Everything’s coming up Rosie for Jennifer Lopez…
NBC has slated Bye Bye Birdie as its next live musical, with the 46-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer set as the star.
Lopez will executive produce with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and her company Nuyorican Productions will produce with Universal Television.
Harvey Fierstein will write the television adaptation, with the special set to air in 2017.
The original Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie won the Tony Award in 1961 for best musical. It starred Dick Van Dyke, who also won a Tony for best actor in a musical, as Albert Peterson, the manager of rock star Conrad Birdie, and Chita Rivera as Rosie Alvarez, Albert’s girlfriend and secretary. When Birdie is drafted into the Army, Albert and Rosie concoct a plan to have Birdie give “one last kiss” to a small-town high school girl live on The Ed Sullivan Show before heading off for induction.
The show was adapted into a 1963 feature film starring Van Dyke and Janet Leigh. A short-lived 2010 Broadway revival starred John Stamos and Gina Gershon.
Lopez, who stars in NBC’s Shades of Blue, will play the part of Rosie in the NBC version. No other casting has yet been announced.
Under Greenblatt, NBC has made a tradition of airing live musicals in December, where the network believes the holiday time is a fertile ground for family-friendly co-viewing. The first, Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood, aired in 2013 and was watched by 18.6 million viewers. That effort was followed by Peter Pan Live! starring Allison Williams and Christopher Walken, and The Wiz Live! starring Queen Latifah and Shanice Williams.
Zadan and Meron have served as exec producers on all four NBC live musicals, and Fierstein previously wrote the television adaptation for The Wiz Live! and wrote the adaptation for NBC’s upcoming Hairspray Live!, which will air on December 7.