NBC cancels plans for 'Hair Live!' and turns focus to finding a musical with 'wide appeal'
The iconic counterculture rock musical Hair won't be getting a live televised production any time soon.
It was announced on Monday that NBC has decided to scrap its initial plans to stage the famed musical to focus their attention on bringing a more family-friendly, and potentially less politically charged, musical to the screen.
Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks, Co-Chairmen of NBC Entertainment, released a statement explaining their decision, while reiterating the network's passion for producing live musicals as a form of event programming.
"Live musicals are a part of this network's DNA and we are committed to continuing that tradition with the right show at the right time," the statement read. "Since these shows are such enormous undertakings, we need titles that have a wide appeal and we're in the process of acquiring the rights to a couple of new shows that we're really excited about."
The acclaimed 50-year-old play revolves around a group of hippies who face mounting pressure to conform to societal norms while struggling with the looming threat of the Vietnam war.
The acclaimed musical touches on controversial topics that have proven to be hot button issues to this day, including drug use, sexuality, anti-war sentiment, anti-authoritarian themes and racism.
One of the biggest possible hindrances to staging the production could have also come from one of the most controversial scenes in the musical in which nearly all cast members appear nude. It seems that now, viewers may never get a chance to see NBC's creative workaround for avoiding massive FCC fines.
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One of the reasons behind Hair Live! getting pulled, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was because of its scheduled time slot. The musical was originally set to air Sunday, May 19, which would have put it in direct competition with the season finale ofAmerican Idoland the series finale of Game of Thrones.
Reportedly, while figuring out if they should reschedule the production, executives broached the subject of whether or not Hair Live! was a musical they should be producing at all, which may have led to its cancellation.
Recently, Fox's production of Rent: Live! hit a speedbump of its own when star Brennin Hunt broke his foot during live rehearsals the night before the musical was set to air, forcing the network to broadcast pre-recorded footage filmed during said rehearsals.