NBC has set the Broadway musical Annie as its next live TV musical, planning a holiday 2021 broadcast. The production will be the latest in NBC’s string of live TV musical broadcasts, which have included takes on The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, Hairspray, and Jesus Christ Superstar.
City Center Encores Artistic Director Lear deBessonet will helm the broadcast, leading a creative team that includes choreographer Sergio Trujillo, costume designer Paul Tazewell, and scenic designer Jason Sherwood. Both Tazewell and Sherwood are Emmy-winning veterans of live TV musicals; Tazewell designed costumes for both The Wiz Live! and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert for NBC, and Sherwood served as production designer for FOX’s Rent: Live.
The live musical will be NBC’s first since 2019, when Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert aired starring Brandon Victor Dixon, John Legend, and Sara Bareilles. The network has previously announced live productions of The Music Man and Bye Bye Birdie, neither of which have yet materialized.
Alex Rudzinski, returning from NBC’s Hairspray Live! and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, will be the production’s live television director and executive producer. Rudzinski is also a veteran of FOX’s Grease Live! and Rent: Live. Also serving as executive producer are former NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron. The event is being produced by Chloe Productions.
Annie, which premiered on Broadway in 1977, features a score by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, and a book by Thomas Meehan. Based on the Depression-era newspaper comic series, the musical centers on its plucky title character and her journey from orphanage to the opulent Warbucks mansion. NBC’s live television production will be the fourth screen adaptation for the musical following feature films released in 1982 and 2014 and an ABC-produced TV movie in 1999, leaving it tied with the 1954 musical adaptation of Peter Pan for number of screen productions.