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ABC Postpones Plans for Live The Little Mermaid

The musical presentation was set to air this October.

Sierra Boggess as Ariel in the 2008 Broadway production of The Little Mermaid.
(© Joan Marcus)

ABC has postponed its previously announced plans to produce The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live as part of its 2017-18 season, according to published reports. The two-hour special, which was set to air on October 3, was to intertwine the 1989 animated film with live musical performances of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's score. The postponement and possible cancellation is likely due to budget constraints.

As opposed to the live musicals produced by NBC (The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, Hairspray) and Fox (Grease), ABC's broadcast would have blended live performances with the original film in a similar manner to last June's Hollywood Bowl production, which featured musical numbers performed while the animated film played in the background.

The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live was set to be produced by Done Dusted, with Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, David Jammy, Katy Mullan, and Richard Kraft, of Kraft-Engel Productions, serving as executive producers.

This Little Mermaid announcement comes on the heels of NBC's news that it's pushing its previously announced live production of Bye Bye Birdie starring Jennifer Lopez.