Opening Night Enterprises says it is seeking investors for a reality TV series titled “Opening Night America,” which follows the creative process -- behind the scenes -- of creating a Broadway musical. Actually, four Broadway musicals.
The plan is to then run these musicals in regional theaters around the country. "Opening Night" is looking for investors -- perhaps coming from viewers of its
reality TV show. Minimum investment: $500.
Essentially, TV content is the marketing tool to make money in theaters -- by grabbing potential reality TV show fanatics, as well as longtime Broadway musical fans.
The company’s other main marketing effort is with longtime Broadway (and TV) talent Kristin Chenoweth, a Tony- and Emmy-winning performer. She’s signed on as the show's celebrity mentor.
Adding some experience to this project, the company’s CEO Charles Jones II counts the Walt Disney Company as the main client over the years, producing its live entertainment productions.
Now before you go rushing to attach your name to this project, think about the success and failure rate of TV projects, which can easily die before ever making it to anyone's linear TV network schedule or on-demand streaming service.
The positive here is major media companies have been in a voracious race to make all kinds of TV and movie content for various platforms.
And the TV-to-Broadway show effort doesn’t come out of nowhere. For the last several years, big broadcast TV networks have aired a number of live Broadway-style musicals during end-of-the-year holiday period. NBC is planning on “Annie” for this holiday 2021 season.
Also, streaming platforms have aired recent musical content coming after
their popular Broadway runs.
HBO Max just debuted a film version of the musical “In the Heights,” which debuted the same time in cinemas. Last year, during the summer, Disney+ aired one of the biggest Broadway musicals of all time: “Hamilton.” Both “Hamilton” and “Heights” were created by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Many of these musical shows have been decent successes for networks. That’s the good news. For some, the tricky part might be finding musical theaters lovers to watch reality TV.
Perhaps some additional on-air TV advertising/promotion would help. And maybe one message can entice -- viewers can be a TV producer of sorts -- owning a TV, and possibly Broadway, show. At least, a small piece of it.