Fox has announced a pair of live musicals that will broadcast on the network in 2017: Rent and A Christmas Story.
Larson’s estate executors, Al and Julie Larson, will serve as executive producing on Fox’s Rent; Larson died in January 1996 following the musical’s off-Broadway debut. The play went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Rent was also adapted for the big screen in 2005.
“Rent was Jonathan’s dream of sharing the theater and the passion he had for it with a whole new generation,” Julie and Al Larson said in a statement. “None of us could have imagined the massive impact that the messages and themes in Rent would have on the theater community or the world … except for Jonathan. We are absolutely thrilled to be continuing Jonathan’s legacy and the still-relevant themes of the show in this way.”
Fox will announce premiere date and casting details later in the year, The Hollywood Reporter writes.
In addition to Rent, Fox also announced that A Christmas Story – the 2012 Broadway musical based on the classic 1983 Christmas comedy – will also transform into a live musical in December, pitting the broadcast against NBC’s Jennifer Lopez-starring Bye Bye Birdie. NBC’s live musical of Jesus Christ Superstar is also planned for Easter 2018.
Marc Platt, who served as executive producer on Grease: Live, will reprise that role for both Rent and A Christmas Story. The latter musical will also feature new music from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who adapted the film for the Broadway stage.
“A Christmas Story is one of the most beloved holiday films of all time – audiences have made a yearly ritual of re-watching it – and we are so thrilled to have Marc leading the charge in bringing the musical version of that film to television,” Fox Broadcasting entertainment president David Madde said in a statement. “The extraordinarily gifted Pasek and Paul were instrumental in transposing the movie to the stage, and we believe the transition to live television event will be just as entertaining for viewers.”