NBC set its sights on Jennifer Lopez as the star of their next live musical event, “Bye, Bye Birdie.”
The TV company’s Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblat announced the news Oct. 27 during a panel at the Paley Center in Los Angeles.
Lopez will star as the lead character of Rosie, the love interest of songwriter Albert Peterson. Rosie encourages her boyfriend to pen a song for rock ‘n’ roll musician Conrad Birdie to perform his song before the singer gets heads into the Army.
The show will debut in time for the 2017 holiday season.
Greenbalt said, “to have a superstar like Jennifer Lopez starring in this classic show… will ensure that our holiday musicals continue to be must-see events for the whole family.
“It was her idea to take on this classic singing and dancing role made famous by the legendary Chita Rivera [in 1960],” he continued. “And we are so happy to oblige! This show has delighted audiences for generations… “And this will be an extravagant production built around this big star.”
NBC annually produces real-time stage performances as part of its holiday season line-up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the peacock network premiered “The Sound of Music Live!” in Dec. 2013. This year, on Dec. 7, it will debut its fourth production – “Hairspray” – with Kristen Chenoweth and Jennifer Hudson.
Meanwhile, “Birdie” will see Lopez as executive producer with her long-time manager Benny Medina under her company Nuyorican Productions.
“Broadway musicals and films fueled my childhood,” Lopez said in a statement. “And ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ was one of my favorites. I’m proud to be a part of the NBC family with ‘Shades of Blue’ and I thought it would be a blast to take on one of their big live musicals.”
This marks the newest development for Lopez with NBC.
Her series “Shades of Blue” will premiere its second season next year. Additionally, the singer-dancer will executive produce the Universal Television-NBC competition show, “World of Dance.” And, she is producing bio-terror drama “C.R.I.S.P.R.” for NBC too. The series is part of her development deal with UTV.