"'Cause they taped it on only one day..." - NBC's The Sound of Music

...The NBC-TV remake of Rogers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC as a " live play " production's airing is about one month in the past now , and I meant to post about it here before that ! But I didn't...

  With 18 million viewers IIRC , it certainly qualified as " a hit " . NBC even repeated it a week-and-a-halfish later .

  I saw it both times:-) .

  It was meant to be a " TV play/live production " in the mode of the PLAYHOUSE 90/BELL TELEPHONE HOURs of yore , NBC claiming " For the first time in fifty years..." . I , myself , on the West Coast of the continguous 48 states of the USA (California) saw it as an immediate taped repeat , anyway , being 3 time zones to the west of the Eastern Time Zone , where it would have indeed shown live ~ along with the Central Time Zone .

  The Mountain Time Zone , especially for such a " holiday special " as this , I am not so sure about . Anyone ?????

  Has it shown outside of the U.S,. yet ~ I know we have Australian and Canadian residents here , others ???

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I watched the re-aring of The Sound of Music. I recall that the reviews were rather hostile, but the ratings were good enough for NBC to promise they'll do another live production. Good; we've got to encourage these things, even when they don't turn out so hot.

Plus, I think Carrie Underwood was up against unrealistic expectations of being equal to Julie Andrews in the movie version. First, because this was a televised version of the Broadway play, not the movie. And second, Carrie Underwood can't act. She's pretty, and a charming singer -- "Before He Cheats" is a guilty pleasure of mine -- but she was clearly cast because she's a Grammy-winning star, and not because she's a Tony- or Emmy- or Oscar-winning star; that, she is manifestly not.

To answer ED's question at the end, it was easily viewed by anyone in Canada when it aired.  Our basic cable packages have at least one set of the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox) from a certain city.  When I was a kid it was from Bangor, in my teens it was Detroit, today it is Boston.  Canadian networks like CTV and Global carry a certain percentage of home grown entertainment but also carry a lot of American programming.  Sometimes simulcast, sometimes airing earlier or later.

I stopped my cable many years ago, but I was still able to get some channels with the antenna on my TV--even a couple of American channels if conditions were favourable.

Then things went digital. First I lost the American channels because they went digital, then I lost all of the Canadian channels but one as they went digital--and then that last channel also went to digital.

That was about a couple years ago. So my TV is no good to me except as a vehicle for watching DVDs. But I manage to get a lot of shows online. However, I've yet to find anything online for the live SOUND OF MUSIC. I can't even find a video of the SNL spoof. 

We watched and enjoyed the Pacific Time Zone replay, which is almost always the case with live programs. Award shows, such as the Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes usually are live here these days, just three hours earlier than the East Coast.

Some people were thrown because they were expecting it to be exactly like the movie. As I understand it the sequence of songs, etc, was like the stage version. It was expanded from what could be done on stage, since the sets were a lot wider and deeper than would fit on a stage. I think Carrie Underwood had a lot of guts to do this. Some people seem to think that Julie Andrews originated the role when it was really Mary Martin. I'm sure some people at the time were incensed that Julie Andrews was in the movie. I'm glad they're going to do more such productions.

People with analog TVs can receive and convert the digital signals using a specially made converter box. It's not necessary to pay for cable if you can receive the signals on an antenna. They did a lot of publicity in the States about this and we know at least one friend who uses such a converter. You should check with a local electronics store.

Jimmm Kelly said:

Then things went digital. First I lost the American channels because they went digital, then I lost all of the Canadian channels but one as they went digital--and then that last channel also went to digital.

That was about a couple years ago. So my TV is no good to me except as a vehicle for watching DVDs. But I manage to get a lot of shows online. However, I've yet to find anything online for the live SOUND OF MUSIC. I can't even find a video of the SNL spoof. 

I've never bothered to look into getting a box, because I figured I was better off without TV and I can get a lot on my computer--and because I'm stubborn.

I think they're cutting their own throat by not broadcasting live to the west coast. The whole attraction of live events these days is that you can go on twitter and other social media and talk about how terrible it is as it happens. 

I'm sure in a few years, there will be more live television like this to counter the tendency for people to binge watch.

I have new TVs, but I can still use my older antennae to get the digital signals.

Jimmm Kelly said:

I stopped my cable many years ago, but I was still able to get some channels with the antenna on my TV--even a couple of American channels if conditions were favourable.

Then things went digital. First I lost the American channels because they went digital, then I lost all of the Canadian channels but one as they went digital--and then that last channel also went to digital.

That was about a couple years ago. So my TV is no good to me except as a vehicle for watching DVDs. But I manage to get a lot of shows online. However, I've yet to find anything online for the live SOUND OF MUSIC. I can't even find a video of the SNL spoof.



Richard Willis said:

People with analog TVs can receive and convert the digital signals using a specially made converter box. It's not necessary to pay for cable if you can receive the signals on an antenna. They did a lot of publicity in the States about this and we know at least one friend who uses such a converter. You should check with a local electronics store.

It's worth it to get the converter box. One part of the changes when stations went from analog to digital is that any given broadcast TV station can transmit up to 10 digital signals in the space of what was one analog signal. This meant that several local stations added additional channels.

