NBC Announces 'The Wiz' Live Musical Special

The next live production from Craig Zadan and Neil Meron is set to air on December 3.

AceShowbiz - NBC has announced "The Wiz" as its third live musical special to follow up "The Sound of Music Live!" and "Peter Pan Live!". Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who executive produced the previous two specials, will be back on hand as executive producers for the next live production.

NBC revealed earlier this year that it snagged the rights to "The Wiz" and the 1957 hit "The Music Man", but eventually went with "The Wiz". The network will team up with Cirque du Soleil's new stage theatrical division for "The Wiz". After the television premiere on December 3, the musical will then become a Broadway revival for a 2016-2017 season.

"We love this yearly tradition and we're more excited than ever to not only bring another Broadway musical to America's living rooms, but also see it land on Broadway as well," said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. "It's a natural next step for our live musical events and we're so pleased to be in business with this award-winning creative team and Scott Zeiger, President and Managing Director of Cirque du Soleil's new theatrical division. Cirque's incredible imagination will help bring the fantasy world of Oz vividly to life and give this great show a modern spin on the age-old story we all love."

Zadan said, "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to not only produce this as our next live musical for NBC, but to then see it move to Broadway for a new generation to experience." Meron added, "It will be a joy to work again with Kenny Leon, who did 'Steel Magnolias' and 'Raisin in the Sun' with us."

"The Wiz" is a 1975 Broadway hit based on "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". It reimagines L. Frank Baum's tale with an all-black cast and an NYC-inspired Land of Oz. It was turned into a movie starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Lena Horne in 1978.

Kenny Leon will direct both the TV production and the Broadway revival. Casting for both projects has not been announced yet.

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