NBC already has a shortlist of three musicals it is contemplating staging live on TV in 2014. The network immediately ordered a new live musical for next year after the massive ratings success of its Carrie Underwood-starring “The Sound of Music Live!,” and although the numerous listicles with suggestions from the Internet hive mind probably helped publicity-wise, they likely won’t have any effect on the actual decision-making process.
The follow-up is slated for holiday season 2014 and will be produced by “SoM” executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt tells Deadline that rights are currently being negotiated and the final decision will be made in January.
“We have to do these specials more efficiently,” Greenblatt admits — “The Sound of Music Live” reportedly cost around $9 million — but without having to do any market research to gauge public interest, and with the ratings success of “SoM,” the sequel will likely be cheaper.
Just don’t expect them to happen more than once a year. “I’d love to do more but it is not that easy to put them together,” Greenblatt says.
In other NBC news, the network’s Thursday nights could look very different in 2014. It’s no secret the former home of Must-See TV has been floundering in recent years, and the network’s attempts to patch the gaping holes in its schedule are about as effective as plugging a leak with a cotton ball.
Don’t expect any changes to come soon, though. “We are going to rethink and reconfigure and look at Thursday in a different light for next year,” Greenblatt tells Deadline. Translation: We can’t do much for midseason, but the fall is a different story.