The TV Weekly: Upfront Edition: Fox Turning A Christmas Story & Rent Into Live Musical Events

Source: Deadline Hollywood

Heating up further the NBC/Fox rivalry for telecasting live Broadway musicals, Fox and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television announced today that they will present A Christmas Story, the Tony-nominated musical from the team behind this season’s hit show, Dear Evan Hansen. Marc Platt (Grease: Live, La La Land) will produce. The three-hour live production will air in December on Fox.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — Tony nominees for Dear Evan Hansen and lyricists of La La Land’s Oscar-winning song, “City of Stars,” — also scored A Christmas Story: The Musical and will compose several new songs for the live TV event. Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary (Grease: Live) are adapting the book.

A Christmas Story is one of the most beloved holiday films of all time – audiences have made a yearly ritual of rewatching it – and we are so thrilled to have Marc leading the charge in bringing the musical version of that film to television,” said David Madden, President of Entertainment at Fox Broadcasting Company. “The extraordinarily gifted Pasek and Paul were instrumental in transposing the movie to the stage, and we believe the transition to live television event will be just as entertaining for viewers.”

Said Mike Darnell, President of Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television: “I can’t believe how incredibly lucky we are to have Marc Platt producing this iconic Christmas classic. Marc is the defining voice in this genre, and it’s amazing to have this caliber of talent leading what is sure to be a new standard in live musical events.”

A Christmas Story: The Musical was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score (Pasek and Paul) and Best Book of a Musical. The original Broadway production opened November 19, 2012. Based on the writings of Jean Shepherd, the book was written by Joseph Robinette, with music and lyrics by Pasek and Paul.

The homespun musical was based on the classic 1983 feature that became a sleeper hit and a perennial holiday favorite beloved by families and kids of all ages. The film was based on Jean Shepherd’s 1966 novel In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.

Fox’s A Christmas Story will be produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Platt and Adam Siegel will executive-produce, with Tolins and Cary serving as co-executive producers and writers.

Hardly stopping to catch its breath after announcing the live telecast in December of A Christmas Story, Fox announced today that it’s made a deal to present Rent, the 1996 groundbreaking musical that won Tony, Pulitzer and Grammy recognition and ran more than 5,100 performances on Broadway. Marc Platt, who is following up Grease: Live with A Christmas Story, is exec producing along with the estate of writer/composer Jonathan Larson. Larson never enjoyed the success of his show or saw its impact on the culture, which was rare for a Broadway musical in the age of new media; he died of an aortic aneurysm on the eve of the show’s off-Broadway premiere.

Additional details and auspices to be announced.

“We are so honored to partner with the estate of the brilliant Jonathan Larson and producer Marc Platt on one of the great musicals of our time,” said Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs, Fox Television Group. “The title is so iconic, the music is so beloved, and the themes are as meaningful today as they were when the show first premiered on Broadway. With Marc overseeing this project, we are sure it will have a profound impact on the legions of fans who know and love this musical.”

Rent​ was Jonathan’s dream of sharing the ​theater and the passion he had for it with a whole new generation,” said Julie and Al Larson, parents of the composer/lyricist and stewards of his legacy. “None of us could have imagined the massive impact that the messages and themes in Rent would have on the ​theater​ community or the world…except for Jonathan. We are absolutely thrilled to be continuing Jonathan’s legacy and ​the still-relevant ​themes of ​the show in this way.”

Rent originally was produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop. The telecast will be executive-produced by Platt, Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Al Larson and Revolution Studios’ Vince Totino, Scott Hemming and Marla Levine.

Paradigm and Carol Contes of the Guzman Law Group brokered the deal.

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Posted in The TV Weekly, Upfront Edition

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