What musical will/should NBC broadcast next? Survey results revealed!

Broadway soothsayerAfter the success of The Sound of Music, I predicted that NBC would broadcast another live musical in 2014.  And wouldn’t you know it, the next day, they announced that they would!

Ok, ok, I’ll admit it . . . you didn’t have to be a soothsayer to know that they were going give it another go when they got 20 million people to watch that first one.  In fact, that prediction was even easier than predicting, “Broadway ticket prices will increase this year!”  Doesn’t take a brain surgeon.

The harder part is predicting what NBC will choose to broadcast.  So I put that question to you, oh sayers-of-the-sooth.  What sayeth you?  What musical will the network broadcast?  Oh, and to add a little fantasy fun, I also asked, what musical should they broadcast.

I thought it fitting to reveal the results on Christmas Eve because, well, this is what you want NBC to give you for Christmas, now isn’t it?

So, drumroll please . . . here are your top 10 answers . . .


The Music Man (13.59%)
Peter Pan (8.73%)
South Pacific (8.73%)
My Fair Lady (6.79%)
Annie (6.79%)
The King and I (4.85%)
Oliver (4.85%)
Fiddler on the Roof (4.85%)
Oklahoma (3.83%)

Interesting.  Although Music Man was the favorite choice here, I have to disagree.  The Matthew Broderick/Kristin Chenoweth televised Music Man from 2003 isn’t a distant enough memory yet for put another one on the small screen.

Peter Pan is an interesting choice.  Too much for the kids, I’d think.  Not enough adults would be interested.  South Pacific has the same problem as Music Man, with the Glenn Close version still lingering in our minds.

A lot is going into this choice.  It needs to be a classic, appeal to a huge demo, and have great roles for non-stage stars (translation – they can pull off even if they aren’t the greatest actors).

Although sometimes I think NBC is going to want to spread the “rights holder” wealth and give the next broadcast to a non-R&H show (in which case I’d predict Fiddler), I’m going with The King and I as my bet.

And now . . .


Mame (5.98%)
The Music Man (4.27%)
Wicked (4.27%)
In The Heights (3.41%)
Gypsy (3.41%)
My Fair Lady (3.41%)
Funny Girl (2.56%)
Singin’ In The Rain (2.56%)
Ragtime (2.56%)

This one was a harder one for all of you. No real runaway.  Mame is a great choice.  (As is Hello Dolly.)  And realistic options as well.  What surprised me about this list is that there was no Sondheim in the top 10 of what you wanted to see.  Are you Sondheimed out?

My vote?  Well, I’d like to see ’em tackle Falsettos.  Wouldn’t you?  A prime time network musical about a real “modern family?”  Awesome.

Thanks for participating, everyone!  I’ll be sure to check back in on this blog when NBC does announce what they are going to do this coming year.

In the meantime, I hope Santa Claus and NBC brings you everything you want this Christmas!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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  • Ed Glazier says:

    I didn’t vote on the next NBC musical, but I wanted to point out re: SOUTH PACIFIC: In addition to the Glenn Close in 2001 (what were they thinking?) – there was also a Reba McEntire semi-staged concert version with the NY Philharmonic in 2006 and the Lincoln Center live stage performance in 2008. I can’t believe they would do another SOUTH PACIFIC. THE KING AND I and OLIVER have at least respectable film versions. I would definitely like to see something that had a terrible film version to sort of redeem it, like HELLO, DOLLY! or MAME. The problem with these (and maybe KING AND I?) is that the central roles may require stars that are less familiar to the TV audience. I do think that Carrie Underwood was a big part of the attraction for younger people who don’t generally watch musicals. Both HELLO DOLLY and MAME are probably better appreciated by adults than by the American TV family.

  • Ellen says:

    I’d like COMPANY- With of course, Raul Esparza to be the next NBC broadcast.

  • sjthespian says:

    I’m not Sondheimed out, but his musicals that are going to be watched by the average viewer are already available on DVD. PBS broadcast the rather odd Company production a few years ago. Who other than a true Sondheim fan would want to watch Merrily, Anyone Can Whistle (which I would love to see a production of) or Saturday Night?

    As much as I love Falsettos I just don’t see it airing on prime time in this lifetime. The show is just two quirky for the average viewer. As much as I would love to see a current show or something edgy, I think you’re right on the money that they will go with an old standby like King and I or So Pathetic.

  • Janis says:

    Did anyone notice the low numbers for Julie Andrews in Sound compared to Carrie’s? Julie’s perfromnce was edited for the screen and Carrie did it live.

    Live is better. Even filmed live is better.

