Jennifer Lopez is tweeting in excitement about her upcoming role as Rosie Alvarez in NBC’s next live TV musical Bye Bye Bird Live! This will be NBC’s fifth effort bringing Broadway to the TV watching masses that started in 2013 with the highly acclaimed Sound of Music. The overly confident Lopez does not appear fazed by the word “live” though critics have noted she avoids live performances like she does covering her rear end and staying married.
NBC announced that Bye Bye Birdie will debut in December 2017, giving Lopez ample time to get in tune while still maintaining her busy schedule singing, acting, self-promoting and endorsing. The very entrepreneurial Lopez brought the idea to NBC that is also home to her current TV series “Shades of Blue”. NBC, who never turns down an idea that can fail, (think XFL and putting Jay Leno at 10 p.m.) decided that Lopez had enough star power and could accelerate the trend of declining viewership for live TV musicals.
Lopez will also serve as executive producer along with her long-time collaborator Benny Medina through her Nuyorican Productions. Harvey Fierstein is writing the TV adaptation for NBC. J Lo is reprising the role made famous by Chita Rivera in 1960 when the musical opened on Broadway; the role garnered Rivera a Tony nomination.
Past performers for the NBC TV musicals have included vocal power houses like Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Carrie Underwood. The Sound of Music, garnered nearly 19 million viewers with viewership gliding downhill since then for subsequent productions: “The Wiz” “Peter Pan” and this month’s offering “Hairspray”.
Lopez has often been knocked for her limited vocal talents and being the single biggest contributor to the high U.S. divorce rate, nonetheless this Latina likes to work. She is in the midst of a Las Vegas residence, on a TV series, debuting a Spanish album next year and whenever she can charging millions to “sing” for dictators and despots.
So expect a lot of chi chi and booty shaking and glitterati to distract you from the obvious when Lopez takes center stage on NBC in 2017.
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