For the last several years, broadcast networks have likely been looking for new hooks to lure in a declining audience. The emergence of streaming platforms, premium channels and compelling cable dramas have led to dwindling ratings for the major networks. One such hook has been live broadcasts of popular Broadway musicals. NBC'sHairspray Live!is the next such adaptation to air.
How to watch Hairspray Live!
Hairspray Live!, which airs Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern, follows prior NBC live broadcasts including: The Sound of Music Live!, Peter Pan Live! and The Wiz Live! Fans that are unable catch the special live can watch on NBC's app the next day. If you are away from your television, but do have internet access, you can stream the special live by visiting the NBC live page and entering in your cable subscription information.
The history of Hairspray
The Hairspray Broadway musical, on which the live special is based, is itself an adaptation of the 1988 film of the same name starring Ricki Lake. A mildly successful remake, starring John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, was released in 2007.
The musical production opened on Broadway in 2002 and topped the 57th Annual Tony Awards in 2003 with eight total wins. We will have to wait until Wednesday to see whether NBC can capture the musical's magic, but with a star-studded cast and great source material, it is not unlikely that the network will lead the night.
The cast of Hairspray Live!
The NBC live special stars Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad, Dove Cameron as Amber Von Tussle, Kristin Chenoweth as Velma Von Tussle, Garrett Clayton as Link Larkin, Billy Eichner as Rob Barker, Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Sean Hayes as Mr. Pinky, Derek Hough as Corny Collins, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Shahadi Wright Joseph as Little Inez, Andrea Martin as Prudy Pingleton, Rosie O'Donnell as Health Ed Teacher, Ephraim Sykes as Seaweed J. Stubbs and Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad.
Hairspray fans can listen to the special's soundtrack ahead of the premiere on Spotify or Apple Music. Watch the musical event when Hairspray Live! airs on NBC Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. Eastern.
See photos of "Hairspray Live!" star, Ariana Grande:
Ariana Grande through the years
Ariana Grande through the years
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 30: Actress Ariana Grande from '13' A new musical' visits Planet Hollywood Times Square on October 30, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images) (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30: Actress Ariana Grande arrives at the AFI FEST 2009 Opening Night Gala Screening of 20th Century Fox's 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' at the The Graumanï¿½s Chinese Theatre on October 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 28: Actor Paul McGill and singer Ariana Grande speak at Hollywood & Highland Center and One Heartland's 'Holiday of Hope' tree lighting celebration on November 28, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 14: Acrtess Ariana Grande (L) attends the Make-A-Wish Foundation's Day of Fun hosted by Kevin & Steffiana James held at Santa Monica Pier on March 14, 2010 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Kevin & Steffiana James)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 27: Actress Ariana Grande arrives at Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kid's Choice Awards held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on March 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 21: Actress Ariana Grande attends the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival opening night premiere of 'Shrek Forever After' at the Ziegfeld Theatre on April 21, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images For Tribeca Film Festival)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: Ariana Grande participates at the Oopsy daisy Art Booth at Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Carnival at Wadsworth Theater on June 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Getty Images for Oopsy daisy)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Ariana Grande attends the Malan Breton Spring 2012 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on September 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23: Ariana Grande from the cast of Nickelodeon's 'Victorious' visit Duke Ellington School of the Arts on September 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
Ariana Grande attends Nickelodeon's celebration of the 8th Annual Worldwide Day of Play at The W Hotel on September 23, 2011 in Washington, DC.
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 26: Actress/singer Ariana Grande attends Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's 'Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked' Blu-ray and DVD release party at El Rey Theatre on March 26, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 03: Actress/singer Ariana Grande attends KIIS FM's 2012 Jingle Ball at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 26: Actress/singer Ariana Grande performs Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's 'Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked' Blu-ray and DVD release party at El Rey Theatre on March 26, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 19: Actress/singer Ariana Grande arrives at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04: Actress Ariana Grande attends the 10th annual Style Awards during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 at Lincoln Center on September 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Singer Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2013 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 24, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 02: Recording artist Ariana Grande poses backstage at 106.1 KISS FMÂs Jingle Ball 2013 American Airlines Center on December 2, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 20: Ariana Grande attends Y100Âs Jingle Ball 2013 Presented by Jam Audio Collection at BB&T Center on December 20, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: Actress/singer Ariana Grande attends Nickelodeon's 27th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at USC Galen Center on March 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01: Singer Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on May 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. iHeartRadio Music Awards are being broadcast live on NBC. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - JUNE 24: In this handout photo provided by Disney Parks, singer Ariana Grande gives Mickey Mouse a kiss in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom June 24, 2014 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Grande is celebrating her 21st birthday with dozens of family and friends at Walt Disney World. (Photo by Chloe Rice/Disney Parks via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Ariana Grande performs on NBC's 'Today' at the NBC's TODAY Show on August 29, 2014 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Singer/songwriter Ariana Grande performs onstage during CBS Radio's We Can Survive at the Hollywood Bowl (presented by 5 Hour Energy) on October 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Singer Ariana Grande attends the MTV EMA's 2014 at The Hydro on November 9, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for MTV)
ST PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 08: Recording artist Ariana Grande performs onstage at 101.3 KDWB's Jingle Ball 2014 presented by Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park and Allstate at Xcel Energy Center on December 8, 2014 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Recording Artist Ariana Grande attends The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Singer Ariana Grande performs during the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Ariana Grande performs onstage at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Singer Ariana Grande performs at Ariana Grande 'ARI By Ariana Grande' Fragrance Launch Macys Herald Square on September 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)