NBC Announces Jennifer Lopez to Star In Bye Bye Birdie In 2017
With its live production of Hairspray a little more than a month away, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt announced Thursday night that Bye Bye Birdie will be the network’s next live production, set for the 2017 holiday season and starring Jennifer Lopez as Rosie.
Greenblatt made the announcement at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills and also revealed that Harvey Fierstein (who is reprising his Tony-winning role of Edna Turnblad in the net’s Hairspray Live on December 7) will be writing the teleplay adaptation.
Bye Bye Birdie Live will be based on the 1960 Tony Award winning Broadway musical that starred Dick Van Dyke (who also earned a Tony) and Chita Rivera (who received a Tony nomination). The book was written by Michael Stewart with lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse. The production was adapted into a 1963 Golden Globe-nominated film that starred Van Dyke and Janet Leigh and featured Ann-Margaret in the role that would bring her international stardom.
Set at the height of rock and roll, Bye Bye Birdie follows hip-thrusting music heartthrob Conrad Birdie before being drafted into the Army and was inspired by the popularity of rocker Elvis Presley and his induction into the Army in 1957.
Bye Bye Birdie Live will be executive produced by Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zaden and Neil Meron. Universal Television is producing along with Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, Storyline and Sony Pictures Television. There is no airdate yet for the production though past NBC live productions have aired between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Lopez, who currently is in residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas with her “Jennifer Lopez: All I Have” show, also stars in NBC’s crime drama, Shades of Blue, which returns for a second season in 2017. She will also be a judge and executive producer on the network’s upcoming reality series, World of Dance.