'Peter Pan' Set as NBC's Live 'Sound of Music' Follow-Up
After drawing an impressive 18.6 million to its live production of The Sound of Music, NBC has announced its follow-up: Peter Pan.
Using his platform Sunday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said NBC would broadcast a live performance of Peter Pan set for Dec. 4.
The news comes after Greenblatt, also a Broadway producer, announced in December that he was looking for another "well-known" title that could draw both kids and adults and could be produced live. The network will reteam with Sound of Music producers and Broadway veterans Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (who also exec produced NBC's Broadway drama Smash.)
"We've narrowed it down to about three titles," the executive told The Hollywood Reporter in December, declining to provide further details at the time. "They all have complicated rights issues and I don't know if we're going to be able to get them. In the next couple of weeks -- we want to do this quickly -- we'll zero in on something because we have to produce it. We now have less than a year. When we did Sound of Music, we literally spent 18 months on it and had a lot to learn. We also learned a lot and I think we don't have as big of a learning curve for next time."
Following repeat broadcasts of the Carrie Underwood-fronted Sound of Music, Greenblatt said in addition to advertising revenue, NBC teamed with Walmart and had other ancillary revenue streams including CDs, a DVD that the company owns and international rights to the film -- which cost an estimated $9 million to produce.
"We own it so we can repeat it every year for the next 10 years," Greenblatt said in December. "Even if it does just a small fraction of what it did, it's free to repeat it. That's all upside and if you chart it all out, in 10 years, there's millions of dollars there."
Greenblatt was optimistic that the network could produce a second live production "more efficiently" than Sound of Music, which took 18 months to get on the air.
The decision to repeat the live musical performance comes as broadcast networks are looking to draw eyeballs (and awards-season cache) in an increasingly competitive landscape and DVR era.