Watchworthy

The Best Live TV Musicals 

Ranker TV
Updated December 6, 2019 271 votes 73 voters 12 items

List Rules Vote up the best modern live TV musicals.

Well before the era of DVRs or even videotapes, television channels aired live broadcasts of popular musicals. The first example of such a live tv event was the 1950s telecasts of Peter Pan on NBC. As popular as the show was, viewing habits changed and feelings towards musicals changed with them, leaving live tv musicals to sort of fade away. But, nearly 50 years later, in 2013, NBC brought the live musical television special back with The Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood.

NBC ruled the roost with live TV musicals for a couple of years, but Fox joined in the fun in 2016 with Grease: Live, packed with stars like Vanessa Hudgens and Carly Rae Jepsen. That same year, NBC broadcast Hairspray Live!, with Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson. Since then, both channels have been gracing our screens with live musical adaptations of favorite plays and films. Even A Christmas Story has been adapted into a live musical.

Special television events like live musicals bring us all together as we cringe at the fumbles and tear up a little at the best songs. Which of the modern live musical television specials are the best - which live events had the least stumbles and were the best adaptations?

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
back to page 1
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Actors: Common, Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba, Stephanie Mills, Elijah Kelley, + more

Premiered: 2015

Was this a great live adaptation?
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Actors: Jordan Fisher, Brennin Hunt, Tinashe, Brandon Victor Dixon, Valentina, + more

Premiered: 2019

Was this a great live adaptation?
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Actors: Allison Williams, Christian Borle, Kelli O'Hara, Taylor Louderman, Christopher Walken

Premiered: 2014

Was this a great live adaptation?
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Actors: Fred Armisen, Chris Diamantopoulos, Ana Gasteyer, David Alan Grier, Ken Jeong, + more

Premiered: 2017

Was this a great live adaptation?