Fran Drescher charmed and delighted TV audiences from 1993 to 1999 on the long-running sitcom The Nanny, playing a brash cosmetics salesperson who stumbles into a job taking care of the three children of a wealthy, widower who produced plays and musicals on Broadway. The Nanny is now being developed as a Broadway musical, with series creators Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson writing the book, and a score by Rachel Bloom and Adam Schlesinger. Bloom and Schlesinger recently won a 2019 Emmy Award together for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The musical will be directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)
“We are SO excited to be working on the Broadway musical The Nanny,” said Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson. “We’re equally excited that the wildly talented Rachel Bloom will be writing the lyrics and music with the fantastic Adam Schlesinger, and to have the brilliant Marc Bruni directing. Nobody is cast yet – we’re plotting – but we feel confident we will find a fabulous actress who is funny, charming and has a great voice.”
When asked if she would reprise her role as the unconventional child care professional who donned outrageous outfits, scheming to meet celebrities and land herself a husband, Drescher wryly retorted “Of course I would do it myself, but we’d have to change the title to The Granny.”
Bloom offered her thoughts on turning the beloved sitcom into a musical, “The Nanny was a fundamental part of my childhood because it was the first time I saw an openly Jewish female protagonist on television. The story of Fran Fine, however, is a universal one that has touched the hearts of people of every race, religion and orientation. I am so proud to be using the characters established by The Nanny to tell a new story about one woman’s journey to becoming proud of who she is and what makes her different.”
Partly inspired by Drescher’s own life growing up in Queens, New York, The Nanny ran for 146 episodes, with Drescher Emmy nominated for her performance and the show earning 12 Emmy Award nominations over its 6 seasons. The television show has been aired in over 90 countries and more than 30 languages.
Director Marc Bruni added, “The Nanny television series began from a familiar theatrical premise – but what if instead of Maria Rainer with her guitar, Fran Fine showed up on the doorstep of a fractured family? Over its six seasons, the show examined class, coming of age, feminism, love and Broadway with heart and laughs. I am thrilled to be working with Fran, Peter, Rachel, and Adam in bringing these characters to the stage in a fresh new light that I hope will delight fans of the show, as well as capture the imagination of a new generation of theatre-goers.”
No dates for the Broadway-aimed The Nanny have been announced yet, and casting and the creative team will be announced at a later date.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.
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