The third time was the charm for NBC when The Wiz Live! not only turned out to be not terrible, but was in fact an enjoyable update of the ’70s original. Now it looks like ABC would like to join the TV musical fun, as Variety reports that the network is planning a musical adaptation of Dirty Dancing. But rather than tempt fate with a live broadcast, ABC will stick with TV movie format and air a pre-taped production.
This Dirty Dancing adaptation has reportedly been in development at ABC for a while; the network began casting about for its two leads a year ago. We do know that the actress who will step into Jennifer Grey’s dancing shoes—and whom nobody will put in a corner—is Scream Queens’ Abigail Breslin. But the role of Johnny Castle, who was played by the late Patrick Swayze in the film, has not yet been filled. Variety’s sources tell the publication that the network has a wish list of high-profile talent, which presumably means it won’t just look to its Dancing With The Stars contestant pool.
The project will be executive produced by Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games movies) and Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote the original script. Scream Queens producer and American Horror Story scribe Jessica Sharzer is writing the adaptation, which will be directed by Wayne Blair (The Sapphires). And Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler will be in charge of ensuring the dancing is sufficiently dirty.