“A Christmas Story” will become Fox’s first musical event since last year’s “Grease: Live!,” which was executive produced by Marc Platt. Platt is once again on board for “A Christmas Story,” and the news comes just days after NBC announced that Platt would help mount “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!” for the Peacock network next Easter.
Fox’s “A Christmas Story” will take elements from both the 1980s feature, which has become an annual TV staple, as well the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production “A Christmas Story: The Musical.”
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who scored “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” and will compose several new songs for the LIVE television event, with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary (“Grease Live”) adapting the book. The move reunites Pasek and Paul with Platt; they were also the lyricists of the Academy Award-winning song “City of Stars,” from “La La Land,” which Platt produced.
“‘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,” said Fox Entertainment president David Madden, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “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.”
Mike Darnell, President, Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television, called Platt “the defining voice in this genre and it’s amazing to have this caliber of talent leading what is sure to be a new standard in live musical events.”
“A Christmas Story: The Musical” was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score (Pasek and Paul) and Best Book of a Musical. The original Broadway production of “A Christmas Story: The Musical” opened Nov. 19, 2012. Based on the writings of Jean Shepherd, the book was written by Joseph Robinette, with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
The musical was based on the motion picture “A Christmas Story,” written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and the novel “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash” by Jean Shepherd.
Warner Horizon Unscripted Television is behind “A Christmas Story Live,” with Platt and Adam Siegel as executive producers.
“A Christmas Story” will air a few weeks after NBC mounts its own live holiday musical, “Bye Bye Birdie,” from Craig Zadan and Neil Meron – who are working with Platt on “Jesus Christ Superstar.” (Live TV theater is a tight-knit community.)