Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein have joined NBC's live musical event. Hudson will play MotormouthMaybelle and Fierstein, who is also writing the teleplay, will play Edna Turnblad, a role he created and won a Tony Award for in the stage version of Hairspray.
The musical marks the fourth live production for executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, following Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz. The television event will also reunite Hudson with Zadan and Meron, who collaborated on NBC's Smash together. Also joining the creative team is director Alex Rudzinski, who most recently worked on Fox's Grease Live!
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Hairspray Live! takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on "The Corny Collins Show," a local TV program, so when she wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African-American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, MotormouthMaybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy's mother is the indomitable Edna Turnblad, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white "Corny Collins Show."
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Jennifer Hudson, Harvey Fierstein to star in NBC's 'Hairspray Live!'
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 30: Jennifer Hudson attends Michigan Avenue Magazine and Art Van Furniture Host A Sweet Evening with Jennifer Hudson presented by Qatar Airways at Waldorf Astoria Chicago on July 30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Michigan Avenue Magazine)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 24: Jennifer Hudson performs during during day 1 of the 2015 Cincinnati Music Festival at Paul Brown Stadium on July 24, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Stephen Cohen/Getty Images)
Grammy award-winner Jennifer Hudson performs during the We Day Illinois 2015 at Allstate Arena on Thursday, April 30, 2015 in Chicago. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP)
Jennifer Hudson performs at the TV Land Awards at the Saban Theatre on Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jennifer Hudson arrives at Nickelodeon's 28th annual Kids' Choice Awards at The Forum on Saturday, March 28, 2015, in Inglewood, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jennifer Hudson is seen backstage at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Jennifer Hudson arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Singers Iggy Azalea, left, and Jennifer Hudson pose with record producer Clive Davis at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala Press Day at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP)
Singer Jennifer Hudson performs during the 2014 Carousel of Hope Ball at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in [Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jennifer Hudson arrives at the 4th Annual Stand Up 2 Cancer Live Benefit at The Dolby Theatre on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Singer Jennifer Hudson performs on NBC's "Today" show on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 101 -- Pictured: Musical guest Jennifer Hudson performs on September 23, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Musical guest Jennifer Hudson during an interview with host Seth Meyers on September 23, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Jennifer Hudson performs during an Independence Day celebration, Friday, July 4, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Jennifer Hudson performs on stage at the 68th annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 8, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Clive Davis, left, and Jennifer Hudson arrive at the 56th annual GRAMMY awards - salute to industry icons with Clive Davis, on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
Singer-actress Jennifer Hudson poses at The Beverly Hilton during press day on Thursday, January 23, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Hudson will be performing at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP)
Jennifer Hudson arrives at the 40th annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Jennifer Hudson, left, winner of the favorite humanitarian award and Julia Hudson, right, speak on stage at the 40th annual People's Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, in Los Angeles. Looking on from left, presenter LL Cool J. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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"We are beyond thrilled with this incredibly talented duo of stars for 'Hairspray Live!,'" said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. "Harvey Fierstein created the role of Edna Turnblad on Broadway in an indelible Tony-winning performance that demanded to be memorialized on film, and we're happy he wanted to step into her shoes one last, unforgettable time. We're also so grateful that the incomparable Jennifer Hudson will play MotormouthMaybelle and we know her rendition of 'I Know Where I've Been' will literally stop the show."
Filmed in Los Angeles, Hairspray Live! will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.