NBC announced that it will present a new television production of the classic musical “Peter Pan” live on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. The announcement was made by Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC’s entertainment division, at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Sunday.
The network had received a successful response to “The Sound of Music Live!” last December, and the show's producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, will return as executive producers for “Peter Pan.”
“We’re very pleased to be underway on ‘Peter Pan’ as our next live holiday musical for the whole family,” Greenblatt said. “We were all delighted to see how ‘The Sound of Music Live!’ struck such a chord in December and brought nearly 19 million people to the live telecast plus another several million viewers over the weekend.”
He added: “In the hopes that lightning strikes twice, we think we’ve landed on another great Broadway musical – which ironically also starred Mary Martin – that is a timeless classic for all audiences, young and old, who just never want to grow up.”
The original Broadway production of “Peter Pan” was in 1954, and it starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook, both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances.
NBC had broadcast “Peter Pan” live back in 1955 to an audience of 65 million viewers, giving the show the highest rating for a single-night program at the time. It again broadcast the show live in 1956 and in 1960.
“We’re thrilled to be reteaming with NBC and Bob Greenblatt in bringing ‘Peter Pan’ back to its roots as a live television event,” Zaden and Meron said. “We hope to create the joy that has made this musical so beloved. We would like a whole new generation to experience ‘Peter Pan’ and for families across the country to share the magic.”
NBC has also given a 10-episode order for “Emerald City” in a reimagining of the classic Frank. L. Baum books, which have also inspired “The Wizard Of Oz” and “Wicked.” The production company for “Emerald City” is Universal Television, while writer Matt Arnold and Josh Friedman will be executive producers.