NBC, don’t screw this up by making better TV musicals

Apparently the live Sound of Music was hugely popular:

NBC’s gamble of filling an entire night with live musical theater paid off handsomely on Thursday as “The Sound of Music,” with Carrie Underwood in the Julie Andrews role of Maria, posted the network’s best entertainment ratings for a Thursday night since 2009.

And so we are going to get a lot more of these apparently:

…this gamble — live theater on network television, a throwback to earlier eras of the medium and events like “Peter Pan” and “Cinderella” — paid off so well it is almost a certainty that the network will be looking for other musicals to mount live around holidays.

We turned it on and left it on for a while and were stunned at just how bad the show was. We found ourselves asking “How did this get on the air?”, “They must have known it was awful, didn’t they?”. And apparently we weren’t alone, as twitter was alive with hate-watchers, and the critics dumped on the show.

So, NBC, don’t screw this up by doing more of these with bigger budgets, more rehearsals, better actors. That is not why we watched. We watched for the same reason we read about Lindsay Lohan, the reason we watch Jerry Springer and New Jersey Housewives. We love watching carnage unfold before our eyes in slow motion.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/My advice — rehearse less. Have Taylor Swift sing live, maybe in some more duets with Stevie Nicks. Hire unstable people — Amanda Bynes and Alec Baldwin seem perfect for the next one. Intentionally antagonize your stars. Inject some randomness into the live performance — have part of the set collapse mid-scene. Liberally stock the backstage area with alcohol. Surprise one of the stars with a cameo from a recent ex.

I’ll watch the next one if I know there is a chance someone will walk offstage in a huff, or go in a rampage live and light part of the set on fire.