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NBC Boss Talks Live Musical Event Selections: ‘Wicked’ Not an Option

By James Knight J.knight@classicalite.com on Feb 25, 2016 12:50 AM EST

In the past few years, NBC has changed the way we think of the holidays by producing a string of live musical events. Now, NBC boss Robert Greenblatt is opening up about how they make their sections, and why Wicked is off the table.

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt recently sat down with Adweek.com where he discussed how NBC decides what musicals will become live events:

“It's hard to find titles that are really broad and popular in the musical world, that are available. I'd love to do Wicked, which is a show that this company owns, but it's a huge asset, it's still in its infancy and it's going to be a movie, so that's not available. When you look at the ones that you can get your hands on, many of them are old-fashioned, and they're shows that I might know really well and like personally, but I don't know that the rest of the world does.”

Fox of course has it’s own set of musicals to pick from. Fox also changed the game stretching its stage across a studio lot and adding in a live audience. Greenblatt also spoke about the possibility of adding a live audience to their shows, starting with this fall’s production of Hairspray:

“We've done shows in the past where it would have been ludicrous to have extras in scenes laughing and applauding, like in Nazi-occupied Austria, Neverland or even in Oz. Should we have had munchkins or flying monkeys in the background going crazy after musical numbers? And if the audience isn't visibly worked into the scenes, then they're sitting in a big room somewhere and you just hear disembodied laughing and applause, which is when viewers at home would think we just added a fake laugh track. If we can work an audience easily into a show, as I think we can in a lot of places in Hairspray, we will.”

What do you think about NBC adding a live audience into the mix? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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TagsNBC, Boss, Live, Musical, Event, Selections, Wicked

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