‘The Music Man’

The year in telepics

Producing partners Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, fresh off their best pic Oscar win for the hit tuner “Chicago,” may just hoof up another trophy come Emmy time for their adaptation of the 1962 musical “The Music Man.” The duo’s production banner, Storyline Entertainment, already stands 53 noms high.

Toplining Tony-winning thesps Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth, the ABC telepic drew a modest aud but critics credited the update for its lavish production value and choreography (courtesy of Kathleen Marshall, sister of Rob).

Broderick’s perf wasn’t a carbon copy of Robert Preston’s professor Harold Hill — but that was the point. “Matthew is not Robert,” points out director Jeff Bleckner, who has worked on four projects with Zadan and Meron. “But that was one of the big selling points of doing the show. And I think he pulled it off.”

“Matthew made Hill more subtle, he made him funnier, he made him more touching, and he made the love story work much more than it’s ever before,” Zadan adds. “If you’re going to simply repeat the original, why do it?”

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