Back in Dec. of 2013, NBC hit a ratings jackpot when they aired a live version of "The Sound of Music" starring Carrie Underwood. With that happening, it was highly expected that another live special would come the following year. Well, on Jan. 19, 2014, US Weekly revealed that NBC would bring forth "Peter Pan" as its next live music special.
"The Sound of Music" brought in 22 million viewers even though there were a large number of critics that ripped it to shreds. With numbers like that, NBC was not going to miss another huge opportunity.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt made the announcement and even joked about the starring role.
"I want Miley Cyrus [for the role of Peter Pan]," joked Greenblatt.
The original Broadway production of "Peter Pan" starred Mary Martin as the boy from Neverland and Cyril Richard as Captain Hook. Both won Tony Awards for their performances.
After closing on Broadway in 1955, "Peter Pan" aired as a live broadcast on NBC later in the year. It attracted 65 million viewers. NBC also got huge ratings for live showings of "Peter Pan" in 1956 and 1960.
“We’re very pleased to be underway on ‘Peter Pan’ as our next live holiday musical for the whole family,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt in a statement. “We were all delighted to see how ‘The Sound of Music Live!’ struck such a chord in December and brought nearly 19 million people to the live telecast plus another several million viewers over the weekend. In the hopes that lightning strikes twice, we think we’ve landed on another great Broadway musical — which ironically also starred Mary Martin — that is a timeless classic for all audiences, young and old, who just never want to grow up.”