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NickAndNora34

This is the Dawning of the Age of Being Canceled

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NBC has apparently decided to cancel their next live musical project, "Hair" (scheduled for May 2019), most likely due to the most recent failure of "Rent Live." 

https://deadline.com/2019/02/hair-live-nbc-next-musical-not-going-forward-dead-1202549692/

I personally think this is a good decision. "Hair" is a very niche musical with a niche audience. The majority of American families would not sit down together and watch this. That's just my opinion. I don't have anything against the show in itself; I'm mostly indifferent. And as for some more family friendly musicals they could do, I had a few ideas: 

Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella 

The Music Man 

Annie: Even though this one has been done to death, I think it would do pretty well. You don't have to be an avid theater fan to be somewhat familiar with this show. 

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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13 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

NBC has apparently decided to cancel their next live musical project, "Hair" (scheduled for May 2019), most likely due to the most recent failure of "Rent Live." 

https://deadline.com/2019/02/hair-live-nbc-next-musical-not-going-forward-dead-1202549692/

I personally think this is a good decision. "Hair" is a very niche musical with a niche audience. The majority of American families would not sit down together and watch this. That's just my opinion. I don't have anything against the show in itself; I'm mostly indifferent. And as for some more family friendly musicals they could do, I had a few ideas: 

Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella 

The Music Man 

Annie: Even though this one has been done to death, I think it would do pretty well. You don't have to be an avid theater fan to be somewhat familiar with this show. 

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Yeah, so then how about Annie Get Your Gun! THAT one's not being done to death much anymore, is IT?!

And the NRA could maybe even sponsor it and thus saving NBC millions in overhead.

(...hey, anything to get 'em to spend their money on something other than politicians would be a good thing, wouldn't ya say?!) ;)

LOL

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Wow, it's kind of late to be canceling, isn't it? I mean, they had to have already put so much $ into the project.

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The problem they seem to have is there are two distinct groups. The hard core stage fans who would love to revive some of the great musicals. Then there are families who simply want to see some light hearted fun entertainment. 

Rent isn't exactly light hearted entertainment. It deals wish serious subjects. That's not what most families are interested in watching in this format. Hair would seem to me a bit dated. But, the hard core stage fans figure they can make any play work.

Yet, the people have spoken. They must cater to the general public. The vast majority of Americans will never visit Broadway nor watch a show there. And most towns outside of NYC don't have a theater district. They have to be much more prudent about which shows they choose to put on in the future.

27 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

 I had a few ideas: 

Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella 

The Music Man 

Annie: Even though this one has been done to death, I think it would do pretty well. You don't have to be an avid theater fan to be somewhat familiar with this show. 

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Cinderella would definitely be a great choice. The story is well known. It doesn't have to be explained to anyone. Just mention the name and people know what you're talking about.

I know of many parents and others who would just like to have some wholesome entertainment to watch. Explains why channels such as TCM as well as the new subchannels popping up showing old programs of the past. The live shows could be very big once they understand their audience better.

 

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15 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

Wow, it's kind of late to be canceling, isn't it? I mean, they had to have already put so much $ into the project.

I heard word was once NBC couldn't get The Cowsills to open it with the title song, the whole deal kind'a fell through.

(...and which of course then left The Fifth Dimension's number in it hangin' in the breeze too) 

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22 minutes ago, Dargo said:

I heard word was once NBC couldn't get The Cowsills to open it with the title song, the whole deal kind'a fell through.

(...and which of course then left The Fifth Dimension's number in it hangin' in the breeze too) 

You left out Three Dog Night! ;)

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11 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

You left out Three Dog Night! ;)

LOL

Yes, how could I be so cruel here, eh sagebrush?! ;)

(...but then again, one IS the loneliest number, ya know!) 

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I wish they'd either show a professional version (read: not "Ariana Grande stars in Cats") and air one of the Broadway shows filmed professionally and performed by people who know what they're doing.  How many people would love to see The Lion King that cannot travel to NYC and/or cannot afford it? 

