New Deal For Christmas: 'Annie' on Video Dec. 14; DVD in May 2000

News   New Deal For Christmas: 'Annie' on Video Dec. 14; DVD in May 2000 The holiday-themed hit TV movie, "Annie," will be available on video Dec. 14, just in time for the holidays.
Alicia Morton in Annie.
Alicia Morton in Annie.

The holiday-themed hit TV movie, "Annie," will be available on video Dec. 14, just in time for the holidays. The DVD format arrives in stores May 16, 2000.

The Nov. 7 airing of the TV musical, "Annie," was a smash for ABC and "Wonderful World of Disney," luring an estimated 40 million viewers to the small-screen version of the Broadway hit.

It was second highest-rated Disney TV movie ever, and earned the largest audience in the 7-9 PM time period in two years (since Disney's "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" in 1997, and excluding The Academy Awards).

Alicia Morton's stock has also risen: The young actress who played the title orphan (and is a vet of Broadway's Les Miserables) has signed a one-year deal with ABC and Touchstone in anticipation of a series, according to the Nov. 8 Hollywood Reporter.

"Annie" producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan of Storyline Entertainment (TV's "Gypsy, "Cinderella") are developing a number of musical ideas for Disney and ABC, including a TV version of Jerry Herman's Mame, executive produced by Barbra Streisand. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel ("City Slickers") have already delivered a script.

Meanwhile, theatre buffs are wondering if the smashing success of "Annie" opens a new window for the consideration of a TV version of Annie Warbucks, the Off-Broadway sequel about the board of orphans objecting the Annie's adoption on the grounds that Oliver Warbucks is single.

A plot point or two would need to be finessed for a TV sequel: At the end of the new TV movie, Warbucks (Victor Garber) presents his assistant, Grace (Audra McDonald), with an engagement ring.

The CD soundtrack is available in stores now.

Broadway's Rob Marshall (Little Me, Cabaret) directed and choreographed "Annie."

-- By Kenneth Jones