11:03am PT by Kate Stanhope
Martin Short, Derek Hough Join NBC's 'Hairspray Live!'
NBC's Hairspray Live! continues to draw impressive names.
Martin Short and Derek Hough have signed on for the upcoming musical production, NBC announced Wednesday.
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Hairspray Live! takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV program, so when she wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy’s mother is the indomitable Edna Turnblad, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white Corny Collins Show.
Saturday Night Live alum Short will play Edna's husband, Wilbur, and Dancing With the Stars' Hough will step into the role of TV show host Corny Collins. The pair join the previously announced Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle and Harvey Fierstein as Edna. Fierstein also is writing the teleplay for the production, which hails from executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
The duo have been behind the past three live musical productions on NBC, which includes The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz, which produced impressive ratings for the network in December. Hairspray Live! is set to air Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. ET and marks the first time the live telecast will be filmed in Los Angeles.
Zadan and Meron will be joined by The Wiz Live! director Kenny Leon, live television director Alex Rudzinski and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots).
For Short, the news comes as he prepares to co-headline a new NBC variety show with Maya Rudolph that is set to debut in May. Hough, who broke out on Dancing With the Stars, has seen his acting credits rise with appearances on Jane the Virgin and Nashville, the latter of which he is slated to return to next month.
“We are very happy to have the inimitable Martin Short to play Edna’s loving husband, Wilbur,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. “We welcome Marty to the network in May in his new variety show with Maya Rudolph and we think he will be the perfect long-term companion to Harvey’s Edna. And hands-down the best dancer on television and one of the best in the entertainment business, Derek Hough, will be perfect in the role of Corny Collins, the cocky song-and-dance-man who hosts the TV show every teenager in Baltimore wants to be on.”