NBC Pushes Bye Bye Birdie Live!, Starring Jennifer Lopez, to 2018
According to a Variety report, NBC has delayed its production of Bye Bye Birdie Live! to 2018, altering its original plan to produce the live musical in December 2017.
The postponement was prompted by the live musical's star, Jennifer Lopez, who is currently overscheduled with two existing NBC series, World of Dance and the drama Shades of Blue. Consequently, NBC will not produce a live musical for the holiday season, at is has done the past four years with The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Hairspray. The network has, however, planned a live telecast of Jesus Christ Superstar to air on April 1, 2018, Easter Sunday.
In addition to starring, Lopez was slated to executive-produce the live musical, along with her company Nuyorican Productions, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zadan, and Neil Meron, with Universal Television. Jerry Mitchell was attached to direct, with a screenplay by Harvey Fierstein, and television direction by two-time Emmy winner Alex Rudzinski.
NBC remains committed to producing Bye Bye Birdie Live!, but did not want to rush rehearsals and production around Lopez's schedule.