Corrections were made to this article on Aug. 26, 2003.
Carol Burnett is reviving the classic Broadway tuner “Once Upon a Mattress” for ABC’s “Wonderful World of Disney,” with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron in talks to come on board as exec producers.
“Hairspray” thesp Marissa Jaret Winokur is being eyed to play the lead role of Princess Winnifred, a part originally played by Burnett. Burnett is attached to star as the Queen in what is essentially a retelling of the classic fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.”
Jane Browell (“Eloise at the Palace”) is adapting the script to accompany the original music by Mary Rodgers.
Project had been set up at CBS but ultimately didn’t come to fruition, in part due to financial reasons. ABC has been quietly working to get the rights ever since, and Burnett confirmed she had taken the pic to ABC earlier this month (Daily Variety, Aug. 7).
ABC longform topper Quinn Taylor, who’s eyeing the project for a May bow, said he’s ecstatic to be working with Burnett.
“Carol Burnett’s an American icon and the story’s timeless … even though it’s been around for 40 years. That’s a pretty good combination, and with the ‘Wonderful World of Disney’ banner, it’s even more ideal.”
Taylor said the potential addition of Zadan and Meron — the “Chicago” producers behind some of ABC’s biggest musical hits of the past 10 years — would add even more spring to the Alphabet’s “Mattress.”
No deal is yet done for Zadan and Meron, however, and the producers have a full slate of projects in the works that might prevent them from producing “Mattress.” A final decision is expected in the next few weeks.
Winokur, who has a talent holding deal for an ABC series, was recently cast as the lead in the ABC Family romantic comedy “Beautiful Girl” (Daily Variety, Aug. 21).