Is FOX's 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' Live? The Musical Movie Remake Isn't The Last One On The Horizon
Almost three years ago, NBC reignited audience interest in live TV musicals with the highly rated The Sound of Music Live! — and now, viewers have been treated to a whole bunch of live productions since. FOX aired Grease Live earlier this year and the network premieres a modern remake of the '70s cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Thursday night. But, if you're wondering if FOX's Rocky Horror Picture Show live, I hate to burst your bubble — it's already been filmed and will not be airing live. According to Entertainment Weekly, San Diego Comic Con attendees got a preview of the first 25 minutes of the musical remake, directed by Kenny Ortega.
Those lucky folks got to experience the 2016 version of the musical, which follows a young couple named Brad (Ryan McCartan) and Janet (Victoria Justice), who experience a sexual awakening in the wild and weird world of Dr. Frank N. Furter (Laverne Cox). The original Rocky Horror Picture Show was released in theaters in 1975 and has continued screening since. Wild midnight showings of the film have become a regular fixture at theaters around the country with so much more than just cosplay. For example, Los Angeles screenings at the NuArt Theater feature Sins O' The Flesh, a Rocky Horror "shadowcast" troupe that re-enacts the movie just below the screen in costume and provides props (like Janet's newspapers and Dr. Scott toilet paper) to the audience to play along.
So Rocky Horror's tradition doesn't exactly lie in being experienced as live theater, but rather as an interactive screening experience (which is fully addressed by this remake in a fun way).
Sorry to disappoint you if you're a live musical fan, but don't worry — there are more on the way, but on another network. NBC premieres Hairspray Live! as their now-annual holiday live musical show on Dec. 7. Previous NBC musical exec producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, along with The Wiz Live! director Kenny Leon return to head up the production. Hairspray Live! stars Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Ariana Grane, and newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad.
NBC will also venture into live dramatic theater in 2017, when the peacock network plans to premiere A Few Good Men Live , which will also be exec produced by Meron and Zadan, according to Deadline. The Aaron Sorkin-penned play debuted on Broadway in 1989 and then became the Oscar-nominated movie of the same name starring Tom Cruise, featuring one of the most iconic lines of the '90s — "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!"
But NBC and FOX aren't the only ones getting into the musical space. In May, ABC chief Channing Dungey told reporters that the network was developing a live musical of its own — and using their access to the Disney vault, since ABC is owned by Disney, according to EW. "This is a space that’s already become very crowded," he said, reported EW. "When we make our play in that space, we really want to make sure it’s the right project for us to be doing and one that really speaks to the heart of who we are at ABC and as a part of the Disney family."
Even though the new Rocky Horror isn't live, there are still plenty of live TV productions on the horizon to enjoy.
Images: Steve Wilkie (2)/FOX