NBC’s next live musical production will be “Bye Bye Birdie” with Jennifer Lopez, who will executive produce with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Her company Nuyorican Productions will produce with Universal Television. Harvey Fierstein will write the television adaptation, with the special slated to air in December, 2017.
Lopez, who stars in NBC’s “Shades of Blue,” will play the part of Rosie in the NBC version. No other casting has yet been announced. The role was originated by Chita Rivera in the show’s first run on Broadway, and has also been played by Janet Leigh and Vanessa Williams in the two film versions of the musical.
“Bye Bye Birdie” was inspired by Elvis Presley, and tells the tale of a pop star, his manager Albert, and Albert’s girlfriend Rosie as they plan a contest to find the girl who gets to kiss the pop star before he ships off to the army. Dick Van Dyke originated the role of Albert in both the first Broadway run and the 1963 movie.
“Bye, Bye Birdie” will be the fourth live musical in NBC’s ongoing roster of December events following versions of “The Sound of Music,” “Pen Pan” and “The Whiz.”