NBC Robert Greenblatt Talks Fox’s ‘Grease’ and Possible Live Audience for 'Hairspray'

By James Knight on Feb 24, 2016 11:44 PM EST

There is no doubt about it. Fox’s Grease: Live was a knockout success. Even NBC liked the production. Using multiple studios stretching acres of lot and a live audience, Fox managed to take the live musical trend in a whole direction. Now, NBC’s Rob Greenblatt is opening up about Fox’s impressive production, including why they didn’t chose to not use a live audience for their past productions (Wiz, Peter Pan, Sound of Music) and how that all might change with till fall’s Hairspray.

Recently, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt spoke to about Fox’s Grease: Live and the network’s use of a live audience (via Playbill):

"I thought Grease was fantastic, and the live audience was great in a lot of ways, but it's not just as simple as having a live audience or not.”

Greenblatt went on to add that a live audience might have not worked well with with their previous productions, stating:

“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.”

However, that might soon change this year when NBC presents Hairspray, as Greenblatt added:

“If we can work an audience easily into a show, as I think we can in a lot of places in Hairspray, we will."

© 2016 The Classical Art, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

TagsNBC, Robert Greenblatt, FOX, Grease, Possible, Live, Audience, Hairspray, Fall 2016

Real Time Analytics