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NBC to Air at Least One SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE! Encore Prior to Christmas

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Universal TV production of NBC's THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE will air at least one additional time prior to Christmas Day. The original broadcast will take place live tomorrow, Thursday December 5th at 8 pm.

While production cost estimates on the innovative project are high, NBC hopes that repeat broadcasts as well as revenue from the presentation's soundtrack and DVD will make it a financial success. In addition, the broadcast has the potential to become an annual holiday event for the network, much like perennial favorites Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on CBS and A Charlie Brown Christmas over at ABC.

Sound of Music Live producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan shared that network chairman Robert Greenblatt has been closely involved in all aspects of the project. "This project hits Bob's sweet spot because he is a passionate devotee of theater," says Zadan, adding that they consider him to be, "one of our collaborators." The 'Smash' producers reveal that Greenblatt is consulted on many details of the production, with Zadan going so far as to call the exec, "our guardian angel throughout the whole process."

Starring country music star Carrie Underwood as 'Maria,' the cast features Audra McDonald ("Private Practice"), who has won five Tony Awards and two Grammys, as Mother Abbess; Stephen Moyer ("True Blood"), who will play Capt. Georg von Trapp; Tony Award winner Christian Borle ("Smash"), who will portray von Trapp family friend Max Detweiler; and Tony winner Laura Benanti ("Go On"), who will portray Elsa Schrader, the captain's one-time fiancee.

"The Sound of Music," music from the NBC Television event, will include studio recordings for all of the musical numbers that are performed by the cast members in the live broadcast, including Rodgers and Hammerstein favorites "The Sound of Music," "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," among others.

Executive producers for the telecast are Neil Meron and Craig Zadan ("Smash," "The Academy Awards"). Directors are Rob Ashford ("Evita") and Beth McCarthy-Miller ("30 Rock"). David Chase ("Cinderella") serves as musical director.The soundtrack is licensed through the NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products Group.

"The Sound of Music," set in the 1930s before and during "Anschluss" when the Nazi's annexed Austria, is based on the romantic true story of Maria von Trapp, an aspiring nun who leaves the abbey to become a governess for the widower Capt. von Trapp's seven children. She soon finds herself falling in love with her employer and questioning her religious calling. It premiered on Broadway in 1959 where it broke box-office records and won the Tony Award forBest Musical. The 1965 film adaptation won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Photo courtesy of NBC

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