Or, I wish they would even just do a special presentation of musical film-- a la how The Wizard of Oz used to show annually on TV.

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If families want to see light-hearted entertainment they can always watch some more cartoons. I'm tired of nearly all the movies and TV shows aimed at 10-year-olds. It's time for adults to take back the theaters and home screens.

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3 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I wish they'd either show a professional version (read: not "Ariana Grande stars in Cats") and air one of the Broadway shows filmed professionally and performed by people who know what they're doing.  How many people would love to see The Lion King that cannot travel to NYC and/or cannot afford it? 

Or, I wish they would even just do a special presentation of musical film-- a la how The Wizard of Oz used to show annually on TV.

I wish they would restore and show the original "Sweeney Todd" with Angela Lansbury. That would be a real fun time. 

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6 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

NBC has apparently decided to cancel their next live musical project, "Hair" (scheduled for May 2019), most likely due to the most recent failure of "Rent Live." 

I personally think this is a good decision. "Hair" is a very niche musical with a niche audience.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella 

The Music Man 

Annie: Even though this one has been done to death, I think it would do pretty well. You don't have to be an avid theater fan to be somewhat familiar with this show. 

All three have been done to death (and the Matthew Broderick "Music Man" is still considered a "failure" that killed off the last wave of post-Bette Midler TV musicals).  But the 90's Disney-ABC "Annie" is more considered the official "do-over" for the 1982 theatrical mess, by going back to the stage version; that was a special case.

As for why "Hair", think--in networks' search for redundant "familiar" musicals that already had well-known movie versions--they got the stage musical confused with Milos Forman's more off-book 1979 movie.  There are a LOT of reasons why you couldn't show the original stage version on network TV.  😮

(One of them having to do with the old Benny Hill joke about how an actor's face on screen is more expensive salary than an actor's hand or foot--"They could never afford to show 'Oh, Calcutta'!")

6 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

Rent isn't exactly light hearted entertainment. It deals wish serious subjects. That's not what most families are interested in watching in this format. Hair would seem to me a bit dated. But, the hard core stage fans figure they can make any play work.

There are two audiences for the live musicals, and they've got two polar-separate networks to show them:
NBC, "the network that gave you Peter Pan!", hit the audience that misses variety shows as a kid, and just wants family-friendly theater again.  Rent aired on Fox, which is kissing up more to the fact that women and gay audiences are currently the largest core-fangirl demographic for free broadcast-network TV, and thinks you can catch more flies with Rocky Horror, Billy Elliot or Mamma Mia than with The Wiz.  Guess which one aired AIDS: the Musical.

2 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I wish they would restore and show the original "Sweeney Todd" with Angela Lansbury. That would be a real fun time. 

Amazon Prime, at the moment, has a double-paywall premium-streaming service for "BroadwayTV", where most of the direct-to-cable Showtime Broadway productions from the 80's ended up.  It's stuff you've seen before (like the PBS Stephen Sondheim musicals, that wretched direct-video "Memphis" mess that inexplicably got a Tony in the 00's, and the entire run of BBC Jonathan Miller Shakespeare plays from the 80's), but think they've got both new and old Sweeney, and they're less gay than Rent.

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I love the whole idea of doing live versions of Broadways shows on TV, but from a practical point I think they have to be the standard classics to draw well although I think The Wiz was a good exception. While shows like Rent and Hair may have been good shows in the own right, I don't think they have the wider appeal that The Sound of Music or Peter Pan did.

The Music Man would be a good one, and I'd love to see a live version of West Side Story, but that's probably out because of the upcoming new movie version.

 

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Why do they even have to be LIVE? Does that really add anything to the mix? Does a LIVE presentation attract more viewers? I doubt it. Most viewers probably think everything they watch on TV is LIVE.

