'Hairspray' live musical in the works at NBC

The TV adaptation is expected to air in December.
By Annie Martin  |  Jan. 13, 2016 at 4:49 PM
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PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Hairspray is being adapted for live TV.

NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt revealed the network's plans for the musical at the Television Critics Association winter press tour Wednesday.

"Deals [are] still to be closed, but hopefully all that will happen in the next few days and we're bringing you Hairspray next December," he told reporters.

Hairspray the movie opened in 1988, and inspired the 2002 Broadway musical of the same name. The story was adapted again into a 2007 film starring Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad and John Travolta as her mother Edna.

"We have dream casting," Greenblatt said of the new, live version. "I don't think we're going to try to replicate the [2007] movie. We want to do a new version of it ... [but] sure, we'd take John Travolta. He did it. I don't think that would be a possibility, but we'd be thrilled to have [him]."

Hairspray follows the teenage Tracy as she pursues stardom and fights against racial segregation in the 1960s. John Waters directed Ricki Lake and Divine in the original movie, while Adam Shankman helmed the remake.

NBC's last live musical, The Wiz Live!, was seen by 11.5 million viewers Dec. 3. The production was preceded by the less-successful Peter Pan Live! in 2014, and The Sound of Music Live!, which was seen by 18.6 million in 2013.

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