Young Frankenstein Will Be Puttin’ on the Ritz for a Live TV Musical Special

Young Frankenstein is alive one more time.
Young Frankenstein is alive one more time.
Photo: Fox

After the success of Grease, Hairspray, Rent, The Little Mermaid, and others, you could say the live TV musical has come back from the dead. Now, for its next trick, it’ll do exactly that.

ABC announced Wednesday that it’s teaming with comedy legend Mel Brooks to bring Young Frankenstein back to life. The iconic 1974 film starring Gene Wilder was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2007 and that musical version will be performed live on ABC. No air date or cast was announced.

Unless you follow Broadway, the fact a Young Frankenstein musical even exists might shock you, let alone the fact you’ll be able to watch a live production of it on your TV in the near future. Well, its roots go back almost 20 years.


In 2001, Brooks’ 1967 comedy The Producers was turned into a musical. The result was one of the biggest hits Broadway had seen in years, winning a record 12 Tony Awards out of 15 total (the only three it “lost,” it lost to itself). So, of course, Brooks set out to make another one of his famous comedies into another musical. He chose his favorite film, Young Frankenstein, and it opened in late 2007. Unfortunately, the show didn’t enjoy the same success as The Producers and it closed in early 2009.

Still, that blend of humor, toe-tapping music, and classic horror-based story certainly has a rather wide appeal. Plus, Brooks and his material are known to draw massive names, so one can imagine the show will be even more star-studded than previous live-TV musicals. Anyone you can imagine for the main roles?

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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This sequence is one of the funniest things put to film: