UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Dec. 4, 2015 — NBC’s musical television production of The Wiz Live!stars world-class performers and recording artists including Queen Latifah (Chicago), Mary J. Blige (Empire), Ne-Yo (Red Tails), and David Alan Grier (In Living Color). Staying true to the groundbreaking Broadway show that put a vivid urban spin on the land of Oz, this fresh new trip down the yellow brick road also stars Common (Being Charlie), Elijah Kelley (Hairspray), Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Amber Riley (Glee), Stephanie Mills (The Love Boat), and newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy. Also included on the DVD will be the NBC special, The Making of The Wiz Live, featuring the behind-the-scenes story of producing this live television event!
Winner of seven Tony Awards® including Best Musical, the original 1975 hit Broadway production of The Wiz became a cultural touchstone that also spawned the classic film starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Now a Tony-winning creative team has brought together the imaginative acrobats of Cirque du Soleil and a cast of extraordinary actors, singers and dancers to produce an exciting new version unlike anything seen before. Premiering on NBC to rave reviews, The Wiz Live! will be a holiday classic to watch for years to come!
The spectacular television event is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, whose numerous credits include the 2002 Chicago, which won six Oscars® including Best Picture, the television series Smash and the Tony Award-winning Broadway revivals of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Promises, Promises.
Thursday’s live telecast of The Wiz Live! delivered hit ratings, averaging a 3.4 rating, 11 share in adults 18-49 and 11.5 million viewers overall to dominate the night for NBC. It was the network’s best Thursday average in total viewers, excluding sports, since September 2014, and nearly tripled NBC’s best 18-49 Thursday average, excluding sports. It was also NBC’s highest-rated night for any night of the week, excluding sports, in 11 years, since November 2004.
In addition to the The Wiz Live! on DVD, the previously unreleased Diana Ross album, Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz, a rare 1978 recording that features Ross singing every role from the classic movie musical, is out now via all digital retailers.