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‘A Christmas Story,’ ‘Rent’ to air live on Fox

A live musical version of 'A Christmas Story'

A live musical version of 'A Christmas Story' is coming to Fox in December. Photo Credit: TBS Photo

The leg lamp is about to glow anew for the holidays.

Fox Broadcasting Company announced on Friday that it will present a live musical production of “A Christmas Story” in December. The network announced later that day that it will also produce a live version of “Rent,” though Fox had no details as to when that special would air.

The network and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television are partnering Marc Platt, a producer of “La La Land” and Fox’s “Grease Live!” for “A Christmas Story,” which is based on the 1983 holiday movie chestnut and the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production.

“ ‘A Christmas Story’ is one of the most beloved holiday films of all time — audiences have made a yearly ritual of re-watching it — and we are so thrilled to have Marc leading the charge in bringing the musical version of that film to television,” said David Madden, Fox’s president of Entertainment. Tony-nominated composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“Dear Evan Hansen”) will be penning new songs for the program.

The classic story, set in 1940s Indiana, is based on the novel “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash” by Jean Shepherd and concerns young Ralphie, who will do anything to make sure that he gets a Red Ryder BB gun as a Christmas present. The movie starred Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, Darren McGavin as his crusty dad and Melinda Dillon as his mom. No cast has been announced for Fox’s version.

For “Rent,” Fox is working with Platt and the estate of Jonathan Larson, the musical’s author and composer, who died on the morning of the show’s Off-Broadway preview premiere in 1996 at age 35. “Rent” is a re-imagining of Puccini’s opera “La Bohème,” and follows seven artists struggling seeking to fulfill their dreams in New York City’s East Village. The show won four Tonys, including best musical and posthumous awards for Larson for his book and his score.

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