Fox To Air Live Jesus Musical Event ‘The Passion’

Netflix Open To Streaming Live Sports, But…

Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos said the streaming giant could one day get into the live sports games — but only if it owned and created the event itself. The company isn’t interested in buying rights from established sports leagues because, according to Sarandos, “the leagues hold all the pricing power.”

REVIEW

‘The Wiz Live’ Has Real Heart, Playfulness

An exuberant, inventive The Wiz Live on Thursday night breathed new life into the notion of full-scale musicals on live TV with a happy serving of ’70s soul and R&B, updated with a 2015 vibe. Starring a nice mix of pop music heavyweights, Hollywood stars and Broadway veterans, the show had a heart and playfulness that was missing from The Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood and Peter Pan Live. It even came in under three hours.

Wheeler Praises NBC Visual Description Tech

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on NBC’s broadcast of The Wiz Live Thursday: “During this time of year, we’re reminded that everyone should have access to the joy of the season. That’s why it’s ‘genius’ that Comcast and NBC Universal will enable Americans with vision loss to enjoy a live broadcast show, The Wiz Live, through visual description technology. Now, Americans with visual impairments across the country will be able to fully experience a lion get his courage, a scarecrow get his brain, and a tinman find his heart through this technology. It’s a historic first for live TV entertainment.”

Future Of NBC’s Live Musicals On The Line

Two years ago, NBC’s The Sound of Music was alive for a huge audience of 19 million viewers. But last year, Peter Pan Live crashed with less than half that. So the pressure is on Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of tonight’s The Wiz Live, to deliver.

‘The Wiz’ To Air Description For Sight-Impaired

NBC parent Comcast says this will be the first live entertainment program in U.S. history to be accessible in this way to those who are blind. The vocal description is a narration track interspersed between existing pauses in dialogue that describes the show’s visual elements such as facial expressions, settings, costumes and stage direction.

After TV, ‘The Wiz’ Heads To Broadway

A new production to be broadcast live on NBC this week before hopping to Broadway will include a tweaked score and of-the-minute dance moves.

NBC Lands Reddi-Wip As ‘Wiz’ Sponsor

NBC on Thursday night will ease on down the road with Reddi-wip, as the ConAgra Foods brand will serve as a key sponsorship partner of the network’s primetime production of The Wiz Live! Devised as an extension of Reddi-Wip’s recently launched “Share the Joy” campaign, the dairy topping’s support of NBC’s third live Broadway musical adaptation in as many years will include branded content executions that are contextually relevant to the overarching Wiz narrative.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Why We Still Get Excited About Live TV

On Thursday night, Shanice Williams will be either a star or another casualty of the snark-infested waters of social media. Williams is the completely untested lead of The Wiz Live!, NBC’s third TV foray into live musical theater, airing at 8 p.m. We’re still thrilled by the live event, something TV has been good at since its birth. If it’s live, we still show up for the shared experience. More and more, networks are betting on the fascination of the event that happens as you watch, the tension of tightrope walking without a net.

First Promo For Fox’s ‘Grease: Live’

Fox aired the first video promo for the star-studded, live production during Tuesday night’s episode of Scream Queens.

DMA 13

WXYZ Detroit Airs Live Tree Lighting

Scripps-owned ABC affiliate WXYZ Detroit (DMA 13) joins the Detroit 300 Conservancy to kick off the holiday season on Friday, Nov. 20, at the 2015 Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by DTE Energy Foundation at Campus Martius Park. WXYZ will Light Up the Season, with a one-hour live broadcast beginning at 7 p.m.  The holiday […]

DMA 3: CHICAGO

WLS To Air Magnificant Mile Lights Festival

NBC Releases First Trailer For ‘The Wiz Live!’

‘Undateable’ To Be Live On Both Coasts

NBC is changing the game plan for returning comedy series Undateable. After going live on both coasts in the third season premiere, the multi-camera comedy was slated to switch to the Saturday Night Live model for the rest of the season — doing a live show in the East, which gets tape-delayed for the rest of the country. That was done once last Friday but starting with Episode 3 tonight, Undateable will go back to mounting two live telecasts a night for the rest of its 13-episode order.

COMMENTARY BY STEVE SMITH

Live TV Is Losing Its Default Status

DVRs and OTT services have been eroding the primacy of live TV for years, but in just the last two, primetime viewing has hit a clear tipping point. According to the latest tracking study of TV habits from Hub Entertainment Research, the share of viewers who default to live broadcasts when turning on the TV has plummeted since 2013, from 50% of the total to 34%.

NBC Experiments With Live ‘Undateable’

The business model at NBC still works best when people watch shows when they’re on. As Undateable returns for a third season tomorrow with a one-hour premiere, it’s expanding last season’s live-episode experiment to the whole season.

Why NBC Is Betting Big This Fall On Live TV

Forty years after launching Saturday Night Live, NBC’s mantra this fall seems to be Every Night Live. The network, hoping to stay No. 1 this season in adults 18-49, will try to entice audiences with live programming on five different nights: Sunday (Sunday Night Football), Monday (The Voice), Tuesday (The Voice and Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris), Friday (Undateable) and Saturday (SNL).

Don Mischer To Keynote LiveTV: LA

Producer/director Don Mischer has been named a keynote speaker at the the second annual LIVETV: LA conference, which will return on Nov. 17 to the Los Angeles Hilton/Universal City. Winner of 15 Emmy Awards and a record 10 Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, Mischer will address the crowd of live-television industry professionals about his experiences in the world of of “High-Risk, Live Television.”

