Oscar and Emmy nominee Taraji P. Henson, best known for work on screen in Empire, Hidden Figures, and more, will play Miss Hannigan in NBC's Annie Live!. As previously announced, the new TV adaptation will air December 2. More casting, including for the title character, will be announced later.
"Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember," Henson told Deadline. "So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped. Carol, I hope to do you proud."
Miss Hannigan was created on Broadway to Tony-winning effect by Dorothy Loudon in 1979 opposite Andrea McArdle as Annie. The role has become a coveted one both on stage and screen, with Jane Lynch, Katie Finneran, Faith Prince, Kathy Bates, Cameron Diaz, and even McArdle herself (in a 2018 Axelrod Performing Arts Center production) taking on the role in the past.
City Center Encores Artistic Director Lear deBessonet will helm the NBC broadcast, leading a creative team that includes choreographer Sergio Trujillo, costume designer Paul Tazewell, and scenic designer Jason Sherwood. Alex Rudzinski will be the production's live television director and executive producer. Also serving as executive producer are former NBC Chair Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron. The event is produced by Chloe Productions.
Annie, which premiered on Broadway in 1977, features a score by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin and a book by Thomas Meehan. Based on the Depression-era newspaper comic series, the musical centers on its plucky title character and her journey from orphanage to the opulent Warbucks mansion.