Live Musical Production of The Wiz Coming to Network TV

Live Musical Production of The Wiz Coming to Network TV

Cirque de Soleil involved in the production, slated for December.

Published March 31, 2015

The Wiz is heading to primetime. NBC announced on Monday that the network will air a live musical performance of the Broadway classic, using the same formula they did for The Sound of Music and Peter Pan. The performance will air on December 3. 

Tony-winning director Kenny Leon is scheduled to direct the event, as well as the Broadway revival that will follow in 2016. This time around, Cirque du Soleil will come aboard to add some extra magic — and, presumably, acrobatics — to the show.

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“We love this yearly tradition and we’re more excited than ever to not only bring another Broadway musical to America’s living rooms, but also see it land on Broadway as well,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said. "Cirque’s incredible imagination will help bring the fantasy world of Oz vividly to life and give this great show a modern spin on the age-old story we all love."

The Wiz is a retelling of The Wizard of Oz in a multicultural context. It was adapted as a film in 1978 starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne and Richard Pryor.

The choice of The Wiz falls in line with network television's long-overdue move to diversify talent on camera after the success of Empire, Black-ish and How to Get Away With Murder. No casting details for the show have yet been announced, but we'll be keeping a close eye.

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(Photo: John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Image

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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