Where I live, each of the network affilitates added a weather channel; the PBS station added three versions; one of the local stations added an oldies TV channel offering shows I hadn't seen in years (like Emergency!, Alias Smith and Jones, and Adam-12) and shows I had always heard about, but never seen (like Bachelor Father). Also, the NBC affiliate added a sports channel to carry more Olympics coverage, and after the Games ended, still covered other sports.

Plus, the converter boxes aren't terribly expensive.

...Richard , were the sets all that much deeper than what a modern-day Broadway/West End show would be capable of , as against a 1959 one ? (when the Broadway version with Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel opened ) That's an interesting comment , I didn't think of that .

  I was assuming that the NBC version was pretty close to (I assume) the " standard " version of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical - Maybe I'm just assuming this , but I'm tending to think that the R&H Organization would likely be pretty conservative - if that's the right phrase - about what the allowed modern-day productions or their shows to be .

  I tend to doubt that the R&H company goes for many " post-post-modern reimaginings " and " radical reworkings " of their catalog .

  A few years back , I brought up the PBS showing of a revival of another R&H show , SOUTH PACIFIC , which I think was live-in-two-time-zones-anyhow as well...This one had actually been a working stage production , playing Broadway and touring...With a chorus line of bare-chested sailors with their chests universally shaven , which seemed rather unlikely for WWII sailors in the South Pacific...

  Richard , you are saying that awards shows are generally live " out our way " these days , it that what you meant ???

  The credits for the NBC/Underwood simply credited someone for " Adapting " , or similar , the show for TV , much of that presumably being just condensing some to fit 3 commercial TV hours , I guess (even in a " special " show that I suppose had a few less commercials per hour than average ???) , and structuring for those commercial breaks .

  A major interest of mine had been two of the , apparently three , songs in this from the stage version that were dropped from the movie (neither sung by Maria/Underwood) , " No Way To Stop It " and especially " How Can Love Survive " - the third one I guess was the very opening part , a number for the nuns before the title song which I suppose may have been an existing Catholic text that Hart put new music to ??? Anyone know ???

...Hammerstein putting music to a text , not " Hart " . I'm sorry . It became to late for me to Edit above !!!!!!!

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

Richard , were the sets all that much deeper than what a modern-day Broadway/West End show would be capable of , as against a 1959 one ? (when the Broadway version with Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel opened ) That's an interesting comment , I didn't think of that .

On the live TV production they were able to go in and out of the house in a natural way. Also in the abbey they could go down fairly long corridors. Even if a live theater had a large enough stage to do this the audience wouldn't be able to see and follow the actors like the camera did. This live TV production is a "third thing", unlike either a movie or a stage production.

I was assuming that the NBC version was pretty close to (I assume) the " standard " version of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical - Maybe I'm just assuming this , but I'm tending to think that the R&H Organization would likely be pretty conservative - if that's the right phrase - about what the allowed modern-day productions or their shows to be .

Everything I've heard said that the production followed the stage version completely. For example, in the movie the young Nazi character is portrayed as helping them more obviously than in the TV production, and almost turns them in. I haven't seen this show on a stage*.

A few years back , I brought up the PBS showing of a revival of another R&H show , SOUTH PACIFIC , which I think was live-in-two-time-zones-anyhow as well...This one had actually been a working stage production , playing Broadway and touring...With a chorus line of bare-chested sailors with their chests universally shaven , which seemed rather unlikely for WWII sailors in the South Pacific...

I made an earlier comment somewhere on the board that the American and German characters in Saving Private Ryan who had shaved heads were not accurate for the time period. Also, depending upon when a western movie is made characters either have shoulder-length hair or DA haircuts. I don't get the chest shaving thing, but it definitely wasn't a WWII thing.

Richard , you are saying that awards shows are generally live " out our way " these days , it that what you meant ???

Generally these days they start out here live at 5:00 PM and are seen at 8:00 PM on the East Coast, which is also live. It used to be a pain because you had to avoid hearing the results before watching, similar to sporting events.

* A year or two ago I saw a live production of West Side Story. Some of the songs lyrics are a little more suggestive than the film version. I'm willing to bet the stage version I saw was using the original lyrics.

...Are you saying that in the movie the " 16 Going On " young Nazi almost turns them in more up-frontly than in the NBC ?

  In that one , he starts to call his superior ` then relents , saying he'd seen nothing ?

  BTW , what consequrnces , if you know , does any fuller version spell out for Max's streching out of the announcing of the winners of the singing competition , which allows the von Trapps to escape ?

  Clearly , as the Nazis rush the stage , they are at least suspicious of Max's actions .

  You don't understand what I'm saying about chest shaving ?

  I seem to recall reading of a recent-ish production of WSS (done when Authur Laurents was till alive) that had the Spanish characters singing in Spanish (generally , anyway) when they were alone and may have had Maria's lyrics become a little more " simplistic/innocent " and less " Broadway/clever " to reflect the " more naive/FOB type of person " she is . Was that what you saw ?????

  Thank you , I had thought that the NBC version was pretty close to the stage/Broadway presentation .

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