Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella to Receive Limited Series Adaptation | Playbill

Film & TV News Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella to Receive Limited Series Adaptation

Based on the classic fairy tale, the work premiered as a live TV musical starring Julie Andrews in 1957.

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews CBS Photo Archive

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella will be adapted as a limited series in a project being developed by Skydance Television, Concord Originals, and the Jennifer Lopez-founded Nuyorican Productions. Itself based on the classic fairy tale, the work premiered as a live TV musical in 1957, with then-My Fair Lady star Julie Andrews in the title role. Rachel Shukert (The Baby-Sitters ClubGLOW) will pen the adaptation, along with serving as executive producer and showrunner.

The project is the latest in a growing list of stage musicals getting serial adaptations. A Grease prequel series, titled Rise of the Pink Ladies, is in the works for streamer Paramount+, with Broadway favorite Jackie Hoffman starring as Rydell Assistant Principal McGee. Series adaptations of Oklahoma! and A Chorus Line are also reportedly in development.

The series would not be the first time a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical has become a TV series. The King and I was adapted into Anna and the King, a non-musical series with its original stage and film star Yul Brynner reprising his role as the King of Siam in 1972, though it only lasted for a single season.

"Rodgers & Hammerstein elevated the already magical story of Cinderella with their iconic music that has attracted legends of screen and stage throughout its many beloved, award-winning iterations over the years,” says Concord Originals Senior Vice President of Development and Production Sophia Dilley in a statement. “Our partnership with Skydance and Nuyorican on this project is the first step of many towards our collective goal of championing timeless classics for a new generation and Rachel is the perfect voice to expand upon this story in a contemporary way."

The 1957 broadcast, offered at the height of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's meteoric success on Broadway, was watched by more than 107 million people—which worked out to 4.3 people per television set at the time—and Andrews received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance. In the years since, the work has been produced for TV again in 1965 starring Leslie Ann Warren, Ginger Rogers, Walter Pidgeon, and Celeste Holm; and yet again in 1997 starring Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, Paolo Montalbán, Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, and Jason Alexander.

The work made it to the stage almost immediately after its TV premiere, playing as a holiday panto at the London Coliseum in 1958, and in more traditional adaptations in the U.S. by 1961. A dramatically revised stage version of the work, with a book by Douglas Carter Beane and incorporating songs from the Rodger and Hammerstein catalogue, gave the property its Broadway premiere in 2013, starring Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Victoria Clark, Harriet Harris, Peter Bartlett, Ann Hararda, Marla Mindelle, and Greg Hildreth.

Look Back at Julie Andrews in the 1957 Telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

 
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