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2013 TV Upfronts: NBC unveils 'Sound of Music' air date

2013 TV Upfronts: NBC unveils 'Sound of Music' air date
Julie Andrews in the 1965 film "The Sound of Music." (American Cinematheque)

NEW YORK -- The hills will soon be alive with music again. NBC announced its live broadcast of "The Sound of Music" will air this December.

At the network's upfront presentation Monday morning at Radio City Music Hall, NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt capped off the event by announcing a Dec. 5 air date for the revival, which will span three hours.

"We hope that this great story, with Rodger and Hammerstein's songs that everyone knows, will be the biggest thing on television this holiday season," Greenblatt told the room.

The network had everyone talking (and maybe scratching their heads) when it revealed last fall its plan to awaken the beloved classic musical. It tapped "American Idol" winner and five-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood to assume the role of Maria -- a role made famous by Julie Andrews, who played the part in the Oscar-winning 1965 film adaptation, which had little girls everywhere running up hillsides in emulation.

NBC is partnering with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of “Smash” and the upcoming Oscars telecast, on the project.