The television producers who brought "Annie," "Cinderella" and "Gypsy" to the small screen with big success have "The Music Man," a new version of the Broadway play, "Butterflies Are Free," and the previously-announced "Mame" on their plate.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron of Storyline Entertainment have the TV options for a small screen version of Meredith Willson's Tony Award winning smash, The Music Man, which starred Robert Preston in 1958 (and in the faithful feature film version). A Broadway revival of the tuner is in rehearsal and would not be skedded for TV any time soon, industry folk speculate.
Leonard Gershe's 1969-70 Broadway comedy, Butterflies Are Free, will be updated for a Storyline TV pic (with co-producers Columbia Tri Star and John Stamos) and run on CBS. The comedy about a mother's reluctance to let her blind son live alone, especially with a free-spirit young woman next door, won Blythe Danner a Tony Award for Supporting/Featured Actress and earned Eileen Heckart a nom in the same category. Heckart won the Supporting Actress Academy Award for the film version, which starred Goldie Hawn.
Before either of those projects, however, "Mame," co-produced with Barbra Streisand and Cis Corman will be the 2000-2001 season's major TV musical, as previously reported on Playbill On-Line. There is no confirmation that Streisand would play the lead role; she serves as a producer. Peter Tolan is working on the teleplay based on the Jerry Herman Jerome Lawrence-Robert E. Lee smash musical.
Storyline's "The Three Stooges" TV movie airs April 24 on ABC. Zadan is known to fans of Stephen Sondheim for penning the useful biography of the songwriter's works, "Sondheim & Co."