For a minute there, it seemed as though the live TV musical had fallen out of favor once again.
Beginning with NBC's 2013 production of The Sound of Music Live!, we found ourselves in the midst of a minor craze as the networks (well, mostly NBC and Fox) gathered A-list casts to mount annual specials, bringing some of Broadway's most beloved musicals to life on the small screen. But after a 2019 that saw Fox have to rely on Rent: Live's taped dress rehearsal footage while ABC's The Little Mermaid Live! made us wonder whether they really understood the assignment or not, it felt like a good time to press pause for a bit.
Of course, that all changes on Wednesday, Dec. 9, as NBC revives the genre somewhat for a special holiday production of Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical starring Glee's Matthew Morrison as the titular green beasty. Pre-taped in London under strict COVID-19 protocols, the switcheroo left Morrison feeling slightly scared, he told Daily Pop's Justin Sylvester.
"It was terrifying, if I'm being honest," the American Horror Story: 1984 star said. "It was very challenging. This was meant to be a live version of this, as most of these are, but with COVID protocols, we weren't really allowed to do that." That meant, of course, that cast and crew had to remain in a bubble throughout production. Morrison added, "We had a month of rehearsals and we shot all of this in London and then we had, like, two days of actually filming."
While we wait to see how Morrison and Co. make their grand Whoville debut, let's take a look at all the TV musicals that came before them. Which production hit all the right notes? Read on to find out!
Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical airs Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)