NBC looks to ‘Hairspray’ as next musical; bringing ‘Friends,’ ‘Cheers’ casts together for James Burrows special

NBCThere are a couple of big events coming courtesy of NBC, and based on what we’re hearing so far, there is promise in each one of them.

Let’s begin here with “Hairspray,” which programming head Robert Greenblatt said at the TCA Winter Press Tour will likely be the follow-up to “The Wiz Live!” from late last year.¬†Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are going to be back as executive producers, hoping to create the second straight live TV musical that the majority of the critics actually liked after “The Sound of Music Live!” and “Peter Pan Live!” drew more jeers and hate-tweets than anything else.

Obviously, we understand the logic here. This is a popular musical with familiar songs and a recent movie that made tons of money at the box office. It also has an extremely diverse cast, which should help it commercially since it will attract a wide array of demographics.

In other news, NBC is also going to be reuniting the casts of “Frasier,” “Friends,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” and many other shows (per TVLine) for an upcoming February 21 tribute to legendary sitcom director James Burrows, who recently helmed his 1,000th episode of television. All of the six main players on “Friends” will be present for the pre-recorded special. We’re not sure that Burrows is a household name to many casual viewers, so we’re sure that the network is going to lean heavily on many of their famous names in order to attract the biggest audience possible to the show.

We imagine that there’s going to be a wide array of news coming our way soon from the TCA Press Tour, so be on the lookout for all of it! Also, you can sign up over here in the event you want some more TV news on everything we cover courtesy of our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: NBC.)

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