You can bet your bottom dollar Taraji P. Henson will deliver in NBC’s next holiday musical.
The network announced Tuesday the Emmy and Oscar-nominated actress will play the evil Miss Hannigan in its previously announced production of Annie Live!.
“When we decided to bring back NBC’s holiday musical tradition, we were looking for something that was critically acclaimed and universally beloved — and while that’s definitely the case with ‘Annie,’ it absolutely applies to Taraji as well,” Susan Rovner, chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a press release. “Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television.”
Based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip, “Annie” became one of the most popular shows on Broadway after debuting in 1977. The musical won a string of Tony Awards and inspired two films.
Carol Burnett and Kathy Bates played Miss Hannigan, the cruel keeper of the orphanage where Annie stays, on the big screen. Empire star Henson said she’s proud to follow in Burnett’s footsteps.
“Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember,” Henson shared. “So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped! Carol, I hope to do you proud!”
Annie Live! is the sixth live musical event for NBC following The Sound of Music Live! in 2013, Peter Pan Live! in 2014, The Wiz Live! in 2015, Hairspray Live! in 2016 and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert in 2018.
Annie Live! is scheduled to air Thursday, Dec. 2 on NBC.
A nationwide search is now underway to find 11-year-old Annie. Details on the audition process can be found at https://castittalent.com/Annie_Live.