UPDATE 12/4/15: It finally aired last night, after months of anticipation and a relentless marketing campaign. So what did you guys think? Based on my Twitter feed during the special, the vast majority of you who were watching, dug it! Really dug it, in some cases. So, *touchdown* for “The Wiz Live!” right? It appears that way, with NBC saying that over 11 million of you tuned in to watch the show – more than those who tuned in to watch “Peter Pan Live” a year ago (9.2 million), but less than the 18.6 million who watched “The Sound of Music Live” 2 years ago.
I’m a recent cord-cutter, so I didn’t watch it live last night. But it should become available on VOD platforms like Hulu today, or very soon, for those who are also cord cutters, and who want to watch it.
But, once again, if you tuned in, what are your thoughts?
All previous updates follow below.
UPDATE 11/25/15: NBC will present “The Making of ‘The Wiz Live'” tonight, Wednesday, November 25 on NBC (8-9 p.m. ET).
The hour-long special will give viewers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the incredible teamwork it takes to create this holiday’s highly anticipated television event, “The Wiz Live!” (Thursday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m.). From casting to costume design, “The Making of The Wiz Live!”will provide an all-access pass to The Land of Oz.
Watch a preview of the behind-the-scenes special below (and catch up on all previous updates on the show underneath:
UPDATE 11/16/15: The marketing drive for “The Wiz Live!” is in full swing, with another video tease – this time giving us first looks at what Queen Latifah as The Wiz; Common as the Bouncer, the gatekeeper of the entrance to Emerald City; Stephanie Mills (who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz”) as Auntie Em; and Uzo Aduba as Glinda, the good witch. Watch it immediately below and catch up on past updates underneath.
UPDATE 11/11/15: NBC has released a new digital exclusive for its upcoming “The Wiz Live!” production – this one featuring stars Shanice Williams and Stephanie Mills singing “Home.”
UPDATE 11/2/15: NBC has released a new preview/teaser for the live event, which is embedded immediately below:
UPDATE 10/30/15: Complete casting has now been set for NBC’s December 3 live broadcast of “The Wiz Live.” Joining the previously-cast Shanice Williams, Stephanie Mills, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, David Alan Grier, Common, Ne-Yo, and Elijah Kelley are recently announced additions: Chris Borrero, James Brown III, Olutayo Bosede, Elon Van Buckley, Ta’rea Campbell, Jessica Castro, Kacie Garland, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Frankie Gordils, Khadija Griffith, Tre Holloway, Antonio Hudnell, Carlos Irizarry, Marcus Paul James, Frederic Jean, Capathia Jenkins, Mykal Kilgore, Tamika Lawrence, India R. McGee, Maurice Murphy, Antonio Moore, Danielle Polanco, Malaiyka Reid, Eric Sanchez, Sherisse Springer, Chris Silcox, Ahmahd Thomas, Raphael Thomas, Alex Wade, Donald Webber, DaShaun Wesley, Xavier Wilcher and NaTasha Williams.
UPDATE 10/15/15: NBC has now released the upcoming show’s poster art, which is embedded above.
UPDATE 10/14/15: NBC has also now released a behind-the-scenes tease, showing the cast in costume, and in motion. Watch it below:
It was in May when NBC announced an open casting call for the lead role of Dorothy in the network’s upcoming holiday special “The Wiz Live!,” set to air on Thursday, Dec. 3.
Revealed last month, newcomer Shanice Williams was cast as Dorothy, beating out lots of competition – potentially the break of a lifetime for the actress/singer.
Williams joins David Alan Grier, who will play the Cowardly Lion; Queen Latifah stars as the Wiz; Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West; Stephanie Mills (who played Dorothy in the original Broadway production of “The Wiz”) will portray Auntie Em; Common will play the Bouncer, the gatekeeper of the entrance to Emerald City; Ne-Yo will play the Tin Man; and Elijah Kelley will play the Scarecrow in NBC’s December production.
“The Wiz Live!” is adapted from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, with a book by William F. Brown, and music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls. The production opened on Broadway in 1975 at the Majestic Theatre and won seven Tonys, including Best Musical.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“The Sound of Music Live!,” “Peter Pan Live!,” Oscar-winning “Chicago”) will executive produce. Kenny Leon (Tony winner, “A Raisin in the Sun”) is stage director and Matthew Diamond is TV director, with Harvey Fierstein (three-time Tony winner, “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Hairspray” and “La Cage aux Folles”) providing new written material.
Esteemed choreographer Fatima Robinson (“Dreamgirls,” “Ali”) is also on board, along with music producer Harvey Mason Jr. (“Dreamgirls, “Pitch Perfect 2”) and Stephen Oremus (“The Book of Mormon,” “Kinky Boots”) as music director, orchestrator and co-producer of the music.
“The Wiz Live!” is produced by Universal Television in association with Cirque Du Soleil Theatrical.
The production has released a first set of images from the upcoming broadcast, featuring the key cast in costume, individually (below) and together (above).