The Tills Are Alive: ABC Jockeys for a Piece of the 'Sound of Music' Action TheWrap

ABC plans to elbow in on the current popularity of “The Sound of Music" after NBC's recent live production sparked a wave of interest in the venerable musical. reports that the Alphabet Network plans to air the original Academy Award-winning 1965 film over four hours on Dec. 22.

The move comes after NBC generated huge ratings for its live version of the musical, which starred “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood and “True Blood” star Stephen Moyer. The live broadcast drew 18.5 million viewers, more than NBC had expected, and the network plans to re-air the program Saturday, Dec. 14.

The 1965 film, which won five Oscars, stars Julie Andrews as Maria -- the role Underwood played in the NBC production. NBC's casting of Underwood drew considerable criticism, as TVWeek Open Mic writer Chuck Ross noted in a recent blog entry examining the production's artistic problems.

“But of course, most viewers are better acquainted with the Andrews film," TheWrap notes. "And if you’re not, ABC’s airing can take care of that."

julie andrews-sound of music.jpgJulie Andrews in "The Sound of Music"