LOS ANGELES: NBC is hoping to breathe new life into a vintage Broadway musical by casting chart-topping country singer Carrie Underwood as the star of its revival of "The Sound of Music" next year.
In a statement Friday, the US television network said Underwood, 29, will play Maria von Trapp in a live telecast of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical first produced on the Great White Way in 1959, or 24 years before she was born.
Scheduling of the three-hour special is to be announced nearer to the Christmas holidays in 2013, it said.
"Having Carrie Underwood as the star brings it to a new generation who will fall in love with it for the first time as many millions of people already have," said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
"I am certain the fresh spirit Underwood brings to her own songs will transition into exciting versions of the classic songs we all know and love," added Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization.
There was no comment from Underwood herself, but on her Twitter account she said on November 17 that she had just received "the most wonderful gift" -- a "Sound of Music Family Scrapbook" complete with DVD.
Set in Austria on the eve of World War II, "The Sound of Music" is based on the real-life love story between aspiring nun Maria von Trapp and a widowed army officer who hires her as governess to his seven musically gifted children.
It went on to win a Tony award, followed in 1965 by a best-picture Oscar for the movie version starring Julie Andrews singing the show's signature tunes like "Edelweiss" and "My Favorite Things" as well as the title song.
Oklahoma native Underwood has won five Grammys since she broke into the music business in 2005 via the reality TV show "American Idol." Her latest album "Blown Away" peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 pop album chart.