10:03am PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC's 'The Wiz' Adds Ne-Yo, Common and Elijah Kelley
NBC is adding three more big names to the A-list cast of the upcoming live production of The Wiz.
Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley (Hairspray) and Common have been added to the star-studded lineup, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt announced at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Thursday.
Ne-Yo will play the Tin Man, Kelley will play the Scarecrow and Common will portray the gatekeeper to Oz.
The trio join Queen Latifah, who will portray the Wiz in the live production, with Mary J. Blige playing Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. David Alan Grier has landed the role of the Cowardly Lion. Stephanie Mills, who starred as Dorothy in the original Broadway production of The Wiz, is taking on the role of Aunt Em for the NBC rendition. And newcomer Shanice Williams has landed the role of Dorothy, following a nationwide casting call. Orange Is the New Black's Uzo Aduba will portray Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, while Glee's Amber Riley will play Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North.
The Wiz, which is set to air on Thursday, Dec. 3, is NBC's latest live musical production, following the Sound of Music and Peter Pan. The Wiz will be executive produced by Sound of Music and Peter Pan duo Zadan and Meron. Tony-winning director Kenny Leon will serve as stage director with Matthew Diamond as TV director. Harvey Fierstein will contribute new written material to the original book by William F. Brown.