‘Hairspray’ to Be NBC’s Next Live Musical!

John Travolta and Nikki Blonsky in 2007's Hairspray.
John Travolta and Nikki Blonsky in 2007's Hairspray. New Line/courtesy Everett Collection

Good morning, Baltimore! Tracy Turnblad and her trailblazing pals are back. That’s right, NBC is tackling Hairspray.

Coming off the success of this winter’s The Wiz Live!, NBC announced on Wednesday, January 13, that the network’s next live show would be Hairspray.

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NBC entertainment head Bob Greenblatt told reporters at the TCAs in Pasadena, Calif., “I am happy to say that we are hopefully going to produce a live new movie of Hairspray next December.”

Though Greenblatt added that the network is “really excited,” he also noted, “deals aren’t closed though.”

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Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced NBC’s other musicals, will be returning to spearhead the new project.

“We have dream casting, but it’s too early,” Greenblatt later told Us Weekly. When asked if they were looking at stars from the 2007 film version of the musical, he replied, “We haven’t even gotten that far, but I don’t think we’re going to replicate the movie.”

Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, David Alan Grier as Lion in The Wiz Live!
Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, Shanice Williams as Dorothy, David Alan Grier as Lion in The Wiz Live! Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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Hairspray was originally a John Waters film, released in 1988. It was later adapted into a Broadway musical in 2002, and the film adaptation of the musical came out five years later, starring John Travolta, Zac Efron and Nikki Blonsky.

When asked about casting Travolta in the new live production, Greenblatt told Us, “Oh sure, we’d take John Travolta. He did it. I don’t think that’s a possibility, but we’d be thrilled to have John Travolta.”

NBC staged its first live musical production in 2013 with The Sound of Music Live!, starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer. They followed that up in 2014 with Peter Pan Live!, featuring Allison Williams as the boy who never grows up.


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