'Peter Pan' to be NBC's Next Holiday Live Stage Production

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

January 19th, 2014


via press release:




Executive Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Return to Produce the Live Broadcast of a New TV Version of James M. Barrie’s Revered Musical



UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Jan. 19, 2014 — On the heels of the very successful airing of “The Sound of Music Live!” in December, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt announced today that the network will present a new television production of the classic musical “Peter Pan” as a live telecast on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.


Multi-award-winning producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced “The Sound of Music Live!” will again executive produce the production. Casting is currently on a fast track.


“The Sound of Music Live!” that starred Carrie Underwood averaged a phenomenal 5.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 22 million viewers overall in the live-plus-7 totals from its Dec. 5 telecast.


“We’re very pleased to be underway on ‘Peter Pan’ as our next live holiday musical for the whole family,” said Greenblatt. “We were all delighted to see how ‘The Sound of Music Live!’ struck such a chord in December and brought nearly 19 million people to the live telecast plus another several million viewers over the weekend. In the hopes that lightning strikes twice, we think we’ve landed on another great Broadway musical — which ironically also starred Mary Martin — that is a timeless classic for all audiences, young and old, who just never want to grow up.”


"We’re thrilled to be reteaming with NBC and Bob Greenblatt in bringing ‘Peter Pan’ back to its roots as a live television event,” said Zadan and Meron. “We hope to create the joy that has made this musical so beloved. We would like a whole new generation to experience ‘Peter Pan’ and for families across the country to share the magic."


The original Broadway production of “Peter Pan,” directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and featuring the iconic songs “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and “Never Never Land,” opened on Broadway in 1954. The show had a book by J.M. Barrie and a score by Mark “Moose” Charlap & Carolyn Lee, with additional songs by Jule Styne & Betty Comden and Adolph Green.


It starred Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Richard as Captain Hook, both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances.


Though business was strong, the show closed in 1955 to make way for the live broadcast on NBC, with an audience of 65 million viewers — the highest rating for a single night program at the time. NBC later broadcast the show live again in 1956 and 1960, all to strong ratings. It was also the first broadcast of a musical in color. None of NBC’s telecasts took place in a theater in front of a live audience; they all were broadcast from NBC studios.


The story of “Peter Pan” is one of eternal youth, companionship and enduring loyalty. A mischievous boy who can fly and doesn’t age, Peter grew up without parents and spends his never-ending childhood on the enchanted island of Never Land where he is the leader of the Lost Boys. With the fairy Tinker Bell always at his side, he brings Wendy Darling and her brothers to Never Land on the biggest adventure of their lives and they encounter mermaids, fairies, pirates, and a dastardly villain named Captain Hook.


“And that's my home where dreams are born, And time is never planned.  Just think of lovely things. And your heart will fly on wings, in Never Never Land.”

  • Tran

    Hope NBC’s next live musical event doesn’t “walked the plank”.

  • Androme

    Expect Peter Pan to be played by a woman.
    (…and no, this isn’t a joke. It’s actually true.)

  • Bev

    Love this idea of live stage performances.
    No other network is doing this sort of thing.

  • merrranga

    ok, now hire an actor and not a pop star and maybe this time i will watch it without laughing all the way through…

  • E

    Just once, I would like to see Peter Pan played by a male. Please NBC, do not let a woman/girl play Peter Pan. Please!

  • Rebecca

    It’s always a woman playing Peter Pan on stage – I enjoyed the Sandy Duncan version I saw in L.A. a long time ago. Great show, so I hope this one is cast well. Not sure, but I think each time the man playing Mr. Darling (the kids’ father) also plays Captain Hook. It was Christopher Hewitt (Mr. Belvedere) in the version I saw; he was great.

  • merrranga

    i in no way need it to be a man, and i completely understand the tradition of a woman playing the role (i mean for how many decades did a man play Juliet??), but it would be interesting if they could find a young man that could do the role justice.

    but in keeping with the ‘star’ theme that would probably mean beiber or some such, in that case no..

  • merrranga

    @ rebecca

    it is inferred in the book that ‘captain hook’ is an imagined version of the absent father. so it is very much the custom to cast both roles to one actor.

  • RJC

    @merrranga: “but in keeping with the ‘star’ theme that would probably mean beiber or some such, in that case no..”

    That was my thinking. I’m praying to God NBC does not hire Justin Bieber to play Peter Pan. Dumber things have happened.

  • Rebecca

    That’s what I thought, about the Hook/Father roles, but I wasn’t sure. Haven’t read the book. And I agree with RJC – I pray they don’t hire Beiber for ANY role in it.

  • a p garcia

    Does anyone know what the ratings of the Mary Martin version? I assume they had ratings back then.

  • David

    The 1955 and 1956 broadcasts were part of the “Producers’ Showcase” anothology series. According to Wikipedia, the 1955 broadcast had 65 million viewers and a 68.3 share, the most watched of the series. The 1956 broadcast had a 54.9 share. “Producers’s Showcase” as a whole averaged a 36.5 share.

    The 1960 broadcast was a stand-alone special. Don’t know the ratings for that.

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