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Quelle surprise! On the heels of the staggering success of the ambitious The Sound of Music Live!, NBC hired Smash producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan to executive produce another beloved musical for 2014. As expected, last week’s event heralded in a new holiday tradition. With 18.6 million viewers, the peacock network would’ve been stupid to not stage another production. No word on what musical just yet, but here’s what NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told The New York Times.

“All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us,” Greenblatt told the Times. “Rights holders of musicals have said, ‘Please do one of our shows.’ We’re excited to try it again.”

Reportedly, the only requirement is that it must be a family-friendly Broadway classic with a slew of familiar songs. I guess that rules out Priscilla! Queen of the Desert, Rent or The Book of Mormon ;) With recent movie renditions of Hairspray, Mamma Mia and Les Miserables, that also rules them out. I’m betting they do another Julie Andrews classic. Mary Poppins anyone? Or something from the hey day of musicals.

Although the Sound of Music Live! production took over 18 months to orchestrate, all parties involved confidently believe it won’t take nearly as long, having gone through the experience already. The Carrie Underwood starrer cost reportedly $9 million to produce. With a 22-song soundtrack available on iTunes and a DVD/Blu-Ray release next week, I’m sure the network will be raking in the profits for years to come. I also foresee jacked up commercial prices for the next musical.

In other Sound of Music-related news, a cast member from the beloved movie passed away Monday. For those who didn’t believe Underwood killed it with her performance, clearly they were wrong ;) Obviously, I’m joking, albeit in bad taste.

find out which original cast member passed away after the jump

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NBC’s big gamble (reportedly $9 million production) paid off. The live special of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer scored boffo ratings. It was NBC’s best Thursday performance (excluding sports) in the adult demo since the ER finale on April 2, 2009 and best overall viewing since the Frasier finale in 2004. The musical earned a 4.6 adults 18-49 rating, peaking at 19.3 million viewers during the 9pm hour. The NBC offices were definitely alive with the sound of music today for sure.

No doubt, Carrie’s huge fan base tuned in to support Nashville’s favorite daughter. I’m sure a fair amount also checked it out to see how Underwood would handle the iconic role of Maria von Trapp which was immortalized on film by the legendary Julie Andrews. While no one can ever touch Andrews, especially in this role, I thought Carrie handled the musical numbers quite well. Her acting, however, left something to be desired. Not surprisingly, she was quite wooden. With exception to very few outlets, Underwood was raked over the coals. Check out some of the scathing reviews in between the musical numbers below.

On a more positive note, I thought the Von Trapp kids were fantastic. “Do Re Mi” and Liesl’s duet with Rolf on “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” were two of my favorites. Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess was simply divine. Her Broadway roots definitely shined through. Acting opposite her, must’ve been daunting for Underwood. Also props to NBC for pulling this off so masterfully. Given the scope and logistical nightmare, I’m shocked there were no major technical problems. I hope NBC plans to bring another beloved musical to television next year. This is one holiday tradition I can get behind.

watch all the performances and read the reviews after the jump

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Love, love, love both these ladies. While most of primetime was in rerun mode due to Thanksgiving, late night provided some original programming. Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Lawrence popped up on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman’s Late Show respectively, Thursday night.

Underwood joined Rashida Jones and Fallon as they performed a holiday medley. Instead of using traditional Yuletide tracks, the trio mashed up some of the year’s biggest pop hits including “Roar,” “Blurred Lines,” and “Royals” but with altered lyrics. Carrie belted lines like “You made me cook a butterball. And then a green bean casserole,” to the tune of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” Just like Miley’s AMAs performance, a giant kitten appeared on the screen behind her.

Meanwhile over at CBS, Lawrence along with Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Martha Stewart recited Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s infamous crack apology. As you recall, Ford recently admitted to smoking crack and made a series of inappropriate remarks. Oh, Canada! Check out both clips below.

watch both videos after the jump

We’ve only seen Carrie Underwood dressed as Maria Von Trap, but now we finally get to hear snippets of her singing. While no one can ever truly fill Julie Andrews’ fräulein shoes, I think the “Blown Away” singer can pull it off without tarnishing the iconic image and more importantly, not embarrassing herself.

