Last week, the surprise success of The Sound Of Music Live! helped NBC briefly escape the valley of its ratings, to triumphantly twirl atop hills alive with the sound of people tweeting bitchy things until Carrie Underwood prayed for their souls. So naturally, NBC is looking to recapture that rare magical combination of morbid curiosity, live schadenfreude, and the occasional generally invested viewer by repeating it, announcing yet more live musical events to come over the next few years.
NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt—whose avowed love of musicals already kept Smash on the air well past the point of reason—gushed to the New York Times that “all weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us,” some of whom were actually serious. “Rights holders of musicals have said, ‘Please do one of our shows,’” Greenblatt says of those who have been contacting the network, begging to have their Broadway classics restaged with contemporary singers whom people can mock in record, Must-See numbers.
The network has yet to announce which musical is currently being prepped for next year’s confirmed holiday slot, though Greenblatt is already confident it can continue beyond that indefinitely—even as he acknowledges that a lot of Sound Of Music’s success was probably due to novelty. “There may be a little bit of a phenomenon to the first one of these,” Greenblatt said. “Who knows what happens Year 2, 3 or 4. But you’ve got to have events. I think we could do this again—and again and again.” And should it prove to be a continued success, who knows, viewers might someday be encouraged to try some of NBC’s more experimental shows, where people interact in dramatic or comedic fashion without singing. But that may be a ways off.