NBC To Do ‘Annie Live!’ Later This Year

Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett and others on stage in a scene from the 1982 film 'Annie'.
Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett and others on stage in a scene from the 1982 film 'Annie'. (Image credit: Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

NBC will air Annie Live! toward the end of 2021, with Robert Greenblatt executive producing the stage show alongside Neil Meron. Greenblatt was chairman of NBC Entertainment from 2011 to 2018.

“As we look to drive big live audiences for NBC, we could think of no better way than to bring back the network’s holiday musical tradition,” said Susan Rovner, chairman, entertainment content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “And there are no better partners to do this with than the incredible Neil Meron and Bob Greenblatt, who oversaw every live musical during the years he ran NBC. Under their leadership, Annie Live will bring a fresh perspective to this timeless classic, coupling a dynamic first-class creative team with casting choices that will ensure this is a must-watch event for the whole family.”

Meron has been executive producer on all of NBC’s live musicals, including Peter Pan Live! and The Wiz Live!, since the network did The Sound of Music Live! in 2013. 

“It is a joy to come back to NBC and produce a new live musical, a form I loved bringing back to life with my partners Neil Meron and the late Craig Zadan,” said Greenblatt. “And we’re thrilled to work with Susan Rovner and her new team because they share our belief in the power of broadcast television to bring families together for events like these.”

Zadan died in 2018.

“There are few musicals like Annie where you know the words to every song and the overriding message — especially in the trying times we live in — is optimism,” said Meron. “The song ‘Tomorrow’ means more than ever now, and it’s not lost on us that even Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal are impacted by this little orphan who simply believes in the goodness of everyone!”

Alex Rudzinski will be live television director and executive producer. Lear deBessonet will direct the production and Sergio Trujillo will choreograph. 

Annie Live! will be available to stream on Peacock following the broadcast.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.