NBC is rethinking its strategy with live musicals, and the first high-profile casualty will be the planned airing of a live production of “Hair,” Variety reports.
“Hair” was originally scheduled for May 19, putting it in competition with the series finale of “Game of Thrones,” Variety notes. “According to an individual with knowledge of the decision, NBC is not completely abandoning live musicals, but will no longer plan on airing them as regularly as they have in the past,” the report adds.
Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks, co-chairmen of NBC Entertainment, are quoted saying in a joint statement: “Live musicals are a part of this network’s DNA and we are committed to continuing that tradition with the right show at the right time. Since these shows are such enormous undertakings, we need titles that have a wide appeal and we’re in the process of acquiring the rights to a couple of new shows that we’re really excited about.”
Variety adds: “The announcement also comes after Fox’s live version of ‘Rent’ brought in the lowest ratings ever for a live broadcast musical. The show averaged just a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 3.4 million viewers. By comparison, when NBC staged ‘Sound of Music’ in 2013 — the first live broadcast musical — the show pulled in a 4.6 rating and 18.6 million viewers.”