PLAYBILL POLL: Who Should Play Harold Hill in NBC's Live Television Broadcast of The Music Man?

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13 May 2014

NBC recently announced that it will air a live television broadcast of Meredith Willson's The Music Man in 2015 following the Dec. 4, 2014, broadcast of Peter Pan. This news made us wonder: Who should star as Professor Harold Hill?

Playbill.com polled our readers via Facebook and Twitter. Their responses follow:

Seth MacFarlane

Tim Stuff: Seth MacFarlane.
Luke Powell: Seth Macfarlane.
Margaret Daisy Rose: Seth MacFarlane would be amazing.
Hayley Goldstein: Seth MacFarlane would be so much fun as Harold Hill. He is the right amount of loveable and jerk, plus no one can beat his Shipoopi!

Seth MacFarlane made his feature-film directorial debut with the box-office success "Ted," which he also co-wrote, produced and voiced the title character. MacFarlane is the creative force behind the television series "Family Guy" and co-creator of "American Dad!" and "The Cleveland Show." An accomplished live performer, MacFarlane has played to sold-out audiences at London's Royal Albert Hall and New York's Carnegie Hall. In 2011 he released his debut album, "Music Is Better Than Words," which earned two Grammy nominations. He also has earned 13 Emmy nominations and won two for his work on "Family Guy."

Norbert Leo Butz
Garrett Canna: Norbert Leo Butz, hands down.
Meg Rojahn: Norbert Leo Butz!
Aimee Meals: NO ONE BUT Norbert Leo Butz!
Rianna Chupeyda: Norbert Leo Butz would be awesome!
Elizabeth Child: Norbert Leo Butz would be pretty awesome.
Robin Ross: Norbert!
Brian Greer: Norbert Leo Butz
Anne McNeff: Norbert Butz
@JoshKaplan93: Norbert Leo Butz!

Norbert Leo Butz is a two-time Tony Award winner for his performances in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Catch Me If You Can. He was also Tony-nominated for his work in Thou Shalt Not. The actor, who recently starred as Edward Bloom in the Andrew Lippa-scored musical Big Fish, has also been seen on Broadway in Dead Accounts, Enron, Is He Dead?, Wicked and Rent.

Matthew Broderick
Photo by Joan Marcus
Jan Rideout: Matthew Broderick
Jennifer Armstrong: Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick, who played Harold Hill in the 2003 television film adaptation of The Music Man, is a two-time Tony Award winner for Brighton Beach Memoirs and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The actor, Tony-nominated for The Producers, is slated to return to Broadway alongside Producers co-star Nathan Lane in Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play. Broderick has also been seen in Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Philanthropist, The Odd Couple, Taller Than a Dwarf, Night Must Fall and Biloxi Blues.

Santino Fontana
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Nathan Hinds: Santino Fontana

Santino Fontana, who was Tony-nominated for his performance as Prince Topher in Cinderella, currently stars on Broadway in James Lapine's Act One. He has also been seen on Broadway in The Importance of Being Earnest, A View from the Bridge, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Billy Elliot and Sunday in the Park With George.

Hugh Jackman
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Bill Rogers: Hugh Jackman

Jean Lohrius: Hugh Jackman

Pauline Patterson: Hugh Jackman!

@Piscesboy69:  @playbill @nbc The answer is pretty obvious: Hugh Jackman as Harold Hill.

Hugh Jackman was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in the Royal National Theatre's production of Oklahoma! He won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance in The Boy from Oz, and in 2012 the Australian native was awarded a Special Tony Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the Theatre Community. Jackman will host the 68th Annual Tony Awards, which will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall June 8 beginning at 8 PM.

Raúl Esparza

Bryan Giansanti: Raul Esparza

@caitlinerin:  @playbill @nbc Raul Esparza. As a bonus he's already on an NBC show.

Raul Esparza has earned four Tony nominations for his performances in Speed-the-Plow, The Homecoming, Company and Taboo. He was most recently seen on Broadway in the musical Leap of Faith.

Matthew Morrison
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

@Peoria_Mark: @playbill @nbc @Matt_Morrison would be a perfect Harold Hill

@paige_s: @playbill @nbc Mathew Morrison all the way!

@c_wong79 21h: @playbill @NBC Would love to see Matthew Morrison tackle a full-length musical again, and Harold Hill is a terrific part for him.

A Tony Award nominee for his performance in The Light in the Piazza, Matthew Morrison can currently be seen in the hit Fox series "Glee," which will begin airing its final season in 2015. He has also been seen on Broadway in Footloose, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way and South Pacific.

Neil Patrick Harris

Carol Elam Dawe: N. P. H.

Leslie Smith Poitevent: NPH!!

@MisterHeck: @playbill @NBC It's gotta be @ActuallyNPH! He has the showmanship down pat.

@synthomagnetic:  @playbill @nbc @ActuallyNPH would be perfect!

@Curr_Curr: @playbill @nbc @ActuallyNPH. The charisma and charm, the good looks... Perfect Prof. Hill.

Neil Patrick Harris is currently starring in the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which received eight 2014 Tony Award nominations. He made his Broadway debut in the 1998 revival of Cabaret and later originated the role of Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald in the Tony Award-winning musical Assassins.

Nathan Lane
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN


Megan Sterle: Nathan lane


Krissy Straub-MacCanon: Nathan Lane would be fantastic in the role!!!!


A two-time Tony Award winner, both for Best Actor in a Musical (for his work in The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Nathan Lane was most recently seen on Broadway in a Tony-nominated turn in the 2013 original play The Nance. He also earned a Tony nomination for his work in the revival of Guys and Dolls. Lane received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for his performance in the 2005 film adaptation of The Producers.