ABC is poised to go on the record — live.
The network is teaming with Dick Clark Productions and the creators of live stage shows For the Record to develop For the Record Live, a genre-bending production that turns soundtracks of iconic directors’ films into live entertainment events.
For the Record, created and produced by Shane Scheel and Anderson Davis, started in 2010 in a small East Hollywood with staged performances based on the work of directors Quentin Tarantino, John Hughes, Baz Luhrmann, Martin Scorsese and more. In the years since, FTR has grown to stage events in New York, Chicago, Austin’s South by Southwest, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, a residency at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, a co-production with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas and more.
FTR features both newcomers and established stars — Rumer Willis, Janel Parrish, Tracie Thoms, Barrett Foa, Lindsey Gort, Lindsay Pearce, Ginifer King and more have participated in various productions.
Each performance takes the songs of various directors’ films and molds the interactive show into one cohesive theater-in-the-round performance. (Watch clips from Dear John Hughes and the Tarantino performances, below.)
“Five years ago, we set out to create a live production that celebrated movies and the people who make them. We built a production in Hollywood and filled it with talent paying tribute to the biggest icons of the movie and music industries,” said Scheel. “Over the years, we’ve been privileged to welcome many of these directors and stars of their movies to our shows. Their experiences at our shows are what sparked the idea for the live television adaptation of For the Record. We could not imagine better partners than ABC and the legendary Dick Clark Productions to help make our vision come alive on television.”
For the Record Live will be executive produced by Dick Clark Productions CEO Allen Shapiro, president Mike Mahan, exec vp development Mark Bracco and Scheel. Dick Clark Productions exec director of programming Ben Roy will co-executive produce.
“For the Record Live is a first-of-its-kind live musical event made for ABC,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey. “The show will be a game changer for the genre and the network is proud to partner with Dick Clark Productions and For the Record for this exciting experience.”
For the Record Live gives ABC an entry into the live musical arena following the breakout success of NBC’s December live musicals including The Wiz and the upcoming Hairspray and A Few Good Men. Fox got into the game last year with its live rendition of Grease. For ABC’s part, the network also is plotting a reboot of Dirty Dancing, though that will not be live. Fox also is reviving The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a musical special, though that, too, will be recorded in advance.
Live events — including musicals, awards shows and sports — have become increasingly valuable to broadcast networks in the DVR era. The specials, regardless of their quality, become instant watercooler conversation pieces as viewers are forced to watch live to become part of the immediate dialogue.