Carrie Underwood

'Hairspray' comes to life on TV with tweaks — and drones

'Hairspray' comes to life on TV with tweaks — and drones

A calorie-rich serving of bright colors and a motley crew of star power is making for a hallucinogenic visual on a soundstage here in Universal City. Kristin Chenoweth skedaddles across the floor. Harvey Fierstein and Martin Short bow in front of a swarm of adoring dancers. All the while pop powerhouses Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson effortlessly belt out a sway-inducing song against a glittery, electric-blue backdrop.

But this is no hallucination. This is “Hairspray Live.”

Along with early displays of decorations by retailers, the festive color of Starbucks coffee cups and the trove of cable holiday movies, NBC is steadily establishing itself as a...

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