TV Surf Report: Event Television Is The Word In Hollywood After Grease: Live! All Hail, Director Tommy Kail!


Santa Monica, CA —  (Updated 19 March 2016)

Broadcast Networks learned a very big lesson Sunday night with Fox’s highly rated and well-received production of Grease: Live! 

Event Television remains a big draw for the Big Four.

As long as the networks are in the Event Business, they will remain relevant in the ever-changing landscape currently hijacked by Netflix and Amazon.

The Oscars. The Super Bowl. The World Series. And now, live musicals.

These are the events that audiences still look to ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox to produce for their viewing pleasure.


ABC has a re-make of Dirty Dancing in development with Abigail Breslin and Debra Messing set to star.  Perhaps, the network will consider making an event out of what was a planned 3-hour movie for television.

NBC has set Hairspray as its next live musical for December.  Neil Meron and Craig Zadan follow-up their successful productions of The Wiz, Peter Pan (okay, less successful), and The Sound of Music.


You can bet CBS executives are wondering how they can get into this game.  Godspell or Jesus Christ Superstar, anyone?  Fox will probably stick with as young a crowd-pleaser as possible which makes their next live musical (probable) choice a no-brainer:  Rent.

This spring, Fox will test the waters with The Passion, an Easter-themed faith-based live musical production executive produced by Tyler Perry and starring Trisha Yearwood, Seal, Chris Daughtry and more. Expect a hit!


Fox also has a production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in development with Laverne Cox, Adam Lambert and Tim Curry set to star.

Thanks to Director Tommy Kail’s re-inventive approach to Grease: Live!, there will be many more Events to come. Also, Social Media played a huge part to Grease: Live! as an additional 2 million viewers were added in delayed viewing.

Event Television is once again The Word in Hollywood.  It’s Electrifying!



Next Up:  Film Surf Report on Disney’s big big year in 2017.



About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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