NBC is upping its musical ante in 2018 by going for a spring musical. The peacock network announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the rights for Jesus Christ Superstar and will air a live rendition of the production next Easter.
Broadway legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who wrote the music and lyrics for the original show, will executive produce with Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
"As we continue to expand the profile of our live musicals, we are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to bring a new live staging of the iconic Jesus Christ Superstar to NBC," said NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt. "Casting has just begun, but we want to fill out this classic show with as many recording artists as possible to give proper voice to what is the original rock opera score."
The musical first started as a concept album that reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts before finding its feet on Broadway in 1971. The musical follows Jesus in the final week of his life and features other famous biblical figures like Judas Iscariot, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, Annas, Peter, Simon Zealotes and King Herod.
Jesus Christ Superstar was subsequently turned into a film in 1973 and the stage version was revived in 2012.
NBC was the first of the big four networks to get into the live musical game, launching The Sound of Music Live! Christmas special in 2013, starring Carrie Underwood. The most recent musical endeavor was Hairspray! Live starring Kristin Chenoweth and Harvey Fierstein. The network will also stage a live version of Bye Bye Birdie this December with Jesus Christ Superstar coming shortly after in the spring.