Sean Hayes and Rosie O'Donnell Fill Out the Cast of Hairspray Live!

The television and Broadway regulars join the live musical telecast.

Sean Hayes and Rosie O'Donnell join the cast of Hairspray Live! on NBC.
Sean Hayes and Rosie O'Donnell join the cast of Hairspray Live! on NBC.
(© David Gordon)

Rosie O'Donnell and Sean Hayes are the two newest members of the Hairspray Live! ensemble. The announcement was made by executive producer Craig Zadan at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Hayes will take on the role of Mr. Pinky, while O’Donnell will play the gym teacher in NBC's December 7 broadcast.

The pair joins a cast led by newcomer Maddie Baillio in the role of Tracy Turnblad, along with Garrett Clayton (Link Larkin), Ariana Grande (Penny Pingleton), Dove Cameron (Amber Von Tussle), Jennifer Hudson (Motormouth Maybelle), Martin Short (Wilbur Turnblad), Derek Hough (Corny Collins), and Kristin Chenoweth (Velma Von Tussle). Original Broadway Hairspray leading man Harvey Fierstein also reprises his Tony-winning performance as Edna Turnblad.

Hayes, best known for his Emmy-winning role as Jack McFarland on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, currently stars in An Act of God at Broadway's Booth Theatre. He also earned a Tony nomination for his 2010 Broadway debut in Promises, Promises, which he performed opposite Kristin Chenoweth who joins him in the Hairspray Live! cast. O'Donnell has appeared on Broadway in productions of Grease, Seussical, and Fiddler on the Roof, and was a lead producer on the muscial Taboo.

Hairspray features a Tony-winning score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and a Tony-winning book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Based on the film by John Waters, it tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, an overweight Baltimore teen with dreams of landing a spot on a TV dance show and bringing racial integration with her.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced the 2007 movie-musical version of Hairspray, will produce the live television edition. The Wiz Live! director Kenny Leon will take the helm, with Alex Rudzinski (Grease Live) directing for television. Jerry Mitchell will repeat his duties from the Broadway mounting as choreographer. Original Hairspray composer-lyricists Shaiman and Wittman are also on the team for the live work.