NBC hopes to jump on the musical bandwagon with a Broadway adaptation

By Lynette Rice
April 18, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

Is a RENT sign about to go up at NBC? The network is in early talks with Miramax about developing the Broadway musical Rent as a TV movie. The studio behind Chicago has owned the rights to the La Boheme-inspired musical since 1996 but has yet to make hay out of the Tony-winning tale. (There were brief discussions with director Spike Lee about adapting it into a feature.) NBC is certainly up for playing landlord to Rent: It’s never produced a musical and has watched ABC garner critical acclaim (and ratings) for The Music Man, Annie, and Cinderella.

But no one can start singing ”525,600 minutes” on TV without first obtaining approval from the estate of late Rent composer Jonathan Larson. Broadway producer Allan S. Gordon, who co-owns the rights to Rent, worries whether some of the play’s controversial topics like AIDS and homosexuality will translate to the small screen. ”It would lose some edge,” cautions Gordon. ”It happened at a certain time and certain place, but it is still cutting edge.” — Lynette Rice

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  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 135 minutes
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