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NBC is having difficulties caging its Birdie.
For the second time, the network has delayed its Bye Bye Birdie live musical starring Jennifer Lopez.
Picked up in October 2016 to air in December 2017, Lopez’s busy schedule prompted NBC to push the live musical to December 2018. That is no longer the case, as Lopez’s scheduling as well as that of producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have prompted Birdie to be pushed to 2019. NBC is said to be searching for a new musical to fill the December 2018 opening. Should that not happen, the Bob Greenblatt-led network would go two holiday seasons without one of its trademark live productions.
Lopez is filming two movies this year and is committed to star and exec produce NBC drama Shades of Blue and serve as a judge on unscripted effort World of Dance — all on top of her Las Vegas residency, with the latter due to wrap in September.
Zadan and Meron, who have exec produced all of NBC’s live musicals, are currently hard at work on the network’s Easter production of Jesus Christ Superstar, set for April 1.
Still to be determined is when Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men live will air on the network, as the writer-director remains busy supporting awards contender Molly’s Game.
Based on the original 1960 Tony-winning musical and the 1963 film it inspired, Bye Bye Birdie centers on a hip-thrusting, Elvis-like music heartthrob named Conrad Birdie, who is scheduled to give a lucky Sweet Apple lady “One Last Kiss” before being drafted into the Army. However, his rock ‘n’ roll ways send his small-town reeling, giving the teens Birdie fever, shocking the parents with moral indignation and placing songwriter-agent Albert along with his savvy sweetheart, Rosie (Lopez), right in the thick of things.
Birdie is not the only live musical to hit a snag. ABC recently scrapped plans for its Little Mermaid live. Next up is NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar in April and Fox’s Rent, set for Jan. 27, 2019.
Variety first reported the Birdie delay.
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