Andrew Lloyd Webber and former NBC chief Robert Greenblatt are bringing Phantom of the Opera to Peacock -- in a surprising way. Currently in development for Peacock, The Show Must Go On will mark the first time Webber's interpretation of Phantom is being used for TV. Zoey's Extraordinary Playbook creator Austin Winsberg and The Tannenbaum Company, who produced that series, are teaming with Greenblatt and Webber to develop the Lionsgate Television series, with Universal TV co-prducing and Richard Shepard on board to direct the pilot. The series won't just be about the traditional Phantom, though; it's more about showbiz-adjacent mysteries more generally.
"Austin and I have a connection with musicals. When he pitched me the idea to do a murder mystery against a live musical backdrop, I thought it was perfect for me," Greenblatt said. "So I reached out to Andrew Lloyd Webber to see if he would let us use Phantom of the Opera, which has never been done before. I pitched him the idea and he loved it and on got on board."
According to Deadline, who first reported the news, "The Show Must Go On is a darkly comedic murder mystery anthology series. Each season would take place in the days leading up to a big, live, televised event and would tackle a new murder with a refreshed cast." And, yes, the first season will center on a crime committed in the orbit of a fictional stage production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's mega-hit adaptation of Phantom.
The synopsis for the season: "As if putting on a giant, live, beloved musical isn't enough of a challenge, imagine how hard it will be with endless production problems, warring stars, mounting network pressures, and, oh yeah, the gruesome and untimely death of one of the leads. With a murderer on the loose, and a Phantom to contend with, the whole cast and crew will have to come together to put on the greatest show of their lives... that is – if they can live long enough to make it to the final curtain..."
The show itself won't be performed in full, but fans will see bits and pieces of it throughout the season, as the play is put together in the background during the course of the mystery investigation. For those who haven't seen it, this is not dissimilar to how Kevin Smith reinterprets his debut film Clerks in Clerks III, which is currently in theaters.
The Phantom of the Opera has been seen by more than 135 million people, and holds the record for the longest-running show on Broadway. It's also the second longest-running West End musical. The musical has had a best-selling soundtrack, a film adaptation from Batman & Robin's Joel Schumacher, and a stage sequel, Love Never Dies...about which, the less said, the better.0comments