productions, equally big or even bigger stars are to be considered in order to attract audiences.
Greenblatt shared in a statement with The Times, “All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us. Rights holders of musicals have said, ‘Please do one of our shows.’ We’re excited to try it again.” He went on to say that the network was “circling a couple of titles” that featured ‘family-friendly Broadway classics with a lot of familiar songs.”
Greenblatt went on to share that an annual staging of a live musical by the network was a reasonable idea. “There’s enough to do a handful of these over the next years, if we keep increasing the learning curve,” he said. “There may be a little bit of a phenomenon to the first one of these. Who knows what happens [in] year 2, 3 or 4. But you’ve got to have events. I think we could do this again – and again and again.”