NBC Won’t Do ‘Hair Live!’

NBC is not going through with its Hair Live! production, which was scheduled for May. The network said it remains committed to live musicals, with a focus on those with “wide appeal.”

“Live musicals are a part of this network’s DNA and we are committed to continuing that tradition with the right show at the right time,” said Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks, co-chairmen, NBC Entertainment. “Since these shows are such enormous undertakings, we need titles that have a wide appeal and we’re in the process of acquiring the rights to a couple of new shows that we’re really excited about.”

Bob Greenblatt was NBC Entertainment chairman until he stepped down in September. He was a huge champion of the live musical productions, which have included The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and Jesus Christ Superstar Live on NBC.

NBC has planned to do Bye Bye Birdie with Jennifer Lopez, but that has been pushed back due to Lopez's busy schedule. 

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron were executive producers on NBC’s live musicals, and were slated to do so for Hair Live! Zadan passed away in August.

Hair is about hippies living the bohemian life in New York while opposing the Vietnam War. Hair’s songs include “(The Age of) Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In.”

The show was to be produced by Universal Television, MGM Television, and Zadan/Meron Productions.

Fox’s live production of Rent went on January 27. An injury to a prime cast member the day before meant much of what aired was recorded. Ratings were not strong.

In terms of its future live musical productions, Fox is looking to air an original jukebox musical.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone is content director at B+C and Multichannel News. He joined B+C in 2005 and has covered network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television, including writing the "Local News Close-Up" market profiles. He also hosted the podcasts "Busted Pilot" and "Series Business." His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Boston Globe and New York magazine.