Reality is going legit
LONDON — Legit reality shows are multiplying.BBC 1 controller Peter Fincham has announced “Any Dream Will Do,” a TV talent search to air next summer in which the leads will be cast for an upcoming West End revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The show is a follow-up to BBC’s ratings hit “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria,” which cast unknown Connie Fisher as Maria in the current London revival of “The Sound of Music.” “Any Dream Will Do” will reprise the star search format but in an expanded form. This time viewers will play casting director for not one but three separate roles in a new production of “Joseph.” Like “Maria,” the program will be hosted by Graham Norton; Lloyd Webber will be featured as a judge. Lloyd Webber described the “Maria” series as a real boost for musical theater in Britain. “I was particularly thrilled with the reaction from schoolchildren up and down the country,” he said. BBC Worldwide Prods. has already brought the initial program format to the U.S., where an upcoming Broadway production of “Grease” will cast its male and female leads via the NBC series “You’re the One That We Want,” premiering Jan. 7. Auditions for the new BBC series commence early next year. Details of the theater production and venue have not been announced. Lloyd Webber is clearly hoping “Any Dream Will Do” will emulate the success of the first series, which boosted the box office advance for “The Sound of Music” to a record-breaking £12.5 million ($24.5 million). Bolstered by excellent reviews, the revival swiftly extended its booking period through Oct. 13.