NBC has announced the fourth-season American Idol winner will star as Maria von Trapp in the network's original broadcast of The Sound of Music based upon the Broadway musical.
The live musical special will air as a three-hour event near the holidays next year and feature Underwood taking on the role of an aspiring nun who leaves the abbey and becomes a governess for the widower Captain von Trapp's seven children. Set in pre-WWII Austria, Underwood's character falls helplessly in love with the Captain and his tight-buttoned kids.
"Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn't be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp. She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist," NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement.
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are also behind the TV series Smash and films Chicago and Hairspray, will be producing the theatrical broadcast.
"We're thrilled to be presenting the Broadway version of The Sound of Music live and having Carrie Underwood as the star brings it to a new generation who will fall in love with it for the first time as many millions of people already have. It's a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical," said Zadan and Meron.
"To have a star like Carrie Underwood perform Maria in The Sound of Music and in such a very special and unique production -- is exciting beyond words," added Ted Chapin, the president of Rodgers & Hammerstein.
"Part of the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein is how their work has adapted itself to so many different incarnations, and I am certain the fresh spirit Underwood brings to her own songs will transition into exciting versions of the classic songs we all know and love."
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