NBC is no longer moving forward with its planned live version of the musical “Hair.”
“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,” said Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks, co-chairmen of NBC Entertainment. “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.”
“Hair” was originally set to air on NBC on May 19, which would have put it up against a number of other television events, including the series finale of “Game of Thrones.” 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 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.
NBC had previously announced they would also stage live versions of “A Few Good Men” and “Bye Bye Birdie.” Jennifer Lopez was set to star in “Bye Bye Birdie” but the production was pushed back multiple times. Alec Baldwin was at one point attached to “A Few Good Men,” but that project also remains in limbo and Baldwin is no longer involved.