Fox’s upcoming two-hour live musical event "The Passion," about the final hours of Jesus Christ’s life on Earth, which will be hosted by Tyler Perry (narrating the production), has cast Seal to play Pontius Pilate, the government official who oversaw the trial and crucifixion of Christ.
Last week, Jencarlos Canela was cast as Jesus and Chris Daughtry as Judas, joining a cast that already includes musicians Prince Royce as Peter, Trisha Yearwood as Mary and the aforementioned Tyler Perry as host and narrator.
Set in the present day, "The Passion" will follow the story of Jesus of Nazareth as he presides over the Last Supper, is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected. The story will unfold live at some of New Orleans’ most famed locations.
“’The Passion’ is both wonderfully entertaining and genuinely inspirational,” said David Madden, president, entertainment, Fox. “We are so thrilled to have the multi-talented Tyler Perry join us for this epic music production. He is the perfect host to lead the cast–and viewers–through the streets of New Orleans in this contemporary re-telling of a timeless story.”
Adam Anders will oversee the musical acts.
Dick Clark productions, Eye2Eye Media and Anders Media Inc. will produce.
The musical event is set for a March 20 broadcast, coinciding with Palm Sunday.
“This Palm Sunday television event is a modern-day production of the most famous story of all time, full of universal themes, which we hope provides a unifying experience, bringing the sacred and secular together,” said Mark Bracco, executive VP of programming and development for Dick Clark productions.
Bracco, Allen Shapiro (CEO, Dick Clark productions), Mike Mahan (president, Dick Clark productions), Jacco Doornbos (CEO/creative director of Eye2Eye Media), Anders (CEO, Anders Media Inc.) and David Grifhorst ("The Passion: Netherlands") are executive producers.
Robert Deaton (CMA Awards) is an executive producer and the showrunner.
Both Fox and NBC have seen success with recent live musical broadcasts – most recently, "Grease Live!" last night on Fox and "The Wiz Live!" on NBC a month ago, which were ratings hits for the networks. So as long as they continue to be successful, expect more of them.