Following the successful live staging of The Sound Of Music, NBC has set its followup musical — James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, which will be broadcast on Dec. 4. The Sound Of Music‘s masterminds Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are back as executive producers. “Get ready for flying children,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said. Asked during the executive session about casting choices, he said, “I want Miley Cyrus for (Peter Pan)” but later said that none of the names brought up, a list that included Justin Bieber and Tayler Swift, are among the stars they are considering. (He was coy about whether they are looking at a male or a female lead.) The original Broadway production of Peter Pan, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and featuring songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land,” opened on Broadway in 1954. The show had a book by J.M. Barrie and a score by Mark “Moose” Charlap & Carolyn Lee, with additional songs by Jule Styne & Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Richard as Captain Hook, both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances. The show closed in 1955 to make way for the live broadcast on NBC, with an audience of 65 million viewers — the highest rating for a single night program at the time. NBC later broadcast the show live again in 1956 and 1960, all to strong ratings. It was also the first broadcast of a musical in color. None of NBC’s telecasts took place in a theater in front of a live audience; they all were broadcast from NBC studios.
- Peter Pan