ABC’s live production will starr Moana actress Auli’i Cravalho as Ariel. The production, to air on Nov. 5, will also star Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian.
Following the success of the first installment, ABC has ordered two more Live in Front of a Studio Audience specials for the 2019-20 season. The first new special will air this winter, while the second is slated for spring 2020. The classic sitcoms that will be the focus of each special will be announced at a later date. Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear will return to executive produce them along with Brent Miller, Will Ferrell, and Justin Theroux.
Jimmy Fallon and his Tonight Show staff embark on the high-wire act of two live shows following the first Democratic presidential primary debates Wednesday and Thursday.
ABC’s live renditions of classic sitcoms All in the Family and The Jeffersons closed out the season with strong ratings Wednesday night. The 90-minute special, Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons, averaged 10.36 million viewers and a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49. That’s more than double ABC’s average viewership for the time period this season and a roughly 50% bump in the 18-49 demographic.
Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes will star in re-creations of episodes from the influential Norman Lear sitcoms born in the 1970s. Lear and Jimmy Kimmel are hosting the ABC primetime special airing next month
Last week, Fox bought the rights to broadcast WWE SmackDown for five years. It made another five-year deal for Thursday night NFL games earlier this year. The two franchises are among the most popular on TV. Although the terms of each deal weren’t publicly disclosed, The Hollywood Reporter has reported their combined value at about $4 billion. The deals show how much Fox is willing to bet on sports and entertainment programming as it prepares for life as a leaner company.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live carried NBC to a win in the overnight ratings last evening. Airing from 8 to 10:23 p.m., Superstar drew a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 9.4 million viewers. NBC’s last live musical, Hairspray Live, drew a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 9 million viewers back in December 2016. It is also up slightly over Fox’s live version of the religious-themed The Passion musical from March 2016, which drew a 1.6 and 6.6 million viewers. However, since Jesus Christ Superstar ended at 10:23 p.m., its initial numbers will be subject to adjustment later today.
Hulu has added the live, linear version of the CW to its Hulu with Live TV platform. Hulu has had a deal with the CW to offer streaming on-demand content from the network, but this is the first time that the CW will be available live on Hulu.
On Easter, John Legend leads a cast that includes Sara Bareilles and Alice Cooper in a live NBC version of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. (AP photo)
NBC’s planned live event production of the classic musical with Jennifer Lopez in the lead role has been delayed for a second time due to the difficulty of coordinating with Lopez’s busy scheduley. The project was originally slated to be NBC’s holiday musical event for winter 2017 but was pushed to 2018 last May because of Lopez’s schedule. Now it won’t be taking flight until 2019 at the earliest.
Pushing the envelope for new live TV commercials, Fox Broadcasting will air what it says is the first-ever live TV commercial for a feature film — the 20th Century Fox Film movie The Greatest Showman. The two-and-a-half-minute-long spot will air during Fox’s three-hour live-music TV special A Christmas Story Live! that airs on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.
Based on the Puccini opera La Boheme, Rent follows the lives of struggling artists in New York City’s East Village. It’s by the late writer and composer Jonathan Larson. Casting details have not yet been announced.
Millennials don’t watch live TV most of the time. People aged 18-34 spend 55% of their video-watching time consuming content after it has already aired on live TV, according to a new study from the Consumer Technology Association. Only 45% of that time is spent with live television.
Fox has cast Maya Rudolph as the female lead of its newest live musical event, A Christmas Story, which will air Dec. 17. A Saturday Night Live alum who also showed her song-and-dance chops on a short-lived NBC variety show, Rudolph will star as the mother of nine-year old protagonist Ralphie Parker.
ABC has postponed its live-musical version of The Little Mermaid. The live production of the Broadway musical based on the classic Disney animated film had been scheduled for Oct. 3. No new premiere date has been set.
The network has pushed the live musical starring and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez from December to 2018, The delay is due to Lopez’s hectic schedule, which includes two other NBC projects.
Hulu is barely two weeks into the launch of its new live TV product and CTO Tian Lim says that so far, so good. But the process of building the service, taking on all the challenges associated with live TV and redesigning Hulu’s platform has been extremely challenging. Lim talks about the new UI, wrangling an unwieldy world of metadata and getting programmers and broadcasters on board with a new way to present live TV.
Wild Alaska Live will air over three nights on PBS on July 23, 26 and 30. Cameras placed in the Tongass National Forest, the Kenai Fjords National Park, in Hallo Bay and other locations will hunt for wildlife as the show discusses how the state’s human population interacts with nature.
Sling Media today rolled out its SlingStudio multicamera production and live video broadcasting system after announcing the product last month at NAB. The product starts at $999 and allows users to record, monitor and edit four HD video inputs from up to 10 connected cameras and smartphones. The system can output Facebook Live and YouTube, and also record to a USB hard drive, USB SSD or SD card for post-production.
Consumers have been seeking ways to avoid ads — signing up for ad-free subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video or digitally recording television shows so they can zip through the commercials. But network execs are determined to hold on to their pieces of the pie. They are working more closely with advertisers to weave products into the story lines of TV episodes and producing more shows that viewers will watch live.
The award-winning musical is being adapted as one of Fox’s next live productions. Fox’s show comes as the musical celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. More details and casting will be announced later. No premiere date has been set.
Producer Marc Platt will executive-produce the holiday event for this December, inspired by the feature film A Christmas Story and the Tony Award-Nominated A Christmas Story: The Musical.
The network will present a live version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Time Rice 1971 rock opera on Easter Sunday, April 1.
NBC expects ad sales for next year’s Winter Olympic in PyeongChang, South Korea, to exceed those for the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia. “We’re pacing a little bit ahead of where we were going into Sochi,” NBCUniversal sports ad-sales chief Dan Lovinger said Wednesday.
NBC’s primetime coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will air live across the United States, including on the West Coast, a first since the Games became a major television attraction in the late 1960s.
Starting on April 15, NBC will air live the show simultaneously across the country for the first time in its history, coinciding with the East Coast airing. This schedule change affects the final four episodes of the current season.
Big-time live TV broadcasts lately have been delivering the thrills — but not the ratings. The live TV meltdown isn’t going unnoticed by advertisers who, like cord-cutting viewers who have ditched their cable subscriptions, are increasingly feeling the pull of the internet.
The TV industry once regarded them as its great hope in the DVR age. But over the past year, everything from sports to special events have seen declines. Blame social media in part.
NBC hopes some innovative approaches will keep viewers interested and point the way toward more creativity among advertisers at a time viewers are accustomed to fast-forwarding through commercials. The live musical, which is quickly becoming a December tradition for NBC, is “the biggest test kitchen that we could possibly have,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairwoman of advertising sales and client partnerships at the network.
The live television musical has evolved into a bicoastal enterprise. What started out, with 2013’s The Sound of Music Live!, in a lower Broadway rehearsal space in New York, has evolved into a full-blown production on the Universal Studios backlot in California for Hairspray Live! which premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.