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NBC is looking to start a new holiday tradition.
After the success of the ambitious The Sound of Music Live! last week that drew 18.6 million viewers, the network is committing to staging another live family-friendly musical production for the holiday season in 2014, NBC confirms to The Hollywood Reporter.
NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in an interview with The New York Times that they were “circling a couple of titles” that could be staged next year, to be led by Sound of Music producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. The only rules are that they must be Broadway classics with a slew of familiar songs.
“All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us,” Greenblatt told the Times. “Rights holders of musicals have said, ‘Please do one of our shows.’ We’re excited to try it again.”
Greenblatt also confirmed that live TV musicals may become an annual thing for the network come the holidays, voicing his belief that event television is crucial to the future of broadcast.
“There’s enough to do a handful of these over the next years, if we keep increasing the learning curve,” Greenblatt said. “There may be a little bit of a phenomenon to the first one of these. Who knows what happens year two, three or four. But you’ve got to have events. I think we could do this again — and again and again.”
Though Sound of Music took 18 months to put together, Greenblatt said the next live musical won’t take nearly as long. “Now that we have done it once, we don’t need 18 months again,” he said. “We know a lot about how to do it.”
THR previously reported that the price tag for the three-hour extravaganza that aired Dec. 5 was close to $9 million. A 22-song soundtrack featuring Carrie Underwood is available on iTunes, with an encore airing sometime before Christmas and a DVD/Blu-ray release on Dec. 17.
Meron had hinted in an interview with THR that he and Zadan had high hopes for more live TV events in the future should Sound of Music prove successful. “What we are hoping is in success that we open the door to another kind of entertainment that can exist on TV,” Meron said at the time.
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