While its competitors like Fox and NBC have offered brave, live versions of musicals like Grease, Hairspray, The Wiz, and Jesus Christ Superstar, ABC has been trailing behind in that department, offering a non-live, lackluster version of Dirty Dancing, for example. But thanks to that handy Disney/ABC merger, the network will ambitiously attempt The Little Mermaid Live! on November 5 (not to be confused with the upcoming big-screen version). As previously announced, Moana’s Auli’I Cravalho will play Ariel, with Queen Latifah fulfilling her Disney destiny as Ursula. Shaggy will co-star as Sebastian the crab, but they couldn’t get him in costume for this teaser? Not even a single red claw?
Apparently more game is John Stamos as Chef Louis, resplendent in chef’s hat and mysterious underwater mustache (Stamos previously played the part in A Little Mermaid production at the Hollywood Bowl). Also newly cast is Graham Phillips as Prince Eric, better known as The Good Wife’s Zach and Riverdale’s dastardly Nick St. Clair. Hamish Hamilton will direct, and The Wrap reports that ABC president Karey Burke has previously announced that “the production will feature intricate sets and costumes, plus ‘puppetry—yes, puppetry’… set to music from the original animated film and the Broadway stage version, originally composed by Alan Menken.” We’ll see how ABC pulls this underwater extravaganza off when the officially titled The Wonderful World Of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! attempts to make a big splash on the small screen on Tuesday, November 5.