When will live musicals be back?

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Question: Whatever happened to the live musicals over the holidays? —Gordon

Matt Roush: Live musicals are still a thing on NBC and other networks, but
the holiday angle has been shelved for the time being as the subject matter has moved away from family musicals. (The first disruption was when Jennifer Lopez’s busy schedule delayed NBC’s planned Bye Bye Birdie musical.) NBC’s most recent December musical was the live Hairspray in 2016, and in lieu of a holiday musical in 2017, instead pegged its Emmy-winning Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert for Easter 2018. (Fox stepped in with a lackluster A Christmas Story Live musical last year.) Next year’s musicals are decidedly more edgy, Rent on Fox Jan. 27 and a live version of Hair on NBC in May.

Question: Why does Hallmark and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries have to overlap its Christmas movies by an hour? —Gloria

Matt Roush: I’ve wondered this same thing, although wouldn’t it make more sense for the Hallmark channels to air their movies two hours apart (one at 7/6c, the other at 9/8c) instead of at the same hour? Recording and time-shifting solves the problem, of course, but starting Hallmark’s weekend originals at 8/7c and Movies and Mysteries’ movies at 9/8c does create an odd overlap.

To submit questions to TV Critic Matt Roush, go to: tvinsider.com.