Fox will air “The Passion,” a live musical retelling of the crucifixion.
On Palm Sunday 2016, Fox will bring the timeless story of Jesus' crucifixion to modern-day New Orleans, as they air The Passion, a musical retelling of the crucifixion story, which will be broadcast live. Hosted by Tyler Perry from his hometown, viewers will experience the well-known tale in a whole new setting, as the city itself is incorporated into the action.
During the show, Perry, a New Orleans native whose faith has played an important part in his media career, will serve as narrator to a performance which will star some of "today's biggest stars," although the rest of the cast is yet to be announced. Big things are to be expected, though, as Glee executive producer Adam Anders will serve as musical arranger.
The highlight of the event will see viewers watch as hundreds of locals carry a twenty-foot illuminated cross from Champion Square through the city, before ending up at a specially built stage at Woldenburg Park, where the climax of the show will take place, The Wrap reports.
In a statement released to the press, Mark Bracco, Executive Vice President of Programming and Development at Dick Clark Productions, said: "This Palm Sunday television event is a modern-day production of the most famous story of all time, full of universal themes, which we hope provides a unifying experience, bringing the sacred and secular together."
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The Passion is based on a format from the Netherlands, where a similar musical production has been aired annually since 2011. The Dutch version has seen viewing shares of up to 46% across the last five years, an impressive feat given that almost half of the population there identify as unaffiliated to any particular religion. To ensure that the U.S. production does just as well, it will be produced by original producer David Grifhorst.
The announcement of this production follows successful live broadcasts of musicals for other networks over the past few years. NBC scored recent hits with The Sound of Music and The Wiz, so Fox will be looking to carry on the trend with their own production.