The Wonderful World of Disney: Annie
ABC, Storyline Entertainment, Columbia Tri-Star Television, Inc., and Chris Montan Productions, in association with Walt Disney Television
Musicals may be plentiful on Broadway but they’re in short supply on network television. Bravo then to ABC’s show-stopping presentation of Annie, which aired in the fall of 1999 as part of the Wonderful World of Disney series. Featuring Oscar-winner Kathy Bates as nasty Miss Hannigan, this lively, beautifully filmed production also showcased a host of lower-profile Tony Award perennials whose talents are seldom utilized on the small screen. Four-time nominee Victor Garber has a grand time playing Daddy Warbucks. He is joined by Tony winners Audra McDonald as Warbucks’ loyal assistant, Grace Farrell; Alan Cumming as Miss Hannigan’s shifty brother, Rooster, and Kristin Chenoweth as his dim-bulb girlfriend, Lily St. Regis. Newcomer Alicia Morton likewise excels in the title role. In homage to the original Broadway production, original Annie Andrea McArdle plays the “Star-to-Be” in the big “NYC” production number. Executive produced by Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Chris Montan and directed by Rob Marshall, Annie brightly reprises ten tunes from the original, which debuted on Broadway in 1977. Exceptional ratings for Annie, which finished second in the weekly program rankings, proved there indeed is a “tomorrow’ for musicals on network television. For reinvigorating the genre in such splendid fashion, a Peabody goes to Annie.