The legendary musical “Oklahoma!” will be adapted for TV for the first time as a series that will be set in the present day, including classic Rodgers & Hammerstein songs, as well as new music.
Skydance TV, which produces TV shows for streaming services including “Grace and Frankie” for Netflix and “Jack Ryan” for Amazon, announced that it had made a deal with The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.
The first musical written by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein revolutionized American musical theater in 1943.
It was based on a play, “Green Grow the Lilacs,” by Claremore native Lynn Riggs and set in 1906, telling the story of a farm girl being courted by rival suitors.
A new series will take off from the original and see the plot further developed, including a story and new songs re-imagined for a contemporary audience.
The musical’s “artistically revolutionary position in American culture has both kept it at the forefront of theatrical performances and allowed for various new innovations,” said Ted Chapin of the Rodgers & Hammerstein group.
“This first-time-ever television series will expand on the life of this remarkably resilient show.”
The latest of many adaptations of “Oklahoma!”, which has included a 1955 movie, is a 75th anniversary production that is also updated to the present-day and is currently playing on Broadway.
Among the producers of that new staging is Tulsa-based Square 1 Theatrics, co-founded by Jay Krottinger and Ryan Jude Tanner.
The TV series will be written and executive-produced by feature-film director John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “Saving Mr. Banks”) and TV producer Bekah Brunstetter (“This is Us,” “American Gods”), according to a report by Broadway World.
There is no current TV partner yet, with the show reportedly to be shopped among streaming services and cable networks