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NBC eyes ‘The Wiz’ as live musical

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Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Despite last month’s low numbers for “Peter Pan” vs. the massive success of “The Sound Of Music” in 2013, NBC continues to move forward with the franchise, with plans to do another musical next holiday season. According to NBC’s Bob Greenblatt, The Music Man and the “catchy and cool” The Wiz, are titles up for consideration in 2015 and 2016, Deadline reports.

As for the huge decline in ratings for “Peter Pan” versus “The Sound of Music,” Greenblatt admits they should have selected a better night for the telecast “we had such a good result on Thursday the last time.” “The ratings weren’t what The Sound of Music was, but I really didn’t expect that they would be, I know nobody believes me, but that’s OK.” Greenblatt continued by crediting the blockbuster success of “The Sound of Music” to “the star power of Carrie Underwood.” “Peter Pan” was headlined by Allison Williams.

Due to the success of shows like ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder” and Fox’s “Empire,” The Wiz falls into a trend of networks betting heavily on programming that appeals to the Black community. The Wizard Of Oz was by far the most popular theme during the Upfronts in May 2013, with near a dozen different projects set up at various networks. Although NBC originally purchased the Wizard Of Oz-themed drama “Emerald City,” with a straight-to-series order, they eventually back pedaled with the show.

Although there’s no word as to which musical will air first, 1957’s The Music Man or The Wiz, we’re leaning towards The Wiz.

Will you be watching?