"This lavish musical production, an all-Black retelling of The Wizard of Oz, showcased some of the greatest talents of all time — Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as The Scarecrow, Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch and Richard Pryor as the Wizard, plus songs by Ashford & Simpson, Luther Vandross and Quincy Jones. But amid all that easin’ down the road, it also slipped in sly commentary about what it meant to be Black at the time it was made — notice, for example, how every taxi in Oz speeds away when Dorothy and her friends approach." —Dawnie Walton, Managing Editor, ESSENCE.com

NBC will produce The Wiz as their next live TV musical.

Jolie A. Doggett
Jan, 17, 2015

The Wiz is easin’ on down to NBC as their next live musical.

According to Deadline, NBC has obtained the rights to produce a live version of the of the classic film starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson for their next TV special.

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the men behind the live-action productions of The Sound of Music and last year’s Peter Pan specials, are slated to be the executive producers of this reimagining of the classic film.

NBC is confident that this musical special will do well despite the lack-luster ratings from last year’s Peter Pan production. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt says The Wiz is more “catchy and cool.” The retelling of this family-favorite is also likely to draw a larger audience from the Black community.

The live version of The Wiz will likely premiere during the upcoming holiday season. No word yet on who will be cast for the TV special.