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[05/17/04 - 12:00 AM]
2004 Broadcast Upfront Presentations: Nbc, Part 3
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

NBC ANNOUNCES UPCOMING 2004-05 LONGFORM PROJECTS WITH MUSICAL MOVIE BASED ON 'A CHRISTMAS CAROL' AND 'HERCULES' MINISERIES

Emmy Winner Robert Halmi to Serve as Executive Producer of Both Classic Tales

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- NBC announced the first of its 2004-05 longform projects with two classic tales -- a two-hour movie musical based on "A Christmas Carol" (starring Kelsey Grammer of "Frasier") and an epic, four-hour miniseries version of "Hercules" -- both produced by Emmy Award-winning Robert Halmi ("Gulliver's Travels," "The Odyssey"). In addition NBC will also showcase such special programming as "The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards" and the popular beauty pageants "Miss Universe," "Miss Teen USA" and "Miss USA."

The announcement was made by Jeff Zucker, President, NBC Universal Television Group and Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.

"NBC has not abandoned the longform format and in fact, we have been quite successful recently in keeping the genre healthy," said Zucker. "Considering Robert Halmi's Emmy-winning track record and reputation for quality, we expect that the best is yet to come."

NBC will also offer traditional and festive holiday specials such as "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?," "The National Dog Show," "Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular" and "The 115th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade" on January 1, 2005.

Following are program descriptions for "A Christmas Carol" and "Hercules."

A CHRISTMAS CAROL -- NBC offers a holiday gift with a two-hour movie musical based on the long-running Madison Square Garden stage production, "A Christmas Carol" -- starring Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer (NBC's "Frasier") as Scrooge ? in the timeless classic by Charles Dickens with Emmy Award-winner Robert Halmi ("Gulliver's Travels") as executive producer. Tony Award winner Jason Alexander ("Jerome Robbins' 'Broadway,'" "Seinfeld") stars as Jacob Marley, while Jesse L. Martin (NBC's "Law & Order"), Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski ("Nine the Musical," "Ally McBeal"), and three-time Golden Globe nominee Geraldine Chaplin ("Mary, Mother of Jesus," "Mother Teresa") star as the ghosts of Christmas Present, Past and Future, respectively. Jennifer Love Hewitt ("Heartbreakers," the upcoming "Garfield: The Movie") also stars as Emily, Scrooge's lost love. The musical also features a creative pedigree that includes music by Oscar and Tony Ward-winning composer Alan Menken ("Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast") with lyrics from Tony winner Lynn Ahrens ("Ragtime," "Anastasia") and a book by the late Mike Ockrent ("Crazy for You") and Ahrens (who wrote the teleplay). Emmy winner Arthur Allan Seidelman ("Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes") directs this project from Hallmark Entertainment.

HERCULES -- This epic, four-hour miniseries chronicles the most popular hero in Greek mythology in "Hercules," brought to life by Emmy winner Robert Halmi ("The Odyssey"). Based on the spectacular exploits of the super-strong mythological figure fathered by Zeus, the production to be filmed amid the breathtaking scenery in New Zealand will follow Hercules as he is compelled to redeem himself by completing several classic challenges, including slaying the multi-headed Hydra and dreaded Nemean lion. "Hercules" will sweep viewers away on a memorable adventure beyond imagination.

Specials:

THE 62nd ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- For the tenth consecutive year, NBC will showcase the glittering awards ceremony that has become known as Hollywood's hottest ticket event for its intimate setting and relaxed, festive atmosphere. At 62, the Golden Globes have blossomed into not only a solid indicator of TV's Emmy and feature film's Oscar prospects, but also as an internationally recognized honor in its own right for both the film and television industries. On no other night can Hollywood's A-list of film and television stars be found celebrating together in one location. Originating "live" from the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, the special will be produced by dick clark productions in association with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Lorenzo Soria is President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Dick Clark (NBC's "American Dreams") and Barry Adelman are the executive producers.

CHRISTMAS IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER -- NBC continues a holiday tradition with its live, seventh-annual national telecast of the 72nd celebration of the world's most famous Christmas tree in "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," a star-studded one-hour special from Rockefeller Center in New York City. The popular musical lineup will include a mix of current hits along with holiday music. "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" is produced for a national audience by TWI, the television division of IMG (International Management Group), and WNBC. Steve Mayer and Adele Rifkin are executive producers.

MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE -- The 78th anniversary of America's favorite Thanksgiving Day parade features all the spectacular pageantry, fun and surprises that have made this annual New York City extravaganza a perennial favorite. Heralding the start of the Christmas season, this beloved holiday parade features colorful grand floats, lively marching bands, amazing character balloons and special performances by some of today's hottest stars and Broadway performers -- plus an appearance by Santa Claus. Brad Lachman is the executive producer of this live (in some time zones), three-hour special from NBC Entertainment.

THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW -- NBC unleashes its third annual Thanksgiving holiday special "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina," a two-hour, canine-friendly event for broadcast immediately following the "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade." The annual dog show, hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, is one of the oldest and most prestigious sporting events in North America, and is one of only six remaining "benched" dog shows where the public can interact with the show dogs. "The National Dog Show" takes place at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia's annual show that is expected to feature over 3,000 of the nation's leading canine from various breeds, all vying for "Best in Show" honors. "The National Dog Show" television special will be presented by Purina? brand pet foods (also a sponsor of the Philadelphia event) and will be produced by NBC.

THE 116th ANNUAL TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE -- Live from Pasadena, California, NBC presents "The 116th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade." For 78 years, NBC has been broadcasting the annual New Year's Day event, beginning on radio in 1927 and then televising the popular event beginning in 1954. The event will feature lavish floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and lively marching bands from all over the country, as well as this year's Rose Queen and her court. Arthur Forrest is the executive producer/director.

MACY'S FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR -- Once again, NBC and Macy's join to celebrate the country's birthday with the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular," an hour-long patriotic special featuring colorful pyrotechnical displays live from various locations around New York City. The event includes additional celebrity guests, Broadway musical performances and more than 20 minutes of awe-inspiring fireworks over the skies of New York. The special is produced by NBC Entertainment in association with Broadway Video.

NBC will once again broadcast Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA in 2005. These live, two-hour primetime telecasts will be broadcast from locations around the world. NBC and Donald Trump-equal partners in the Miss Universe Organization, which produces the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Pageants, continues to introduce production changes to redefine the competition for 21st century women.





  [may 2004]  
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· ALLY MCBEAL (FOX)
· AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC)
· CHRISTMAS CAROL, A: THE MUSICAL (NBC)
· FRASIER (NBC)
· HERCULES (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON: THE STRANGE STORY OF SANTE AND KENNY KIMES (CBS)
· MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS (NBC)





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