Disney has been on some kind of a roll with their ambitious live-action adaptations of past animated masterpieces. The latest to grace cinemas has been the splendid “Beauty and the Beast” with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. But there are many more live-action versions waiting in the wings for the House of Mouse.

There is a “Lion King” movie in development (with CGI work to make some real animals talk) as well as a live musical adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” for television. ABC had originally slotted it to premiere on October 3 in an announcement last May, but when the network revealed its schedule for the fall, the title was nowhere in the list.

Maybe next year

A spokesperson for ABC broke the news on Thursday, August 3 regarding the postponement of a live broadcast of a Broadway musical production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” on their network. Praising the project as “unique,” the spokesperson then revealed that the network would be moving the production and its broadcast for next year, the better to give it “all the attention it deserves.” On its original schedule, ABC’s “The Little Mermaid” was slated to be a special live airing for two hours. Its executive producers would have been Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, David Jammy, Katy Mullan and Richard Kraft.

One other reason that ABC has decided to put their “Little Mermaid” musical broadcast on hold for this year was financial difficulties.

The network has begun investing in building sets for the production, only to run into problems with the allotted budget. Furthermore, rehearsals by the cast and performers have already been scheduled to begin any day now, before the decision to postpone the Disney extravaganza was voted on.

Live musical trend

Before its outright acquisition by Disney, ABC has already had a strong partnership with the House of Mouse, particularly in its programming on television.

The network considers its broadcast of “The Little Mermaid” to be a throwback to its 1950s TV franchise the “Wonderful World of Disney” anthology.

It is also ABC’s own entry into the recent live-musical bandwagon that the other TV networks have been flirting with over the past few years. The official start of this trend was considered to be NBC’s broadcast of “The Sound of Music Live” back in 2013, which was followed in turn by Fox and their offering “Grease Live.”

Interestingly, the ABC decision to put off “The Little Mermaid Live” until 2018 comes on the heels of NBC also putting the kibosh on a planned broadcast of “Bye-Bye Birdie Live.” This musical would have starred Jennifer Lopez.