NBC just released a promo featuring the main cast singing. It’s only 30 seconds long so it’s not much, but you get a hint of what’s to come. Underwood sounds fantastic on “My Favorite Things” and on “The Sound of Music.”

While I”m not completely sold on True Blood’s Stephen Moyer taking on Capt. Georg von Trapp, I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. On the flip side, I predict watching Private Practice’s Audra McDonald (Mother Abbess), Go On’s Laura Benanti (Elsa Schrader) and Smash’s Christian Borle (Max Dettweiler) will be both a visual and aural treat.

The live NBC musical production of The Sound of Music will be a three hour telecast airing Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Check out the promo below.

watch the promo after the jump

In between her co-hosting duties at this year’s CMA Awards, Carrie Underwood performed a medley of her recent hits. The American Idol Season 4 winner combined “Good Girl,” “See You Again,” “Blown Away,” and “Two Black Cadillacs” into one seamless song. Girl slayed it.

In addition to being a sensational vocalist, she’s also one drop dead gorgeous lady. And don’t even get me started on those killer legs of hers. I could barely focus on her performance due to her sexy stems. I could easily switch teams for one night for her. No lie. That is, as along as her hubby Mike Fisher is the free gift with purchase ;) Check out her medley below.

watch the performance after the jump

Meet Carrie Underwood’s Von Trapp Kids

In: Donovan, TV Shows

We’ve known for well over a year now that Carrie Underwood would be stepping into Julie Andrew’s shoes for NBC’s holiday special, The Sound of Music Live! The other supporting players soon followed. True Blood’s Stephen Moyer stepped in to play Captain Georg Von Trapp, while Laura Benanti as Elsa Schrader, Christian Borle as Max Detweiler, and Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess were announced shortly thereafter. At long last, we find out who the adorable Von Trapp kids are.

Not surprisingly for the most part, the kids are relative unknowns with theater backgrounds. The one with the recognizable credits is Ariane Rinehart who plays 16-going-on-17 Liesl. She’s appeared in Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” music video and will appear in Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic, Noah. Check out the kids below, along with the first promo NBC released earlier this week. The three-hour The Sound of Music Live! airs on Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m.

check out the kids and the promo after the jump

As much as I love Carrie Underwood, I think doing a remake of such a classic film is a recipe for disaster. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t check out NBC’s star-studded live production of The Sound of Music airing this December. You never know, it actually might do the original justice. The network teams up with Smash producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for The Sound of Music Live!.

Joining Underwood in the remake are a handful of Tony award-winning Broadway vets and even a True Blood hunk. Find out who’s playing Captain Van Trapp below, along with a few other key parts. On a side tangent, doesn’t Carrie do a pretty good job of channeling Julie Andrews in the recently-released artwork above?

find out who else is part of the cast after the jump

While I do love a good country ditty here and there (especially from the ladies), I don’t watch the Academy of Country Music Awards. Clearly, I’m in the minority since the 2013 telecast scored huge ratings last night, improving upon its showing the previous year. Perhaps it was all the talent scheduled to appear that brought in viewers. Even though I didn’t sit down and watch the 2013 ACMs, I was intrigued enough to check out a few of the performances today. With two of my favorite American Idol alums performing with a bit of Jewel mixed in, how could I not.

The OG American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, looked like she recycled her Easter brunch outfit to sing “Don’t Rush.” Carrie Underwood rode up on stage in a car to belt out “Two Black Cadillacs.” Taylor Swift joined Tim McGraw to perform “Highway Don’t Care” and Jewel did a countrified medley of “Hands” and “Fill A Heart.” Lastly, and certainly not least, Miranda Lambert slayed “Mama’s Broken Heart.” Speaking of Lambert, even though she picked up a few statues, she lost out on the big award, “Entertainer Of The Year,” to Luke Bryan. Oh well, at least she had her sexy husband, Blake Shelton, to console her. Check out each of the ladies doing their thing below.

Too bad Shania Twain and Faith Hill didn’t perform on stage as well. I guess they were too busy singing to Stevie Wonder in the audience. Side note: How odd was it to have the R&B legend close out the country show and pairing him up with teen heartthrob country singer Hunter Hayes to boot? Totally random if you ask me.

watch the ladies perform after the jump

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