“As we continue to expand the profile of our live musicals, we are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to bring a new live staging of the iconic Jesus Christ Superstar to NBC,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, NBC Entertainment, in a statement. “Casting has just begun, but we want to fill out this classic show with as many recording artists as possible to give proper voice to what is the original rock opera score.”
Jesus Christ Superstar was conceived as a concept album that hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and eventually made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus’ life.
The 1971 musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. It was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Vereen. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Composer.
There have been many revivals of Jesus Christ Superstar over the 46 years since its debut, including 2000 and 2012 Broadway versions that each earned a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. The 1973 film was directed by Oscar winner Norman Jewison and starred Ted Neeley.
The broadcast will follow NBC's previous live productions of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and, most recently, Hairspray.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live! will be produced by Universal Television, The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions, and Storyline Entertainment.
Check out photos from NBC's Hairspray Live! below: