We’re in the middle of a spate of live-action remakes of Disney classics, but their next big thing might already be on the horizon. Reports surfaced this week that ABC, which is owned by Disney, is joining in on the live musical fun with The Little Mermaid, a production scheduled to air on October 3.
That’s not all that far away, so it’s maybe a little surprising that the network hasn’t pinned down the cast yet. They have announced that The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live will be produced by Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, David Jammy, Katy Mullan, and Richard Kraft. We also know that it’s not going to be exactly like the live musicals that NBC and Fox have aired — this one will include scenes from the animated classic alongside the live performances. Those performances will be of the classic songs, so maybe this is going to be the performers just watching the movie and singing along with it? I guess we’ve all been there.
There was a concert of sorts featuring a number of stars like Sara Bareilles and Rebel Wilson singing The Little Mermaid classics last year, but it’s unknown whether anyone involved with that performance will come back for this one. The Little Mermaid also had a turn on Broadway in 2008, but it got savaged in The New York Times. Word is that production was tweaked and came to other theaters across the nation, with more success.
NBC started the live TV musical kick in 2013 with Carrie Underwood starring in The Sound of Music. Despite some harsh reviews, NBC has stuck with it — since then, they’ve done The Wiz, Peter Pan, and Hairspray, with Bye Bye Birdie scheduled for later this year and Jesus Christ Superstar planned for April of 2018. But, they’ve never been particularly well-received, and The Sound of Music has thus far had the highest viewership by a large margin. Fox got started with Grease last year, which had moderate success. They’ll follow that up with Rent and A Christmas Story.
We’ve got no idea what to expect from The Little Mermaid Live, but I guess that’s kind of the point. Anything — bad or good — can happen during these things, and I’m sure a huge chunk of the millions of viewers that watch these check them out to catch the bad. Seems rude! Here’s hoping for good.