Don Mischer To Keynote LiveTV: LA

Producer/director Don Mischer has been named a keynote speaker at the the second annual LIVETV: LA conference, which will return on Nov. 17 to the Los Angeles Hilton/Universal City. Winner of 15 Emmy Awards and a record 10 Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, Mischer will address the crowd of live-television industry professionals about his experiences in the world of of “High-Risk, Live Television.”

Shanice Williams Cast as Dorothy ‘The Wiz Live’

David Alan Grier Joins NBC’s ‘The Wiz Live’

Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah Join ‘The Wiz’

Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah have been cast in NBC’s live version of the musical The Wiz, the network announced Tuesday. Latifah will star as the Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City. Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.

‘Emerald City’ Finds Its Dorothy In Adria Arjona

NBC Sets Casting Call For Dorothy In ‘The Wiz Live’

Networks Hope To Boost Ratings With Live TV

Can live TV rescue the commercial broadcast networks? With viewers clamoring to watch their favorite shows on their own schedules, the networks are frustrated, advertisers are antsy and accurate ratings increasingly harder to calculate. Live TV might be the key to drawing viewers back to primetime on the network clock, and no one will test it more in the fall than NBC.

Stephanie Mills Joins ‘The Wiz Live!’ On NBC

Fieldcraft Studios Uses Quicklink For Marathon

The Marathon des Sables — a grueling, 256 km, six-day race in the south-Moroccan desert — has recently been completed by the British 71-year-old, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Fieldcraft Studios took up the task to film live media segments of what has been called “the toughest footrace on Earth” to be broadcast back to the United […]

‘General Hospital’ To Go Live In May

ABC’s General Hospital will present not one but two episodes live. The special broadcasts will air Friday, May 15, and Monday, May 18, just as the May sweeps rating period is drawing to a close.

NBC’s Next Live Musical Will Be ‘The Wiz’

NBC said Monday it will air a live production of the hit 1970s stage reinvention of The Wizard of Oz on Dec. 3. The network says its partner on the TV version is Cirque du Soleil’s new stage theatrical division, which will then present The Wiz on Broadway for the 2016-17 season.

NBC’s ‘Undateable’ Slots One Hour Live Ep.

The buddy comedy Undateable will air a live hour-long episode on May 5. The multicamera bromance sitcom from Bill Lawrence and Adam Sztykiel returns for its second season on March 17.

WLS Chicago To Air St. Patrick’s Day Parade Live

Will Ads Follow Boxing Back To Primetime?

Looking for the latest proof of the power of live programming? Turn to NBC on Saturday night. Before you sit through another SNL cold open, you’ll be able to catch the return of professional boxing to network primetime. Yes, the sport that once created megastars like Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson with Saturday afternoon exposure (on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and competing programming on CBS and NBC), is back on free TV.

CBS Sets Live ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ Series

FORRESTER RESEARCH DATA

Only 40% Of Millennials Watch Live TV

Forrester Research finds the greatest difference in the video consumption habits of Gen Xers and Younger Boomers (35 to 58) versus millennials (18 to 34) is when it comes to watching live TV broadcasts. 52% of Gen Xers and Younger Boomers view live TV in a typical month, while only 40% of millennials do the same.

TCA WINTER PRESS TOUR

NBC Eyes ‘The Wiz’ As Live Musical

At the upfronts in May, NBC’s Bob Greenblatt said the network was planning a Music Man production as its next live musical from The Sound of Music and Peter Pan executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. That project is still on track, but this morning at the TCA press tour Greenblatt said the network also has closed a rights deal for The Wizard Of Oz-themed The Wiz.

OPEN MIKE FROM GEIR BRYN-JENSEN

Remote Production Can Revolutionize Live TV

Nevion CEO Geir Bryn-Jensen: “Viewers today eat up live programming of all types. Live programming — with its potential for enrichment and analysis — is also a powerful asset for broadcasters against the encroachment of OTT services. The ability to cover news live, cost effectively and with the highest quality is more significant than ever for today’s newsroom. Remote production is now a practical, deliverable, proven proposition, enabled by the ability to transport multiple signals, either uncompressed or with gentle mezzanine compression, over a range of fabrics, at very low latencies.”

COMMENTARY BY HANK STUEVER

‘Peter Pan’ Flies Clear Of Twitter’s Croc Jaws

Take that, haters: NBC’s Peter Pan Live! did not provide nearly the fodder you so voraciously anticipated. The show went off Thursday night without any major hitch or clunky notes — and was far more entertaining and certainly more endurable than its zombie predecessor, last year’s The Sound of Music Live! The worst thing you could say about Peter Pan Live! was that it was a lousy hate-watch and, thus, a tiny bit boring.

‘Peter Pan Live!’ Augurs Future Of Broadcast

When NBC airs its live musical production of Peter Pan tonight, it hopes audiences will do something entirely old-fashioned. For three full hours, the network is betting children will put down game consoles, parents will shut down Netflix and everyone will gather together in front of the family-room TV to watch Allison Williams and Christopher Walken sing their way through a classic fairy tale — without skipping over the commercials.

Q&A WITH BOB GREENBLATT

NBC’s Latest Live Gamble Only A Day Away

NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt had a hit last year with The Sound of Music Live and he’s hoping for a repeat with Thursday’s Peter Pan Live. Greenblatt talks about last year’s big gamble, why it ended up being so successful, his other plans for live TV and which musicals he is — and isn’t — considering putting on the air going forward.

‘Peter Pan’ Aims For Holiday Heights On NBC

The boy who won’t grow up flies back onto TV screens this week in NBC’s new holiday musical, Peter Pan Live! Can the classic about kids whisked away to Neverland bring the magic to make these live musicals a yearly event? Executive producer Neil Meron thinks so. After last year’s successful Sound of Music Live, he and partner Craig Zadan and the NBC team put a lot of thought into choosing just the right follow-up.