They missed a huge opportunity with Bette Midler in HELLO, DOLLY! Here they had a major star in a well-known musical and it wasn't taped (except by amateurs in the audience) for broadcast or for posterity. Likewise, they missed the same chance with Glenda Jackson in THREE TALL WOMEN. Two Tony-winning performances lost to the ages. Granted, Jackson is probably not a household name anymore, but there's still a large segment of viewers who would have watched.

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16 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I personally think this is a good decision. "Hair" is a very niche musical with a niche audience. The majority of American families would not sit down together and watch this. That's just my opinion. I don't have anything against the show in itself

I agree and I love this show, I own the original cast album, liked the 1979 film version and saw a great revival on Broadway in 2009. But it would not work on TV today, so much would have to be cut out, including foul language and racial slurs, as well as the famous nudity. 

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10 hours ago, markfp2 said:

I love the whole idea of doing live versions of Broadways shows on TV, but from a practical point I think they have to be the standard classics to draw well although I think The Wiz was a good exception. While shows like Rent and Hair may have been good shows in the own right, I don't think they have the wider appeal that The Sound of Music or Peter Pan did.

The Music Man would be a good one, and I'd love to see a live version of West Side Story, but that's probably out because of the upcoming new movie version.

 

I adore The Music Man, and I understand the TV version from 2003 (with Matthew Broderick) wasn't as up to par as the original by any means, but I'd love to see it live. I personally think Seth McFarlane would be a good Harold Hill. He can sing, and he's funny. I don't know. Just an idea I couldn't shake. 

And I agree with you on WSS, mark... I thought they were going to actually present this one, until Spielberg announced his plans for his own version. 

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5 hours ago, drednm said:

Why do they even have to be LIVE? Does that really add anything to the mix? Does a LIVE presentation attract more viewers? I doubt it. Most viewers probably think everything they watch on TV is LIVE.

They missed a huge opportunity with Bette Midler in HELLO, DOLLY! Here they had a major star in a well-known musical and it wasn't taped (except by amateurs in the audience) for broadcast or for posterity. Likewise, they missed the same chance with Glenda Jackson in THREE TALL WOMEN. Two Tony-winning performances lost to the ages. Granted, Jackson is probably not a household name anymore, but there's still a large segment of viewers who would have watched.

I personally couldn't care less if they were live or professionally shot and taped... I would love to be able to see virtually any stage musical adaptation on tv, since I don't live in or near NYC. 

I think Bette Midler in Hello Dolly would have been a good choice for them to show on television. I, for one, would have enjoyed watching it. 

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12 hours ago, EricJ said:

There are two audiences for the live musicals, and they've got two polar-separate networks to show them:

NBC, "the network that gave you Peter Pan!", hit the audience that misses variety shows as a kid, and just wants family-friendly theater again.  Rent aired on Fox, which is kissing up more to the fact that women and gay audiences are currently the largest core-fangirl demographic for free broadcast-network TV, and thinks you can catch more flies with Rocky Horror, Billy Elliot or Mamma Mia than with The Wiz.  Guess which one aired AIDS: the Musical.

Exactly ! And that market isn't nearly enough to carry a big budget nationwide network broadcast. Some are getting happy that stage plays are popular, so let's constantly push the envelope. And some fiscal suit upstairs pulled that plug before it got out of hand.

18 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I wish they'd either show a professional version (read: not "Ariana Grande stars in Cats") and air one of the Broadway shows filmed professionally and performed by people who know what they're doing.  How many people would love to see The Lion King that cannot travel to NYC and/or cannot afford it? 

Or, I wish they would even just do a special presentation of musical film-- a la how The Wizard of Oz used to show annually on TV.

That would have been nice pre -1970. But, network TV is like the modern version of the old studio system. They will not green light a major production without a current star attached. They will want to market the "STAR and the production"

America can barely handle one play a year. America is not ready for actual stage plays with actual talent on a regular basis. Look at the so called talent shows in recent years. How many actual talents have they found ?? Yet, people won't watch people who actually have talent. This is the world we live in.

