How to Watch NBC's Annie Live!

Annie Live! premieres tonight, Thursday, Dec. 2 on NBC and we've got all the details on how to watch, who's in the cast and everything in between.

By Jake Thompson Dec 02, 2021 6:00 PMTags

The sun'll come out tomorrow, but you don't have to wait that long for NBC's Annie Live! because it's happening tonight, Thursday, Dec. 2!

When the official cast photo of the highly anticipated live production was revealed on Nov. 24 exclusively with E!, we couldn't wait to see 12-year-old newcomer Celina Smith take on the beloved orphan Annie in the classic musical. And with an A-list lineup of supporting superstars that includes Taraji P. Henson and Harry Connick Jr., you won't want to miss this holiday event.

NBC has made a habit of transforming adored Broadway musicals to live specials, starting with The Sound of Music Live! starring country queen Carrie Underwood in 2013. Annie Live!—the show about a young girl who lives in an orphanage and dreams of reuniting with her parents someday—is the latest foray in the network's staging of musicals for primetime television.

Other previous classics include The Little MermaidHairspray, The Wiz and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Annie Live! including where to watch, who's in the star-studded cast and more.

Meet NBC's Annie Live! Cast

When will Annie Live! air?

Annie Live! will premiere on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8/7c on NBC. If you miss tonight's premiere, watch afterwards any time on Peacock.

Who's in the Annie Live! cast?

With Smith in the titular role, Henson will embody Miss Hannigan, the sinister head of the infamous orphanage where Annie lives. Connick Jr. will take on "Daddy" Warbucks. Rooster Hannigan—Miss Hannigan's scheme-riddled brother will be played by Emmy-nominated actor Tituss BurgessMegan Hilty will take on the role of Rooster's girlfriend, Lily St. Regis. And rounding out the cast is The Pussycat Dolls alum Nicole Scherzinger as Warbucks' secretary Grace Farrell. 

Paul Gilmore/NBC

How did Celina Smith land the role? 

Smith was discovered for the part of Annie after a nationwide search for young talent. The 12-year-old star previously gave E! News the inside scoop on what to expect from the beloved story.

"It's 2021, and everything that happened last was crazy. So, I feel like all the emotions that were going on, I can kind of apply that, just because of the message of Annie," Smith said during Daily Pop on Oct. 6. "You know, it brings hope and just a sense of happiness." 

Annie Through the Years

The young starlet will get to sing Annie's big show-stoppers, "Tomorrow," as well as "Maybe" and "It's a Hard Knock Life."

"I'm hoping to get to sprinkle a little bit of my personality in there," Smith promised. "I'm hoping to mix a little of my TV acting, my musical acting in there too."

Paul Gilmore/NBC

Is there on-stage chemistry between Henson and Connick Jr.?

"Taraji P. Hannigan is seductive as Taraji. She's such a powerful presence in the most wonderful way," Connick Jr. said during E! News' Daily Pop on Nov. 29. "Being seduced by Miss Hannigan maybe isn't quite as pleasant as being seduced— potentially—by Taraji P. Henson but she's so good at it, I think people are going to love it."

When did rehearsals start for Annie Live!?

According to Smith's Instagram, rehearsals began on Oct. 18 when she revealed the Annie Live! binder. "Rehearsal has officially started," she captioned her post."So excited." 

Annie Live! will air this Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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