  • nancy says:

    Though winter is a great time to uplift hearts with the sheer comedy of Mame, if NBC were being responsible to the political zeitgeist, they would show Carousel..why? It’s about disenfranchised people who feel they have few choices and who are judged cruelly by the economically more fortunate..every parent would like to sing When the Children are Asleep..” with the confidence that they will wake up and still be part of some sort of middle class structure.. now that the American poverty has moved into the middle classes, Carousel can speak to the merry go round of fortune..the wheel of fortune.. and how one can be knocked off or never let on … and the music is luscious.

  • George says:

    Yes! I believe the audience has registered a very strong vote (by the revivals they attend and the local productions they mount – where they MUST bring in their core audience – and “Sondheim” – and all the musicals of that ilk – are… out…

    And, by that I mean, there is a vast gap between compositions that are unaplogetically melodic, harmonic and based on a style of musical theatre that goes back to, well, Cole Porter’s influnced by the Viennese Operetta (if you have had a chance to listen thru the catalog of Strauss and Lehar)


    The “modern” composers – who have been way too much under the influence of the Atonal Classical composers that questioned all of the above aesthetics… and decided to write… the opposite… almost a mathematical formulation of music and avoiding anything that sounds like something familar…

    And about half the composer and musicals are sticking with this “Sondheim” lite style… and “Great Comet” “Matilda” and it’s not working i.e. it will not be revived…

    So looking at the finalists – it does not surprise me that – even amongst NY Theatre people – very traditional works have made it to the top of the list! But then we are “producers” and don’t really want to produce a “flop” factoring in that the audience beyond Broadway is going to be very different than the people comes here and pay $$$ to see Musicals Live…

    After much conversation (for all the obvious reasons) I feel that the 18 million draw was 90% Carrie Underwood… that those 18 million would not likely see a musical – if they came to NY – unless Carrie Underwood was IN it! And there we have the Ricky Martin in “Evita” problem… quick bucks, but no long term prospects…

    So I’ll stick with gut feeling that – which – of these musicals is (almost) completely irrelevant… it is a “star” that they manage to sign-up that will be the draw… and it has to be intriguing enuff – and (s)he has to be talented enuff – to carry it off (No “Sting” singing “Three Penny Opera”) and it has gotta be gotta be, for want of a better moniker, and “American Idol” success (or the other “Gong Show” contestants that survived the process)

    Then people will gather to see (for “free”) that Star in “Peter Pan” or “Oklahoma” or whatever…

    But NOT “Sondheim” or any other of the “Emperor has No Melody” shows… in that much I DO trust the general public over the “experts” and inside crowd….


  • Fred Landau says:

    Regarding MAME, I think we forget (when we just think about the show’s overall ebullient mood) that the writing has a smart realty-based barbed air of “let’s face it, things are better when you’re rich.”

    Except while actually watching the show, I think we forget that the “need” for a little Christmas comes from the lack of money, and the answer “We got a little Christmas” comes from a rich man coming into the plot to treat them and intervene with money. (And the man with money conveniently dies, but leaves Mame with all his money, cash without which she was frankly a total mess at dealing with life). It’s a more acerbic, reality-based show than many think as far as how important it is to be rich.

    [You can still note that Mame is a positive role model – when she lost her money, Mame went out and worked her butt off rather than wallowing in self-pity, which is a good message, even if she proved disastrous as it. It’s a good fantasy message, but can it be embraced wholeheartedly like Sound of Music?]

  • George says:

    Julie’s “Sound of Music” vs Carrie…

    “Apples and Oranges” – IF I want to see “Sound of Music” I am not going to watch a commercial ridden broadcast… I am going pop in my Blue-Ray and pipe it thru my Surround Sound system… and re-live the experience for the 100th time…

    But I do agree that LIVE Theatre is BETTER than taped… but then LIVE THEATRE is also better than “Live” taped performances…

    Though I do enjoy the Met HD broadcasts – better than Live at the Met – but mostly because of the superior camera work that gets you up close and personal (and the cost!)

    I wouldnt’ have walked out on “Carrie” doing a Live Performance… but I couldn’t watch past “Lonely Goatherder” so that – too – is a factor… don’t remember seeing the tune-out factor???



  • George says:

    Sorry, waiting for everyone to recover from “Christmas” – so I got time…

    “Mame” is one of the GREAT Musicals that was trashed by casting Lucille Ball…

    I could see “Mame” being done along the lines of “Chicago” and being successful… or as a Live Broadcast… but you have to consider that the Start would not be a young pop/country star… but an iconic singer… with some “road miles” but still going strong because – like Aunty Mame – she is indomintable!

  • Mike Veasey says:

    Sorry to be late to this debate, but I believe Guys & Dolls with Justin Timberlake as Sky would be huge. Could even put Carrie Underwood in as Sarah, a role much more suited to her acting experience.

    BTW: I absolutely hate Oliver and Music Man!

    Mike V

  • PattyK says:

    There are so many choices, but I like MAME–Kristin Chenoweth has wanted to do this–has fan base from TV, too. Also South Pacific again with Reba and Brian Stokes Mitchell.

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