According to Joe Adalian, editor for New York Magazine’s Vulture, on a percentage basis, ratings gains for NBC’s THE WIZ LIVE! are now on par with the network’s SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE, which aired in 2013. This year’s live production added approximately 20% and garnering a 2.9 A18-49 and over 11 million viewers. In addition, with three days of DVR replays, THE WIZ LIVE jumped to a 4.0 A18-49 (+0.6) and 13.4M (+2M) viewers.
The Shanice Williams musical was not only a stud in Thursday night’s ratings, it’s now the most-tweeted live special program in Nielsen history. That excludes awards shows and political events, and dates back to October 2011. Plus, “The Wiz Live!” very comfortably topped its predecessors “The Sound of Music Live!” and “Peter Pan Live!” combined in terms of total tweets.
Last night, 279,363 people sent 1.64 million tweets about “The Wiz Live!,” which were seen by 6.37 million people a total of 128.95 million times.
Universal Pictures has found a director for Monster High, the live action film the studio hopes will add to its arsenal of movie franchises. The job is going to Ari Sandel, who won the Oscar for his short film West Bank Story and followed up by directing The Duff for CBS Films.
Universal Pictures has just acquired In Sight, a character-driven psychological thriller pitch from prolific producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron that has Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached to star. Gordon-Levitt, of course, stars in Robert Zemeckis’ 3D pic The Walk, which opened last night in previews. That movie is from TriStar, and we hear TriStar and Sony were all over In Sight too, but Uni wanted it and got the pitch for high-six figures to win a bidding war.
A decade after Six Feet Under ended its run on HBO, another funeral home family drama with an unusual twist is headed to TV. NBC has put in development an hourlong workplace soap with musical elements from Jason Katims’ True Jack Prods. and Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s Storyline Entertainment.
NBC has put in development By The Book, a single-camera comedy from Dava Savel(Will & Grace) & Tim Sullivan (Letters To Juliet) and Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’sStoryline Entertainment.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are two of the most renowned producers working in the industry today. They are best known for their work on the past three Academy Awards ceremonies, The Sound of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live! and Smash. Their Broadway credits include Promises, Promises and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Film credits include Hairspray, Chicago, A Raisin in the Sun and Footloose. Upcoming projects include The Wiz Live!, the movie adaptation of Pippin and much more.
The pair chatted with Richard Ridge and shared photos from their personal collection and amazing careers. Check these special photos out below!
BroadwayWorld.com recently sat down with the very busy dynamic duo of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to discuss… well, everything.
Ne-Yo and Common have joined the cast of NBC’s upcoming holiday production ofThe Wiz Live!, set to air December 3. Additionally, Elijah Kelley (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) has been cast as the Scarecrow, the role Michael Jackson played in the 1978 movie version (that’s him on the right in the photo). Ne-Yo is set to play the Tin Man, and Common will play the non-singing role of the gatekeeper of Oz.
Two more A-listers have been invited to ease on down the road!
Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba and Glee actress Amber Riley have been added to the burgeoning cast of NBC’s upcoming live-action remake of The Wiz.
Aduba, a classically trained singer and Broadway actress, will be playing Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Riley will play opposite Aduba, stepping into the shoes of Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North.
Tony Award nominee and multi-talented actor and singerDavid Alan Grier is joining NBC’s highly anticipated holiday production of “The Wiz Live!,” set for Thursday, Dec. 3.
Grier will play the Cowardly Lion, who asks Dorothy if he can join her in her journey down the Yellow Brick Road and ask the Wiz for some courage, which he is severely lacking.
Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige will be part of “The Wiz Live!” – the song and dance retelling of “The Wizard of Oz” slated for NBC on Dec. 3.
Like Carrie Underwood and Allison Williams before them, the Grammy-winning recording artists will be part of a live musical extravaganza. The Emmy- and Oscar-nominated “Bessie” star will play the all-powerful Wiz, and Blige will play baddie Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, the network announced Tuesday.
There are a lot of unusual paths from page to stage, but here’s one of the more meta: the imaginary show-within-a-show at the heart of a star-crossed television series is now being adapted for possible real world production.
NBC Entertainment and Universal Pictures on Monday said that they would begin an effort to develop “Bombshell,” the Marilyn Monroe bio-musical featured in “Smash,” from a collection of songs into a full-blown show.
NBC is taking Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman and Jeff Dye on a major adventure throughout Asia. They have been tapped to join Better Late Than Never, an alternative comedy series based on the South Korean format Grandpas Over Flowers from content company CJ E&M. The one-hour series will begin production in August, traveling to Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Chang Mai before heading home.
NBC has rounded out its creative team for The Wiz Live!, which airs December 3. Fatima Robinson has signed on as choreographer, Grammy winner Harvey Mason Jr is set as music producer, and Tony and Grammy winner Stephen Oremus will serve as music director, orchestrator and music co-producer.
Additional casting was announced today by producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for the concert presentation of the musical created within the NBC TV series “Smash,” created by Theresa Rebeck, Bombshell, with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Marc Shaimanand Scott Wittman, directed by Joshua Bergasse and Scott Wittman with choreography by Joshua Bergasse and music direction by Marc Shaiman. The one-night only landmark event benefitting The Actors Fund takes place on Monday evening, June 8, 2015 at The Minskoff Theatre (1515 Broadway).
BWW has confirmed today that Fatima Robinson (“The Voice,” “Dreamgirls” film, “VH1 Hip Hop Honors”) will serve as choreographer for the highly anticipated THE WIZ LIVE on NBC.
Robinson’s work as a choreographer and video director for the Black Eyed Peas has earned her several MTV VMA nominations, including a win for Best Hip Hop Video for “My Humps” and Best Choreography in a Music Video for “Hey Mama.” She is also the director and choreographer behind the popular commercial campaigns for Nair and Old Navy, as well as Fergie’s “Fergalicious” which won “Best International Video” at the 2007 Much Music Awards.
NBC’s Bob Greenblatt used NBC’s Monday morning upfront presentation to announce the first casting for the network’s live rendition of The Wiz. Stephanie Mills, who starred as Dorothy in the original Broadway production, will play Aunt Em in NBC’s live musical.
Greenblatt noted that casting on the musical follow-up to Peter Pan and the Sound of Music has just begun its search for a new fresh face to star as Dorothy.