Carrie Underwood competing in mini/movie, ‘Sound of Music’ in special class at Emmys

Gold Derby has exclusively learned that ratings blockbuster “The Sound of Music” is taking an unusual approach to this year’s Emmy Awards. On the ballot released this June, the production will be listed as a Special Class Program while the performers will be over in the movie/miniseries categories.

The three-hour live version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical aired last Dec. 5 on NBC. It tells the story of a novice nun Maria Von Trapp (Carrie Underwood ) who falls in love with Captain von Trapp (Stephen Moyer) while caring for his seven children in Nazi-occupied Austria. Backed by a boffo promotional effort, it delivered a massive 18.5 million viewers. Excluding sports, it was the peacock net’s most-watched Thursday since the “Frasier” finale in 2004.

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By entering as a Special Class program, it follows the path of the “Live from Lincoln Center” production of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel” that nominated in this category last year. It lost to the 66th annual Tony Awards. 

As Special Class offers no opportunties for performers to be nominated, the TV Academy allows them to compete in the movie/miniseries categories which also includes specials. NBC will enter Underwood and Moyers as leads while Laura Benanti, Audra McDonald, and Christian Borle will be eligible in supporting.

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Past Oscar champs and two-time Oscarcast producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan (“Chicago”) assembled the extravaganza. It aired just before Golden Globe and SAG Awards voters turned in their ballots, but failed to gain no traction with either of these kudos. 

This classic tuner has a strong awards pedigree. The very first EGOT champ composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein wrote the well-known score which includes the title song, “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “Climb Every Mountain,” and “Edelweiss.”

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The original Broadway show won five Tony Awards in 1959, including Best Musical and Actress (Mary Martin).  And the blockbuster 1965 film version claimed five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (Robert Wise). Julie Andrews was nominated for Best Actress while Peggy Wood, as the Reverend Mother (played by five-time Tony champ McDonald in the new version), reaped a Supporting Actress bid.

This production marked the first live network television broadcast of a Broadway show since 1957’s “Cinderella” on CBS, which also starred Andrews. Like that one, there was no audience in the large New York City complex where this was staged. It featured a cast of 61 performers and a 40-piece orchestra.

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