Annie Live!
Promotional Logo
Based on
Written byThomas Meehan
Directed by
  • Lear deBessonet
  • Alex Rudzinski
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
Production locationsBethpage, New York
Running time127 mins
Production companies
DistributorNBCUniversal Syndication Studios
Original networkNBC
Original releaseDecember 2, 2021 (2021-12-02)
Preceded byDr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical Live!
External links

Annie Live! is a musical television special that aired on NBC on December 2, 2021. It was a performance of the 1977 musical Annie, which is based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray.[1]

The special starred newcomer Celina Smith as the titular role, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace Farrell, Tituss Burgess as Rooster Hannigan, and Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis. The special was directed by Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski.[2]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2021)

Eleven-year-old orphan, Annie, is adopted by billionaire Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, much to the dismay of the cruel and overprotective orphanage owner Miss Hannigan who gets involved in a scheme with her criminal brother Rooster Hannigan and his girlfriend Lily St. Regis.

Oliver Warbucks goes on a radio commercial to offer a $50,000 (equivalent to $1,000,000 in 2020) reward to Annie's parents to come forward. Rooster and Lily devise a plan to pose as Annie's parents. However, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and his staff determine that Annie's parents are dead. Miss Hanningan comes in and exposes Rooster and Lily and they are arrested.


Musical numbers

Denote reprises that were not included on the accompanying soundtrack.
* Denote songs written for the 1982 film adaptation.



The project was announced by NBC on May 12, 2021 with Alex Rudzinski as the live television director and Lear deBessonet as the program director. It was also announced that Sergio Trujillo would choreograph the production. Other members of the production team included Emilio Sosa as costume designer, Jason Sherwood as scenic designer and Stephen Oremus providing new orchestrations. The special was executive produced by Rudzinski, Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron. Rehearsals began in October in New York.

On June 8, 2021, it was announced that Taraji P. Henson had been cast as Miss Hannigan in the production.[3] Later, more casting was announced including Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks,[4] Nicole Scherzinger as Grace Farrell,[5] Tituss Burgess as Rooster Hannigan,[6] and Jane Krakowski as Lily St. Regis.[7]

In June 2021, NBC also announced that they would be holding a nationwide audition for the titular role, similarly to the casting of Shanice Williams as Dorothy Gale in The Wiz Live! and Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray Live![8] Celina Smith was ultimately cast as Annie.[9]

In November 2021, Krakowski stepped down from her role due to a breakthrough case of COVID-19 and would be replaced by Megan Hilty.[10] Also, it was announced that Andrea McArdle, who originated the role of Annie on Broadway, had been cast as Eleanor Roosevelt.[11] McArdle, however, stepped away from the production in late November due to the hospitalization of her father. The part was subsequently written out, however McArdle still appears on the cast recording.[12]


The broadcast was filmed at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, New York.


The special premiered on NBC on December 2, 2021.[3]


The special, which was broadcast on December 2, 2021 by NBC, received 5.34 million viewers during its airing.[13] After a week, the number of viewers rose to 6.29 million.[14]

Past screen productions

The production was the fourth on-screen version of the musical following the 1982 theatrical film starring Carol Burnett and Albert Finney (in which the songs "Sign" and "We Got Annie" were taken from), the 1999 television film starring Kathy Bates and Victor Garber and the 2014 theatrical film starring Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx.


  1. ^ "'Annie Live!' Musical Event Coming to NBC This Holiday Season". MSN. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  2. ^ "Harry Connick Jr. Joins NBC's Annie Live! as "Daddy" Warbucks". Yahoo!. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Taraji P. Henson to Star as Miss Hannigan in NBC's Annie Live!". E! Online. June 8, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  4. ^ Hipes, Patrick (June 28, 2021). "'Annie Live!': Harry Connick Jr Set To Play Daddy Warbucks In NBC Musical". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  5. ^ Evans, Greg (August 5, 2021). "Nicole Scherzinger Joins Cast Of NBC's 'Annie Live!'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 6, 2021. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  6. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (August 11, 2021). "Tituss Burgess Joins Cast Of NBC's 'Annie Live!' Musical Event". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  7. ^ Evans, Greg (September 1, 2021). "Jane Krakowski Joins NBC's 'Annie Live!', Reuniting With 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Co-star Tituss Burgess". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  8. ^ "NBC sends out online casting call for title role in 'Annie Live!'- How to audition". WTEN. June 22, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  9. ^ Bjornson, Greta (August 24, 2021). "Annie Live! Casts Celina Smith in Title Role: 'So Excited for This Journey to Start'". People. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  10. ^ Evans, Greg (November 12, 2021). "Megan Hilty Steps In As Replacement For Covid-Struck Jane Krakowski In 'Annie Live!'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  11. ^ Harms, Talaura (November 12, 2021). "Original Annie Star Andrea McArdle Joins NBC's Annie Live!: Find Out Who She'll Play". Playbill. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  12. ^ Evans, Greg (November 24, 2021). "Andrea McArdle Stepping Away From NBC's 'Annie Live!' Due To Family Matter". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  13. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (December 3, 2021). "ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Thursday Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals: 12.2.2021 Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  14. ^ Marc Berman (December 3, 2021). "Thursday Ratings: Respectable Performance for NBC's 'Annie Live!'". Programming Insider. Retrieved December 20, 2021.