Special documentary starts countdown to Peacock stunt-cast of new version of 1959 play
The screen will soon be alive with the sound of NBC promoting its live take on “The Sound of Music.”
The Peacock’s December 5 special, in which Carrie Underwood stars as Maria, the governess to the Von Trapp children, will air live over the course of three hours. “The Making Of The Sound of Music Live” will air this Wednesday at 8 p.m., in place of “Revolution,” and will show viewers everything from a nationwide casting call to discover the show’s seven von Trapp children to the-40-piece orchestra recording the soundtrack.
“The Making of the Sound of Music Live!” is produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions. Sharon Scott is president and general manager of Peacock Productions. Colleen Halpin is the executive producer and Mary Murphy is the director.
The live special is the latest in a series of ”spectaculars” being tested by several TV networks to entice large crowds to tune in all at once, as they might do for an important sporting event. With more viewers accustomed to viewing video on-demand and at their leisure, demonstrating the ability to assemble a unified audience takes on more importance for TV networks still interested in generating big ratings and capturing the ad dollars that follow such performance.
In recent months, Discovery Channel aired a live tightrope walk by aerialist Nik Wallenda over a gorge in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon, while NBC has unveiled plans to air Richard Branson’s attempt, slated for next August, to take part in the first commercial space flight.
The live holiday spectacular is based on the original 1959 Broadway production of “The Sound of Music,” starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, with a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The iconic story centers on a young woman who leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the seven children of a naval officer widower. “The Sound of Music Live!” is exec produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford serve as co-directors. “The Sound of Music Live!” is produced by Universal Television.