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8 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

I adore The Music Man, and I understand the TV version from 2003 (with Matthew Broderick) wasn't as up to par as the original by any means, but I'd love to see it live. I personally think Seth McFarlane would be a good Harold Hill. He can sing, and he's funny. I don't know. Just an idea I couldn't shake. 

And I agree with you on WSS, mark... I thought they were going to actually present this one, until Spielberg announced his plans for his own version. 

Seth MacFarlane would be a great choice for The Music Man.  He's already performed the "Shipoopi" song on Family Guy.  He also is a great singer and loves show tunes. 

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7 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

Exactly ! And that market isn't nearly enough to carry a big budget nationwide network broadcast. Some are getting happy that stage plays are popular, so let's constantly push the envelope. And some fiscal suit upstairs pulled that plug before it got out of hand.

That would have been nice pre -1970. But, network TV is like the modern version of the old studio system. They will not green light a major production without a current star attached. They will want to market the "STAR and the production"

America can barely handle one play a year. America is not ready for actual stage plays with actual talent on a regular basis. Look at the so called talent shows in recent years. How many actual talents have they found ?? Yet, people won't watch people who actually have talent. This is the world we live in.

I don't watch any of those talent shows, so I really can't say how many of the people truly are talented.  The only competition shows I can tolerate are the cooking ones.  But nowadays, there are SO MANY people who want to be on TV/internet show, that they don't care how stupid they look.  As long as they can somehow go viral online. 

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16 hours ago, drednm said:

Why do they even have to be LIVE? Does that really add anything to the mix? Does a LIVE presentation attract more viewers? I doubt it. Most viewers probably think everything they watch on TV is LIVE.

Ever since the streaming era--and viewers' big move to "cut the cord" and thumb their collective noses to cable AND commercial free-TV--networks have pretty much given up and accepted that nobody watches free-TV anymore...Now, networks openly say "Stream the latest season on Hulu/our website!", and airing a show on Wednesday night is just a legal obligation to satisfy their sponsors.

Apart from sports and awards, there's literally no reason for the networks to even try to assume the nationwide public will all be sitting down on the same night to watch the same sweeps-week show, to satisfy the sponsors...Unless, of course, it was live as-it-happens coverage.  Like sports, or awards.

Otherwise, the networks' corporate masters don't see any need to disrupt the precious air time of their marketable corporate-property series with a one-time special disruption--Unless, like airing Charlie Brown every Christmas, it can satisfy some other corporate property.

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3 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I don't watch any of those talent shows, so I really can't say how many of the people truly are talented.  The only competition shows I can tolerate are the cooking ones.  But nowadays, there are SO MANY people who want to be on TV/internet show, that they don't care how stupid they look.  As long as they can somehow go viral online. 

The problem I have with cooking shows is 1) I can't smell the food and 2) those judges are so critical. I like to see them try to cook a gourmet meal in 20 mins under that pressure and see what they come up with !

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1 hour ago, GGGGerald said:

The problem I have with cooking shows is 1) I can't smell the food and 2) those judges are so critical. I like to see them try to cook a gourmet meal in 20 mins under that pressure and see what they come up with !

Hey Gerald. Did you recently move?

Didn't your location used to show "Los Angeles", or am I just confusin' you and your locale with another regular around here?

(...and even though San Pedro is actually a community within the City of L.A., of course)

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11 hours ago, Dargo said:

Hey Gerald. Did you recently move?

Didn't your location used to show "Los Angeles", or am I just confusin' you and your locale with another regular around here?

(...and even though San Pedro is actually a community within the City of L.A., of course)

I'm still here.

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3 minutes ago, GGGGerald said:

I'm still here.

So you're saying I never did see "Los Angeles" posted as your location then, right?

(...hey dude, don't worry...I ain't gonna send the Jehovah Witnesses to your doorstep if we nail this thing down, ya know!) ;)

LOL

 

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San Pedro is a community within the incorporated City of Los Angeles, just like Hollywood. Its a loooong story.

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